Homegrown Business: Joshua Hooge of Fraser River Forge

Fraser River Forge specializes in traditional hand forging in the realm of blacksmithing. With a capacious 2000 sqft shop, this professional blacksmith school welcomes up to 8 students, creating an immersive learning environment where the ancient art of metalworking is brought to life. When not engaged in teaching, the skilled artisans at Fraser River Forge dedicate their expertise to an array of services, ranging from repairs, modifications, welding, and metal fabrication to the creation of custom decorative and architectural ironwork. Their craftsmanship extends to the production of speciality tools and exclusive, high-end kitchenware. We discussed with Joshua Hooge, the Head Blacksmith and Co-Founder of Fraser River Forge, to learn more about this fascinating business and school.

Fraser River Forge

What is your business called and what does it do?

Fraser River Forge – German Canadian Blacksmithing School, is a professional blacksmith shop with a focus on traditional hand forging. Located in Vancouver, BC, our well-equipped 2000 sqft shop can accommodate up to 8 students for teaching purposes. When classes are not in session, we do repairs and modifications, welding and metal fabrication, custom decorative and architectural ironwork, speciality tools, and exclusive, high-end kitchenware. We also sell our handmade goods and blacksmithing supplies on our online store.

What made you want to do this work?

I wanted to learn how to sculpt objects out of metal, like tools and furniture hardware.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Lack of public awareness of what a blacksmith does and how they can serve the community around them.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Everyone from the ages of 16-75 that wants to learn how to blacksmith or want to purchase quality handmade goods and supplies.

Fraser River Forge

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We teach blacksmithing classes, forged goods and blacksmithing supplies. We also teach welding classes for anyone who wants to update their skills.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

There is no one like us in the marketplace, historically blacksmithing is not part of Canadian Culture. However, it is in other parts of the world such as Europe and Mexico. We are here to change that.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

Best: Passing on the skills to the next generation. Worst: The lack of public awareness of what a blacksmith is capable of and how we are useful.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Why did the blacksmith go to jail? He was caught forging artwork.

Where can we follow you?

WebsiteInstagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

The Original Shutter Shop located in South Vancouver, a women-owned business that handmakes window shutters out of wood.

 

About Emilea Semancik 155 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: