I had the pleasure of working with master blacksmith David Burress of Calerin Forge while producing a series called History in the Making in 2017. David was a fantastic collaborator and a thoughtful interview subject. He was prepared for our shoot, which made the day exceedingly productive. On a personal note, David was warm and welcoming to the crew. I had an outstanding experience and great shoot day. I hope to work with David again some day. 

Craig Colby

Craig Colby

While filming at Calerin Forge with its Master Blacksmith, David Burress, I experienced the amazing tradition of forging traditional metal tools and artwork from David, who's experience is unmatched and who had captured the enthusiasm of my entire cast and crew.   The tools and forge are a sight to behold and may not exist elsewhere in our fine nation.   I have not learned from such an amazing teacher in a very long time, David possesses a special gift!

A few of our crew who have over a decade of working knowledge in the field walked away with a tremendous amount of new working knowledge and a passion for passing it along to our community with the same passion as it was shared with us by David.  David has an impressive forge, complete with apprentices who absolutely love their work!  Most of my crew have purchased artwork and tools from David, many given as gifts and many for daily personal use; all of which are cherished.  The experience doesn't stop with what we learned about forging; David and his family have a love for their ancestry, tradition and their land, and shared every bit of each with us.

I consider my friendship with David and his entire family to be forged forever and look forward to returning to his mountain, where love, kindness and community are perpetual.

David's son, Caleb, was kind enough to share his amazing knowledge about forging and life in the mountains and then we asked Caleb if he would join our film crew and help us continue our series.  Caleb did join us, worked so hard and impressed me daily with his problem solving abilities and passion for this new adventure.  I would have taken Caleb from the mountains (can't take the mountains out of Caleb) and traveled the world with him for work if he didn't have an amazing fiancée who would not be as pleased as I would that Caleb is traveling the world making television.

The father-son combo proves their is love in their work and pride in their family tradition. I will be back!

Andrew Lipson

Emmy Award Winning

Co-Executive Producer

When I first learned that David Burress was going to be teaching an eight week class in blacksmithing, my imagination and little-girl-curiosity took off!  I wanted to try this, even though I was 78 at the time and my preferred medium is watercolor.  I figured that art is art, in whatever form and I was not disappointed! 

A creative craftsman and gifted artist, David is knowledgeable about ancient designs created in metal and uses authentic techniques handed down by generations for centuries. 

David has an excellent teaching style giving clear, concise, step by step directions that produce satisfying results…a useful fire rake and tongs…clever hooks…and beautiful, gleaming knives.  I was amazed to see what my hands had “wrought”!

David encourages his students and builds their confidence so that they anticipate the success that they achieve.  His enthusiasm makes it fun and exciting.  I had a great time and highly recommend David’s blacksmithing classes to anyone looking for a new and rewarding experience.”

Melba Richards


“To be shown how to do something from or by someone who knows what they are doing is one thing, but to be given the experience of sharing someone’s love of their craft is nothing short of spectacular.  David’s passion for blacksmithing is simply something to behold!” 

Brian Bartel


“I have taken two classes with Mr. Burress: a beginning blacksmithing class and a tool making class, and I thoroughly enjoyed both classes.  Students learn in a relaxed, intimate, and hands-on environment with the added bonus of having hand-crafted implements to show for their time and effort. I highly recommend Mr. Burress and Calerin Forge to anyone who is interested in blacksmithing.”

Kraig A. Metzger


Calerin forge is a magical place.  At first glance it’s a little like stepping back in time to walk in that shop and see all the sparks and fires and hear the sound of iron being hammered.  After spending some time there though  you start to realize that it’s really a state-of-the-art blacksmith and hand forging facility carrying on an ages-old tradition, not just simply for tradition’s sake, but for the sake of the ultimate product: beautifully crafted quality pieces of practical and/or decorative metalwork.  The amount of technical skill combined with artistry David Burress exhibits is really astounding.   He’s the real deal. It’s also worth noting that the family behind this family business is one of the kindliest most inviting I’ve ever met.   I would highly recommend Calerin Forge to anyone. 

Chris Lappos

I had a good time at Calerin Forge.  I received many insightful tips to further my craft among fine people.  It was well worth the drive from Asheville every week and expense to create armour.  To take flat steel and watch it take shape under hammer and flame.   

Charlie Ellis


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What Other Visitors Have Said

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First Rate Experience 
Calerin Forge is a first rate operation and provided me a fantastic custom made tomahawk. From discussing my needs, to updates on the progress of the …

School visit Not rated yet
Enjoyable day with the Calerin Forge. They shared blacksmithing through history that was very informative and interesting. Students stayed engaged and …

Field Trip to Cornerstone Not rated yet
David and Cecelia spent a delightful day guiding Cornerstone Academy students through history by presenting each group of classes with artifacts and blacksmithing …

Cornerstone Academy Not rated yet
Calerin Forge came to our school. It was such a wonderful day! The students (and staff) were fascinated by the informative and entertaining presentations. …

Beautiful workmanship Not rated yet
My husband was watching Hillbilly Blood & saw Spencer's Tomahawk so he went to the website & got David Burress' telephone number. Mr. Burress talked to …

School Visit Not rated yet
Mr. Burress is an amazing historian. He was not only able to demonstrate blacksmithing skills, he was able to bring history to life for the children! …

Honest People Not rated yet
I was watching a episode of Hillbilly Blood and admired Spencer's Tomahawk. I remembered seeing Calerin Forge and searched for them on the internet. I …

Beginning Course Not rated yet
I took the beginner's course this past summer and can't recommend it enough. David is a master craftsman who thoroughly knows his subject. He also has …

TOMAHAWK Not rated yet
I was watching a episode of Hillbilly Blood when Spencer broke his tomahawk and Dave and Caleb made him a new one. Of course being on TV it only took a …

Beautiful Craftsmanship and customer service... Not rated yet
The team at Calerin forge made me a beautiful Damascus blade along with a hand sheath. Cecilia, awesome communicator, worked with me to include sending …

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