Our instructors are drawn from a wealth of talented teachers, including nationally known artists from across the country and across the street. They are innovative craftsmen and artists who enjoy trying new techniques and love sharing what they do with their students.
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Bob Tuftee has been blacksmithing almost 30 years now. “I started out making ironware for my camping gear doing Mountain Man rendezvous events.” Bob lives in LeClaire, Iowa, and has done all kinds of blacksmithing, including forge work for his business, Upper Mississippi Valley Mercantile Company. He has sold to re-enactors across the country and has also sold ironware to movie and production companies. He has been the village blacksmith at Pioneer Village in Scott County Park, Davenport, Iowa, for the past 25 years, plus teaching and leading workshops at the Old Blacksmith Shop at the Galena History Museum in Illinois. Bob is an active member of ABANA (Artist Blacksmith Association of North America), IVBA (Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association), and UMBA (Upper Midwest Blacksmith Association), and is currently a board member of UMBA. He has taken several advanced blacksmithing classes throughout the years. Most of his blacksmithing work is done in a coal forge. Bob retired in 2012. He worked almost 45 years in skilled trades as a millwright and certified welder, the last 28 at Alcoa in the Davenport area.