At Aurichio Ironworks on Snow Creek just outside Bakersville, Cole Aurichio plays the role of both ancient and modern blacksmith. After moving into this studio in late 2020, he built relationships within the community and now serves somewhat as a traditional blacksmith for the area. He works in the studio full time as a production blacksmith offering his line of products; however, he will happily weld repairs on a neighbor’s tractor, fabricate a sign for a farmer down the road, or forge down shibuichi billets under the power hammer for an artist-friend.
Cole received a traditional apprenticeship-style education in blacksmithing at Warren Wilson College. After graduating with a degree in English Literature in 2017, he worked as a journeyman in several different blacksmith shops and craft schools across the country. Cole moved to Bakersville in 2019 and set up his studio in the old P & R Grocery building. Now, he helps give new life to a store that served community members from the late 18th century to the mid 20th century. As one of the few locations that offered goods from the only train stop in the area, the store was pivotal in the lives of people in the area. His 1,200 square foot portion of the building was the feed and seed section of the store.
Work varies each day at Aurichio Ironworks. One day Cole might be in the rigors of production forging, and another day he may be focusing intently on a sculptural project, so visitors will be pleased to see new and exciting work occurring on a daily basis. Cole’s work is made to order, so stock may be limited. Visitors can enjoy the small sculpture garden Cole has developed in the yard beside the shop.
Hours: Daily 9 am-4 pm