Black Bear Forge is a small family-owned and operated
blacksmith shop near the town of Beulah, Colorado. Beulah is in the
foothills of the Rocky Mountains, south- west of Pueblo, Colorado. For many years I operated under the name of Switz
Forge. After I married Janet and moved to our current location, we
decided it was time for a fresh start in the shop and a new name.
That was more than 10 years
ago and things continue to evolve. We still offer many of
the same items we had before. Now, though, our focus is shifting toward
hand tools for woodworkers, hardware for home or woodworking and camp goods for re-enactors. Blacksmithing
Has been a
part time business for us, As of October 2014 I retired from my career as a professional
fire fighter and started working full time in the shop. If you're building a new log or timber frame home,
please take the time to look at out custom hand-forged hardware.
I have found a great deal of satisfaction from forging metal for a variety of
reasons. There is, of course, the historical aspect, where I stated in the craft,
making items for fur trade era re-enactors. The art of blacksmithing continues
to challenge me to learn new skills and techniques. There is always a sense of
gratification on the tactile level as I shape steel made malleable by the heat
of the fire. Making things of beauty and utility for other people has always
provided me with the greatest satisfaction.
John is retired from a 27 year
career as a full time as a
Firefighter in Aurora Colorado. Janet is retired from an engineering office and
now Operates Jay Handmade Colorado, specializing in quality waxed canvas bags. We are on year
8 of a new log home that consumes most of our spare time
and will for the next
several years. Janet is doing most of the design work and serving as the
general contractor while John has taken on most of the building and site work
since the logs went up in 2008.
Janet Rivera Switzer