At one point in time, blacksmithing was common place. But today, shaping metals with a hammer and anvil has nearly become a lost art form. Not so in the Durango workshop of Rod Pickett, who was filled with the urge to work with metal ever since he was a kid. And now, decades later, he has an impressive portfolio to represent his excitement for the trade. On most days, Rod can be found in his shop forging intricate and complicated shapes from a rack of mostly hand-made hammers and tools. His two sons, Lee and Thom, are picking up the trade as well. From budding flowers to elaborately intertwined leaves and vines, Rods talent is evident. Rod admits its dirty and often hard work. But given the child-like excitement he shows just talking about it, you can assume he doesn't mind much.

Left:Rod Pickett scribbles an illustration on the floor of what
the tips of dozens of pieces of steel will look like when
complete. Right:Thom Pickett operates a hydraulic lift while moving a
rather large and awkward template into the shop. Thom Pickett shields his eyes while his father, Rod, and older
brother, Lee, weld together a simple railing. Rod Picket, master blacksmith, hammers on a rod of red hot
steel. Pickett quickly turned this piece into a budding leaf, part
of a railing job for a customer.


In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale