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Self Portriat (c) 1989 Jock Dempsey

Who is the
anvilfire! Guru?

Jock Dempsey, born 1951, divorced after 32 years marriage, has two children (twins) born in 1978. Remarried in 2010. Second wife, Sheri, died January 2018.


This is a self portrait taken with an Olympus OM-1 with f1.4 - 50mm lens, using the self timer mode set to B for Bulb which resulted in an exposure of 2.5 to 3 seconds. The film was Kodak Ektachrome 200. A ladder was used to support the camera. Lighting was 100% from the coal fire and hot iron. The slide was printed by Kodak when they did such things and that print scanned for this image.

This is one of four exposures and was a perfect moment impossible to reproduce.

His early mechanical education started at home under his father's guidance. In his pre-teen years he learned to operate small machine tools, make molds, sculpt, handle resins and automotive finishes. This was all part of building three award winning soapbox racers. He had already started to study his father's Machinery's Handbook and taken an interest in the art of the blacksmith. He graduated from high school ready to be a fine artist but this was not to be.

He has worked as an automotive mechanic specializing in sports car repair and wire wheel rebuilding. During the "great oil embargo" of 1973 he was operating an old fashioned full service automotive service station. He left automotive work to start a blacksmithing business in 1976.

While Blacksmithing he toured a four state area with his portable blacksmith shop. Later his work evolved into industrial blacksmithing and machine work. This led to a job in a family business as a machine designer where for 12 years he designed and helped build machine tools for the nuclear industry.

While working as a machine designer he was responsible for the design of machines weighing as much as 100,000 pounds. He was responsible for the design and detailing of huge castings and machine parts, specifying fits, finishes and metallurgy. He also designed all the feed transmissions and designed and built the semi-automated numerical control systems. During this period of time he continued to demonstrate blacksmithing and consulted on production methods in other blacksmith shops. From this he went into computer programing and the marketing of an engineering calculator program called Mass2 and now has a lite version on anvilfire called Mass3j.

In 1999 he managed a hydropower construction project in Virgina while operating anvilfire part time. He still consults on the design of hydropower systems and does an occasional job for the nuclear utilities. His hobbies include bookbinding and musical instrument building

Now he is back to blacksmithing, applying his knowledge of the art, mechanics and computers to bring you!! has now been in operation since 1998. Besides operating anvilfire and answering questions full time he also maintains web-sites for several other's including a blacksmithing e-commerce site and several realestate sites.
Forged Leaves Duck Andirons Dragon Sculpture Red Hill Demo anvilfire graphic (c) 1998 Patrick Dempsey Last Soap Box Derby Firetools Jacque David Painting Nuclear Repair Equipment

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