The idea for this shoot came from an assignment to produce a short feature on a person at work. A Google search for local blacksmiths brought me to a brief article on Max Randolph published only a few months ago by California Country Magazine. Something about him seemed especially genuine, so I sent him an email. A few days later I found myself waking up at 4 a.m. and driving almost three hours up the 101 to San Luis Obispo County. I spent the day with Max in his workspace – a home garage he’s converted into a fully functional blacksmith shop – and watched as he transformed a rough lump of steel into a smooth, beautiful blade. While the job is highly labor intensive, like any other artist Max remains quite sensitive and thoughtful about his work. He seemed to take every measure possible to achieve the best results throughout every step of the process. I learned a lot about the art and science of ironwork and have a whole new appreciation for craft.