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If you've been missing the blacksmith, he's moved his forge -- but he's still in Sellwood

RITA A. LEONARD - Pat Wojciechowski, owner of Oaks Bottom Forge, stands with hammer and anvil at his new location off S.E. Ochoco Street.Oaks Bottom Forge has relocated to a flag lot space at 2171 S.E. Moores Street, just off S.E. Ochoco Street and McLoughlin Boulevard. Owner Pat Wojciechowski, who established the old-world craft business six years ago at 8236 S.E. 17th Avenue at Umatilla Street, says they are again teaching blacksmithing and custom knife-making classes. The business' former space at Umatilla Street is now home to Chinese Massage and Reflexology.

As an interim move, in June the business moved three blocks south to a group of shipping containers at the corner of S.E. 17th and Sherrett Street. "After a few months there, we had to relocate again for more space," comments Wojciechowski. "We finally settled at a new site behind KC Beauty Salon, and are now signing up students for fall classes online at www.oaksbottomforge.com

"We were glad to be away from the forges during the summer heatwave!"

Wojciechowski began crafting and selling hand-finished knives for hunting and kitchen, intended to become family heirlooms. Gradually he assembled a team of wood and metal workers who could teach their skills to eager students. "We sell a lot of knives for fishing and custom mushroom harvesting, with handles made of local wood and antlers," he says.

The new location currently has four teachers, and outdoor class stations. "We hope to expand more in the educational field," says Wojciechowski. "All kinds of people come to classes in order to have something tangible at the end of the day. There's even a TV channel, 'Forging Fire', about blacksmithing. We teach knifebuilding, blacksmithing 101 and 102, and a bladesmithing class. Essentially, we show students how to move metal."

Wojciechowski remarks, "We're a small-batch forge, open Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Our evening classes run from 6 until 9 p.m., with six students at their own anvil. We supply safety equipment for them on-site." For more information, call 503/477-7498.

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