Well as you may or may not know I have shutdown my wonderful little shop in Virgina Beach. I sold most everything at a sale I had on October 13. I had a lot of help setting up from my old friend Tom Brown who hails from Ct. We spent the better part of two days dragging stuff out. Nice of him to come visit for a few days and do some work with me. Then the big day of the sale Joe Gentile (Gentile Forge), Steve LaPaugh (Warwick Forge), Matt Seiber (Willway Forge), Jay Mitton, Andrew (the new guy in ABGT) helped out all day during the sale. It was more of Blacksmith meeting than a sale – lots of talking, telling stories and having a grand old time. I almost felt like firing up the forge, but Joe Hagerman had already paid cash money and needed to pack it up. I did sell most of my stuff during this sale. I have to admit that most if not all of the good stuff seemed to go to the guys in ABGT. My new Peter Wright anvil that I had just finished repairing the edges on went to a guy that was taking classes with Diane DeBixeion of Old Dominion. Geeezzzzz, I just got used to using that, He got a good deal as I gave him the stand that I bought from Mike Tanner (Yesteryear Forge) which is a really nice solid stand. 12″ pipe with top, I filled it with foam so that it doesn’t act as an amplifier. I could really get some movement off of it. Tears were running down my cheeks, nahhhh.  What was left was not really junk, but not your run of the mill items that anyone but a diehard Metalphile would appreciate. We wrapped up the day with a Matt smoking some ribs on his fancy smoker. 1 hour 15 minutes done, lighting the coals to taking the ribs off for eating. I was pretty impressed. Oh yeah I shutdown my shop to move to Albania. Shkoder, Albania to be exact. Wife’s Aunt and Uncle live there and Bianca wanted to spend some time with them in their twilight years. We have visited there 3 times over the past 3 years and Bianca has talked to them almost every night via Skype. While I don’t care for being on camera, Skype is a great way to keep in touch with people in far away places.

So what’s next… I saved most of my favorite tongs and gas forge. Some of the tongs and the forge are being shipped over here and I hope to get them before the end of the year. I do plan on setting up a small shop here and maybe I can start a group here. As is stands I am the Artist Blacksmith Group of Tidewater – Albanian Chapter rep. hahaha. I have to get a patch made and put it on one of my hats or jackets. I have already had one very pleasant experience pricing out a tile job for my wife’s Aunt and Uncle so I expect getting my shop up and running to be just as enjoyable. I already have a few leads to a knife maker and commerical artistic works fabricator (no blacksmithing just cutting and stamping stuff out). That’s how it was described to me. I will keep you all updated. These are the first two leads I have had to any form of blacksmithing or artistic metal work. I had been led to believe there was no blacksmithing of any kind in Albania, but I found that hard to believe. They have horses and metal work being done – there are artistic people – somewhere the two are combined. I will find them!!!! Talk to you all later and I will post some pictures as well as finish updating my about page.

See ya at the Forge!!!!

Vince

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