I'm Dan Prendergast, and I live and work in a small village smithy located in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England.
A brief resume;
I've been blacksmithing since 2003. In 2004 I began an apprenticeship to toolmaker Dave Townsend in Deptford, London, making and repairing woodworking tools, masonry tools and various other bits and bobs, including for some reason piano springs (quenched in molten lead!). Unfortunately the apprenticeship didn't last very long, as the business folded after I'd been there only a few months.
After that, I enrolled in and completed a two year Nat. Dip. in blacksmithing and metalwork at the National School of Blacksmithing in Hereford, after which I returned to Deptford. I worked there as a self-employed ornametal blacksmith, making the usual gates and railings, but also doing some more interesting work such as making swords for the BBC, Martian armour for Disney Films, working in a team doing extensive conservation and restoration at Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, and Canterbury Cathedral, and many wierd (sometimes really, really wierd) and wonderful little jobs beside. I also like to tell people that have work in the National Gallery, which is absolutely true; a piece of art handling equipment!
In 2011 there were riots in London, including quite literally outside my front window. The rent on our tiny flat was due to go up. We were thinking about having kids, etc. etc., and at the same time the lease for a 17th Century forge and attached cottage came up, so we though "why not?", and moved to the country, where I have since been living and working.