John Scarlett took his first blacksmithing class in his late thirties and now at the age of 70 is celebrating his 30th year as sole proprietor of Little Tree Forge. He continues to design and hammer out one-of-a-kind ironwork commissioned by clients who live mostly within 50 miles of his shop in Rossie.

He began by forging high quality American colonial reproductions for such places as Colonial Williamsburg, and for twenty years demonstrated preindustrial blacksmithing techniques at the Adirondack Museum.

His reputation in recent years has come primarily from his creation of meticulously crafted fireplace accessories designed to reflect the flora, fauna, and architecture of each site. He enjoys teaching beginners and finding ways to educate the public about the beauty and characteristics of fire-softened, hammer-worked iron.

Nominated by Allan Newell


The following film was created in the spring of 2016 by St. Lawrence University students through a partnership between TAUNY and a SLU Digital Storytelling class taught by Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing Lillian-Yvonne Bertram.

  • Award Year 2015
  • Categories Inherited Tradition, Traditional Skill, Blacksmith
  • Region 1000 Islands