Glen Haworth is a blacksmith, tool maker, and he refurbishes vintage tools. His work is a showcase of his skills through the execution of elaborate, ornate, and highly effective axes, knives, and many other tools. Before we dive more into Glen’s work, it’s important to introduce Howling Winds Homestead and Glen’s wife, Cassandra (Mama Cass.) Together Glen and Cassandra have created a home focused on a true hands-on approach to life, Glen describes their home as being “built around the idea of a sustainable way of life, caring for the land and creating things built with integrity and heart.” Mama Cass is an herbalist and if you pop over to their website you’ll find soaps and candles for sale.
Glen’s interest in blacksmithing was incidentally the result of a homemade anniversary gift to his wife. Glen describes, "We had a rough year and money was tight, I couldn’t afford a nice anniversary gift for my wife and wanted to make her a nice bracelet. So I borrowed a propane torch and hammered a piece of scrap copper pipe flat on the concrete floor of my garage, and soldered some old bass guitar strings into a flower shape. The act of heating metal, the fire and manipulating that material under fire kindled a spark that’s still ablaze in me today.”
Proceeding this Glen began developing an interest in the repair and maintenance of axes. When asked what drew him to axes Glen had this to say, “What’s not to love in a good axe?? When I started I was oblivious to the world of vintage tools. We lived in the coastal mountains of Northern California, and threw full size axes for fun, naturally the axes took a beating so I spent hours filing an edge and maintaining these axes. We also heated our home with wood so these same axes were also the tools we used to cut out firewood. I quickly learned there was a distinction in the cutting edges required for these two tasks. Splitting rounds required a more obtuse edge than that required to sink an axe in a round when thrown. I quickly found myself obsessing over how to profile an edge for different tasks, which evolved into heat treat treatment and grinder work, axes offered the perfect platform.” In addition to axes, Glen also works with cutlery, knives, saws and other tools, always maintaining a dedicated finesse in his execution.
It’s apparent from Glen’s axe work that his knowledge and passion for metal and woodwork are great. His Instagram regularly features in-depth and honest process pictures and videos as well as breathtaking finished works. His hard work exceptionally shines through his axe, The Revenant. “This is my brainchild a concept years in development which only in recent iterations have I found myself satisfied. I take a run of the mill Michigan pattern axe head, cut and sculpt it to a bearded shape with pointed cheeks and upswept toe. I’ve gone the full gamut with abrasives to torches as there’s a substantial amount of steel to remove. Angle grinder cut off wheels, the full accoutrement of discs I threw everything at it. Never gets easy! But that’s what makes it appealing I think,” says Glen. This axe is a gleaming embodiment of form and function.
If you’re interested in Glen’s work, he currently is accepting commissions and plans to offer unique items for sale through his website in 2022. Stay tuned and follow along by using the links below to find his website and social media.
And to all the makers out there, Glen says, “Be awesome!”