About RoadRunner Forge

I like to make things! Forged steel, shadow sculptures, ideas that challenge me.

Mike Mumford in the shop

Blacksmith At Work

Original unique forged steel sculptural works are what I like to create to satisfy your needs and interests. My most enjoyable artworks are those which convey a feeling or message to the observer — and hopefully add beauty to our world. For example, Sun Joy which I created for the Ridgecrest, California, Art In Public Places Program, symbolizes the hope, energy, and beauty of the morning sunrise, coupled to icons representing Ridgecrest desert life.

Having retired from a successful career working in technology, I now work as an artist-blacksmith, creating sculptural artworks for interior and exterior spaces in steel. I thoroughly enjoy the design, creation, and production processes of these unique custom artworks. My artistic interest and challenge is to create works that show beauty and tell a moving story in an image or scene depicted in the hard, rigid medium of forged steel. Part of the fun challenge of this work lies in the contrast of flow and emotion, depicted in this hard medium.

Mike Mumford workIn recent years I have shifted the focus of my work – to primarily make Shadow and related Sculptural pieces, and to forge a new generation of artist-blacksmiths through teaching classes.

The artworks that I like to create are hand-forged, using traditional blacksmith processes – working by hand, at the fire (forge) and anvil. Each item is a unique hand-made work. My blacksmith training started with a class from Greg Price at the John Campbell Folk School in North carolina. Following that I have studied with the legendary Frank Turley, and with other notable smiths including Mark Aspery, Gary Brown, and Darryl Nelson.

I love it when I get my artwork out into client’s hands, so that they can be enjoyed. I would be most happy to work with you to create a specific item to fit your space, interests, and needs. I love to create! To make something new, which speaks to the observer, is a very satisfying endeavor. In my studio I work alone, so it feels good to be able to communicate through my artworks.

For a number of years now, I have also been the editor of the magazine for the California Blacksmith Association, “California Blacksmith.” This work has been hugely enjoyable (as well as an interesting challenge) – it has let me learn from and interact with outstanding artist-blacksmiths in California, around the country, and around the world. It has been great fun to see the wide variety of works that blacksmiths make.

California Blacksmith Magazine

January 2020 will mark ten years since I have been the editor of the California Blacksmith Magazine, for the California Blacksmith Association.  This has been rewarding for me, allowing me to meet and learn from many superb blacksmiths.

Traditional Hand-Forged Steel

Gallery

Mason Jar Handles

These have been both a popular craft item, and a popular class project.

Runners

This is now part of a commemorative railing, installed in the Fairgrounds in Salt Lake City.  My ring was one of several incorporated into that railing.

High Howl

Showing a coyote in the negative space, and a happy moon in the positive space, this piece is in the Howling At the Moon show at the Mono Arts Council, Mammoth Lakes.

Dance of Memory

One of my all-time favorite Shadow Sculptures.  We have an old gentleman, and an older lady, both clutching their coats as they walk in the wind.  The shadow shows their memories of dancing as younger people.

Inside My Head

Another fave – this Shadow Sculpture shows a young man, walking across a bridge in a forest.  The shadow shows the fantasy going on inside his head – fighting a dragon.

Corner Railing

A traditional blacksmith scrollwork design, this was designed to protect a small dropoff on a patio.