Blacksmith, Woodworker, Homesteader
How it all started
Jordan doesn’t remember when his love of working with his hands started - it’s always been a part of life since he was a small child. Being homeschooled, he found many opportunities to be creative with what was to be found on multi-generational small farm on which he grew up. Some of his first projects included hand sewing a buckskin hunting shirt when he was seven years old, and clumsy attempts to make knives in his grandfather’s barn. From his early teen years he knew he wanted to build a homestead and work from home. One of his early loves was historical log building, and his first ambitious construction project was constructing a log house from the timber on his family’s land. Jordan’s love for history and homesteading combined into a desire to learn to make all the tools and hardware for a homestead, and so he picked up an antique anvil, and using a small borrowed forge, started doing some occasional blacksmithing. In 2016, he built a better coal forge and a small shed for a starter shop and began forging on a more regular basis, learning through lots of practice on small items and through taking on the occasional custom project to broaden his skills. Jordan has fallen in love with traditional blacksmithing in a big way, but as a man of many interests, Jordan is always looking to learn new skills and collect or make the tools necessary to turn his research into real experience, and so expanding the shop to include space for some hand woodworking as well as more blacksmithing tools is in the near future.
Atlanta & Jordan’s families first met in 2008, but didn’t see each other again until almost 4 years later when Atlanta’s brother invited Jordan to come and work with their family in Texas for a few weeks. Upon reconnecting and getting to know each other better, Jordan & Atlanta realized they had a lot of common interests, vision, and goals.
Atlanta was born and raised in Texas, growing up on cattle ranches as part of a creative homeschooling family. In her teen years she greatly enjoyed attending historical reenactment events, and through that developed a love of sewing, which in turn progressed into a full time home business crafting historical reproductions for individuals and museums.
After a long distance courtship, Jordan and Atlanta married in 2013 and began building a life together from the ground up. During their almost 6 years of marriage, they have been blessed with four beautiful children, Marian, Alan, Elspeth, and Travis.
Homestead & Forge
Jordan began work on the log house -that he and Atlanta would later name Winshaw- in January 2012 as soon as marriage seemed like a possibility in the not-too-distant future. Jordan spent much of the next year logging timber on his family’s farm, sawing the logs out into squared timbers and lumber on his Dad’s portable sawmill, and earning funds for the project. In the 3 months before Jordan & Atlanta’s wedding at the end of March, 2013, and with lots of help from friends & family, Jordan began the actual construction of the house- pouring the foundation piers, notching and stacking the logs, installing the roof, and getting the bottom story dried in and as comfortable as possible- but when Jordan & Atlanta moved in, there was no stove, no running water, and no indoor bathroom. Since then, he has been finishing it out as time permits, as well as building up other aspects of the homestead. The house is much more comfortable now, but a there is still a lot of work to be done to complete it.
With the encouragement of a friend, Jordan built a 10-foot-square shed in the summer of 2016 to house his growing collection of blacksmithing tools, and set them up properly for use. This small forge is the first phase of Jordan’s plan to develop workspaces for exploring different skills & hand tools. In the coming years, he plans to build multiple hand-hewn timberframe shops to house permanent workshops for woodworking & blacksmithing projects and classes. In the meantime, plans are underway to expand the temporary forge shed to accommodate some of these things while progressing towards building the bigger, more permanent shop buildings, as well as finishing the log house.