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What's in a name? Who's Pattern Is It?

Original patterns and Photo by Jock Dempsey

The photo above is of two swage block patterns I made in 1982 and an old pattern of Josh Greenwood's that he loaned me to have cast. In 1984 two castings were made of each pattern in ductile iron at Western Foundry in Portland, Oregon. Josh Greenwood has one each and I have the others.

The Original Greenwood Swage Block
Ductile iron castings by Western Foundry from the original wood pattern above

Josh made this pattern about 1976 and had it cast numerous times. Josh's last castings were made at ABC Foundry of Richmond, VA (now defunct) from "extra" metal and were often very rough and full of shrinks. The last time a run of castings had been made and sold was in 1982 for the Ripley, WV ABANA conference.

The pattern which had been made from a very old scavenged pine timber had gotten into disrepair and had not been cast in several years. I repaired the pattern (note pink "bondo") before taking the photo above and shipping it off with my patterns. The patterns were returned painted silver as my varnish stuck to the sand. Some time after its return to Josh it disappeared from his Petersburg, VA shop, presumably stolen by an ex-worker.

Greenwood Swage Block Comparison
Left: Sometime in the 1990's Josh's pattern or one of his castings turned up at the Ornamental Metal Museum and they started having it cast on loan. For a period of time Kayne and Son (AKA Blacksmiths depot) and others sold the castings made from the museum's pattern. LMF (Laurel Machine and Foundry) also sold a copy of this block.

  Right: Later Blacksmith Supply started selling the blocks from a pattern modified by Steve Finestien. The two small hemispherical depressions have had their positions swapped putting both much too close the the edges. This was a feeble attempt to avoid a copyright issue. It is still the same block.

The newest resin pattern produced by Steve Finestien and had his EuroSwage logo on it. This is the block being sold by Blacksmith Supply. Making patterns from others castings is a common practice in the foundry industry.

Greenwood block sold on ebay by Matchless Antiques.

Using the block to form a candle cup.

Due to the date of manufacture and lack of registration there is no copyright in effect on this pattern. Nor can later copies be registered by others as it is now in the public domain. However, credit SHOULD be given where credit is due.

Patterns of this nature are works of art. They are sculpture. They required imagination, creativity, skill and labor to produce. The people that create them deserve the credit for their creations. If you have one of these blocks, it is a Josh Greenwood block.

Arrangement of three Greenwood Blocks - thumbnail The Greenwood blocks:
The blocks designed and made by Josh Greenwood circa 1975. More . .
Square Art Smith block by Jock Dempsey Square Art Smith block by Jock Dempsey:
A personal artist blacksmith swage block by Jock Dempsey more


Copyright © 2005 - 2008 J.Dempsey

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