Milwaukee Blacksmith recently moved to the Third Ward and it reminded me what a cool local business this is.
Kent Knapp, who currently lives with his family in Bay View, has studied and worked in blacksmithing since he was 19. Milwaukee Blacksmith is a family affair and also involves Knapp's wife, Shannon, and their four children.
Milwaukee Blacksmith creates iron pieces for homes and buildings, inside and out. Some recent achievements for the business include a "Cream of the Cream City" award for an iron project they created on the East Side's Miller Mansion. Milwaukee Blacksmith also received a Mayoral Design Award for work done on the SoHi building, 760 N. 27th St.
Kent is featured on the recently released Black Iron IPA from Milwaukee Brewing Company. His picture and a QR code on the six-pack lead to a video of Kent at the shop.
"We are also currently filming a documentary with the crew at From-Milwaukee.com," says Shannon. "They are filming Kent and my boys in the shop and Kent on a tour of Milwaukee Ironwork."
The Knapp's three teenaged sons apprentice at the shop, and the oldest, Miles, has his own line of products. They also have a 19-year-old daughter, Zoey, who is a chocolatier, and a fifth child on the way, due in October.
Milwaukee Blacksmith is currently working on projects for Great Lakes Distillery and the Charles Allis Museum. It also plans to offer workshops in the near future and is competing for the Mission:Small Business grant that's offering a $250,000 prize.
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