Several, actually. Rick, shown here at the Des Moines celebration, is the main blacksmith, although there are a few others who will support shifts while he is on the road.
Rick usually can be found at the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Il, where John Deere himself worked as a blacksmith and created his famous plow.
Grand Detour is about 2 hours NorthEast-ish from Moline. The site is definitely on my To-Visit list, although I haven’t made it there yet.
Rick also travels for events like the 175th Anniversaries. It’s pretty amazing to watch him transform a bar of metal from something cold and industrial to something much more artistic. And he does it all in front of a live audience, even in 90 degree heat like we had last week. Heck, he even manages to tell jokes while he does it.
I didn’t get to see him make this particular leaf, but I did catch a demo for a similar (but not identical!) one. Pretty, huh?