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artful openers

December 22, 2016



While writing fiction in the 1990s, Virginia native Nelms Creekmur worked as a stevedore, a shrimp boat fisherman in Florida and a stone mason in Vermont.  His love of manual labor, especially swinging a hammer, drew him to blacksmithing, as he says, at the sweet age of 44.

The artist & company: Creekmur, a University of Virginia grad, started Nelms Creekmur Forge in Atlanta’s Lake Claire neighborhood in early 2011.

What’s popular: Bottle openers crafted from Atlanta Beltline reclaimed railroad spikes ($39).

Other favorites: Harpoon fire poker ($85 to $125) and a European fire box ($850 to $1,250). The boxes burn a beautiful fire while adding a sculptural/architectural element to your home and backyard.

Fun (or) unusual request: A seven-foot, 25-pound trident fire poker with a harpoon on the back end for pushing around large burning stumps at bonfires.

Big break: Metalwork commissioned for The Albert bar and restaurant in Atlanta’s Inman Park (

Claim to Fame: Invited to exhibit work and hammering skills at the opening and closing ceremonies for the “Go West” exhibit a few years ago at the High Museum of Art.

Where to buy: In the Atlanta area, at The Collective at the Krog Street Market (the and at Creekmur’s shop. For information, contact (404) 402-5029, or




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