owners and blacksmiths
Jesse Bushey and bernie laforest
Jesse and Bernie met in Tahoe in 2005. Bernie’s experience with art and metal in Salt Lake City landed him a job at Mountain Forge, where Jesse had gotten his start as an apprentice blacksmith in 2002. They worked hard, sought lessons in the trade from anyone and everyone, traveled to learn, lived to forge, and became fast friends. The projects these two loved most were those they were able to work on together.
When the opportunity arose in the summer of 2010 for these two talents to go off on their own, they joined forces and established Striker Forge. They strongly believe in doing work in the right form by using as many traditional methods as possible while incorporating newer techniques and tools to make the process more efficient.
When not hard at work, they rock climb, ride bikes, ski at Squaw Valley and in the backcountry, jump on freight trains, and attempt to hunt deer and boar in order to stock their freezers and feed their friends and families.
Aaron is Jesse's younger brother. He began visiting Jesse in Tahoe from Vermont when he was about 10 years old. By 12, he had built his own shop, Ravensong Forge, in his mom's backyard, which stood about 6' x 6'. That tiny shop packed a punch and Aaron essentially became Cabot, Vermont's "town smith," making signs for local businesses and Christmas gifts for those who were lucky enough to have put in their orders early. He has traveled extensively in the Northeast, Northwest, and Europe, living the journeyman life, honing his skills, and bringing them back to Striker Forge. Now a full time resident of Tahoe City, Aaron's contributions to Striker Forge are boundless.