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Under the spell of the hammer

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

At the workshop of Zachary Ennis, there is a wide visual vocabulary when he works with fire and iron, forging and creating pieces that his customers have only seen in their dreams.

Ennis is a 27-year-old American from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He studied journalism but later realized that he wanted to do something with his hands, not to write. Deciding that he wanted to work with metal, he started out in a workshop in his city and learned how to manipulate the iron and to weld. After two years, he was in charge of the workshop.

Now, in a neighborhood beyond the historic center, you can find this artistic blacksmith’s workshop, where dreams come true between the hammer and the anvil, and where the concept of composition is transformed.

When Atención visited Ennis’s place, he and his assistant Noé were working on a gate that will be installed in a garden in the United States. The structure was constructed with iron sticks simulating the stems of golden and silver roses.

One day Ennis awoke with the idea of taking a trip. He learned that his best friend’s parents were living in San Miguel, did some research and found out that Mexico was a very appealing place. He decided to move here. Before departing for Mexico, he talked with his friend about opening a business in San Miguel. His friend agreed, so they began making a plan.

His friend sponsored him and Ennis packed a couple tools in a bag and came to San Miguel, where he started the construction of all his tools, including a pressure machine called “muscles,” hammers, chisels and more. “I made all of them,” remarks Ennis, “except the anvils.”

Although he currently exports his pieces to the United States, he wants to produce more pieces for Mexico. “I have realized that when people are looking at a gate, admiring one part and disapproving another, that denotes the imperfection of the piece. A true blacksmith knows all the components of his work and knows that an imperfection in the design or in the work can demote the whole piece,” says Ennis. To contact Zach Ennis, send an email to


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