GROVE CITY (KDKA) — Wendell August Forge in Grove City officially opens its first-ever tent sale Saturday morning.
But long-time customers were invited Friday for a preview of antique pieces forged during the past 90 years.
The nine-day sale features nine decades of ornamental metal ware, from silver to aluminum.
“Alcoa was our connection,” says owner Will Knecht. “We made gifts. We made the gates for the research center in New Kensington.”
Will and his family opened the vault where many items had been tucked away, including a historic piece (not for sale) crafted for department store magnate Edgar Kaufmann.
The owner relates the story.
“He contacted Wendell, and said, ‘Can you make it for me in aluminum, with a picture of my home on it?’ And Wendell, being the consummate entrepreneur, said, ‘Absolutely.’ He had no idea how he was going to do it.,” said Knecht. “ He went back to his workshop, worked with his blacksmiths, and they created the process of hand engraving, in reverse, the designs that we hand hammer from.”
Decades later, the process hasn’t changed.
Among the pieces for sale is an aluminum bank table, dating back to the 1940s and 50s. To buy it, you’ll have to dip into your own account. Price tag: $7,500.
Destroyed by fire three years ago, Knecht says the forge is re-building. The antiques tent is part of the process.
“We have almost a blank canvas to paint on,” he explains, “but that canvas is undergirded by 90 years of history.”