John Duckworth ‘s Ironwork Art

(Ernie Rodina) I’m Ernie Rodina, the Horse Guy, and welcome to AGam in Kansas. I’m so excited to be here today with Frances and John Duckworth, dear friends of mine. You talk about cornerstones in the community, in the horse community; a living legend, we’ve got John Duckworth. This is like going to the museum out here. So great to have you on Better Horses. (John Duckworth) Thank you, it’s great to be here. (Ernie) Our viewers are going to get the chance to see this tremendous display of ironwork; you are truly a blacksmith and an artist. Let’s talk about all this stuff you’re doing with the iron. John, you got a tremendous collection. (John) Thank you. I always feel like God blessed me with the ability to do it and if I don’t use it he’ll take it away. I’ve got the best judge sitting over there whenever I build something. (Frances Duckworth) [Laughs] I don’t think so. (John) She comes out and critiques it. I built one cross for the church, seen it on a banner, a real pretty cross. I said, “I can make that look better in iron,” I made it in iron, got it all done. She’d come out, looked at it and say, “You know you can do better that, if you’d lay the star of David over, lay it with another star in brass, that’s going to be pretty.” So I did. They come down they took hers, put it at the head of the sanctuary of the church. I mean, it’s neat to be able to do it, Ernie. (Ernie) Frances, you’ve both been retired since about when? (Frances and Ernie) ’08. (Ernie) ’08. You’re living the dream. (Frances) Living the dream every day. (Ernie) You got the man of your dreams right here and he’s got the lady of his dreams right here and just having the best. We’re talking about your ironwork, but what about your quilts? (John) And pillows, you don’t see the pillows that girl makes. (Frances) Thank you, we definitely enjoyed it. (Ernie) Viewers are going to want to know can they buy it,; you do do some commissioned work out there. (John) Yes, I have. (Ernie) How do folks get in touch with you? What’s the best way to get a hold of you? (John) Call Frances. [Laughter] (Ernie) Call Frances? (John) Well, here’s what happens, Ernie, I build something; I just get an idea so I build it and when I get it built she won’t sell it. I finished the buffalo up and I got people who want to buy it, she won’t sell the buffalo. I finished the bear and she won’t sell the bear, she wants to keep it all. (Ernie) John, you’re one of the greatest horseshoers in the country, and you had the opportunity to work with a lot of great ones around this area. How rewarding that must be? (John) Now I look back on it and it really was the guys that were my mentors; you inducted Doc Stuart into your Hall of Fame and he was one of my greatest mentors. But R. Q. Sutherland, I got to do a lot of his horses. Merle Wood was probably the greatest mentor I ever had; he was a great friend of mine. Al Becker, President of American Quarter Horse, I got to work for all these guys and I’ve got stories about them all and horses we’ve got to work on. I love to work on crippled horses. Dr. Barnett probably did more for me in my later years of shoeing because he got me more involved with working on the crippled horses. I loved it. (Ernie) It had to be so rewarding to take a horse that was crippled and fixing that horse. (John) Joe Turner’s sister had a mare, a 12-year-old mare, and the vet at Meriden sent the horse down here and said, “We’ll put him to sleep, but John might do something.” I made a set of heart bars and put on the horse. Anyway in a year’s time this horse is back sound. She leased it to the Weismann girl. The first year, I think she won a saddle and 18 buckles and I kept getting little notes from Paige every time she’d win something. (Ernie) Look at what little girls do. (John) Yes, I know, look at her today, the horse she’s got today, I mean. (Ernie) Tremendous. It was a real real honor to be able to work with you, John, and get to know you. I consider you a dear friend and I’m so excited about what you’re doing with your second part of your career with this art. Folks, you got to see it. John’s number is posted on my website. One of the greatest blacksmith,s artist, a great husband, father, horseman, and it’s an honor. I’m a better guy, John, because I know you. Make sure you tune in to AGam in Kansas every day. Until next week, Happy Trails and always ride for the brand.

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