Tom Latané started forging reproduction colonial and early American ironwork in Maryland in the early 1970s. After moving to the Midwest in 1981, he was introduced to the creative whimsy of Norwegian folk iron. Tom and his wife, Catherine, have a shop in Pepin, Wisconsin, where Tom repairs antiques and creates original pieces using a traditional design vocabulary and historic hand techniques. Tom has demonstrated for blacksmith groups and has taught at folk schools around the country. Some of Tom’s ironwork can be seen in Vesterheim’s Westby-Torgerson Education Center.
Learn more: Check out two beautiful and informative photo essays by Tom: Ring Handle and Making Repairs to Trunk Hardware. Each photo includes full instructions to complete the project.
Or watch this video, Collections Connection: Blacksmithing Trunk Locks, where Tom and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik highlight the museum's collection of forged chest locks and the different mechanisms locksmiths employed to secure belongings.