In the fall of 2023, Ironware changed hands from its founder, Karin Eaton, and was purchased by two blacksmiths, Matt Olseng and Kara Jerden.
Matt’s company, MDO Welding and Fabrication founded in 2010 in the Chicago area, has been forging most of the pieces for Ironware since the transition to stateside blacksmiths was made from the founding forge in France. Matt’s love of design and the ability to work with his hands started early as his fabrication shop focused on architectural metalwork. Matt and MDO, have a unique skillset merging old world techniques with modern influxes, utilizing the precision that comes with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
While Kara grew up in the steel industry, her passion for metal was ignited in 2010 when she was first introduced to blacksmithing. After apprenticing with an artistic blacksmith primarily forging railings and gates, Kara knew her ultimate dream was to forge design focused furniture. After purchasing her father’s structural steel fabrication company, Structural Components Fabrication, Inc., she knew she wanted to work towards finding an outlet for more artistic expression. That opportunity presented itself in partnership with Matt on multiple projects between their two companies (MDO and SCF) and ultimately led them into a partnership to purchase Ironware. With incredible luck, they were able to retain ALL of Ironware’s employees and have been able to hit the ground running to continue building on the legacy of quality and creativity on which Ironware was originally founded.