The history of Hans Duus Blacksmith, Inc. began over 40 years ago when Hans, as a ten-year-old boy, received a small anvil as a gift from his father. From this simple beginning, Hans Duus became fascinated with working hot iron. Nails and other small pieces of iron were heated in barbecue pits or fireplaces and pounded into various shapes and forms. This interest continued into high school where Hans received formal training in welding and metalworking, as well as drafting, layout and design.
In 1968, at the age of 16, Hans began his career in the lighting industry. He was hired as an apprentice in the iron shop of Old World Metal Craft, a lighting manufacturer in Solvang, California. Working his way through high school and college, he advanced to Project Manager/Layout Specialist focusing primarily on lighting for the hospitality industry.
Hans began his own company, Hans Duus Blacksmith, in 1982, where his major concentration was in ornamental iron. He designed, forged and fabricated entry gates, stair and balcony rails, grills, grates, and many other objets d’art in iron. His clients were primarily in the private estate market, where he worked with architects, contractors, interior and landscape designers, as well as homeowners themselves. Through these contacts, Hans began to do commercial work for banks, hotels, restaurants, and public buildings. Requests were made for design and production of various types of lighting fixtures, from chandeliers to bracket mount lanterns, wall sconces, post lights, etc. Thus began the lighting division of Hans Duus Blacksmith.
In 1989, Carla Luchetti Duus joined Hans in the business, taking charge of some of the administrative and accounting responsibilities. The business was incorporated in 1999 with Hans as president and Carla as secretary/treasurer.
The direction of Hans Duus Blacksmith, Inc. evolved towards the design and manufacture of lighting fixtures exclusively. A growing line of stock fixtures are available and can be viewed on this web site or in many lighting dealers around the country. Modifications to this line are welcomed and encouraged as we strive to accommodate specific design and architectural needs. In addition, custom, “one-of-a-kind” designs are accepted to satisfy the requirements of the Hospitality/Theme industry as well as Historic Reproductions. Though the primary medium is steel, a limited amount of work can be produced in brass, copper and aluminum. The design portfolio has grown to include European crystal, cast components in metal and resin, and blown and slumped glass.
Hans has generously given his time and talents to education. A long time member of the Industry Advisory Board to Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California, he currently serves as its Chairman. During his tenure, the Welding/Metal Working Department has grown tremendously, supplying quality employees to many firms. As an advocate of vocational education, Hans, together with the Department Head of Alan Hancock College, have developed a curriculum for ornamental iron. Hans has initiated a Blacksmithing course at the college and is currently teaching as an associate faculty member.
In addition to this, much time is given by both Hans and Carla to outreach programs that introduce high school vocational students to the opportunities in the metal working field. Hans is always willing to demonstrate the art of blacksmithing to all groups that are interested. Carla too, has been seen giving blacksmithing demonstrations, though her expertise lies away from the forge and the hammer. Locally, Carla has taught classes at the high school level on how to interview in the job market.
Hans and Carla are also active members of an industry association, NOMMA (National Ornamental Miscellaneous Metals Association). Their firm has been presented two “Top Job” awards for excellence of forged items. Hans has been a member of a task force to standardize training and education within the industry. He currently serves as President of the Southern California Chapter of NOMMA. Carla serves as Representative to the NOMMA Board of Directors for the Southern California Chapter.
Hans Duus Blacksmith Inc. is a company organized to serve the needs of our clients. Our employees pride themselves in their response and commitment to customers, and invite challenges. A history of consistently delivering quality product on time and within budget makes this company stand out among the industry giants. We look forward to being able to provide the “jewelry for your house” or next project.