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Continued: Pepin, Wis., blacksmith achieves excellence in ironclad art

  • Article by: JEFF STRICKLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 3, 2013 - 10:55 AM


Q: Do you ever encounter people who don’t appreciate your artistry?

A: I was bidding on a project to design doors for a church. It was an old Norwegian church, so I went with the Christian theme of fishing and designed the boats to look like classic Norwegian boats. When I didn’t get the job and asked why, they said, “We can’t have Viking ships here in Packer country.”


Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392


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  • Project: Achieving Excellence

    Tuesday February 4, 2014

    Learn about everyday Minnesotans who exhibit mastery -- the combination of knowledge, skill, experience and understanding that offers a deep command of a topic or activity.

  • Tom Latané is a self-taught master blacksmith who operates out of a shop in Pepin, Wis. On this day, he was working to craft a key for an heirloom chest.

  • A sampling of the keys that Latané has made for old mechanisms, using hand tools only.

  • Tom Latané worked on a key for an heirloom chest, below.

  • Where to find them

    Thomas Latané’s ornamental ironworks are for sale in his shop, 412 2nd St., Pepin, Wis. A gallery of the work also is available on the shop’s website, For more information, call 1-715-442-2419.

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