“I never considered myself an ‘artist’. That’s for other people to decide.”
After graduating from Hawken School, attending Montana State University’s Farrier Science program and completing his bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, Ken established himself as a professional farrier. As his interest in ironwork grew, Ken retired from a fifteen-year career shoeing horses to concentrate on the art of blacksmithing in the early 1990’s.
Ken is largely self-taught but has also attended numerous conferences, workshops and classes over the years. He is a member of several blacksmithing organizations and has presented workshops and clinics in his shop for aspiring blacksmiths as well as forging workshops in conjunction with organizations such as the Sculpture Center of Cleveland, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Touchstone Center for Crafts.
Ken’s parents, sculptor / potter George Roby and painter / illustrator Sue Roby, are certainly not without their influence in Ken’s creative experience and have provided much labor, assistance, and support as Ken’s work has developed over the years.
Ken has a wide variety of interests which he feels significantly impact his way of looking at things and, ultimately, his work.
Ken was a volunteer firefighter and corporate officer with the Chagrin Falls Fire Department for 16 years before retiring in 1996.
Ken was a volunteer for 9 years at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center working with a variety of disabled children and adults, helping to teach horsemanship and riding skills.
Ken has played fiddle since 4th grade, and often plays fiddle, banjo & mandolin throughout the area with the old time string band, “Mr. Haney”.
When there is “free time” Ken likes to tinker on his ’67 Triumph and ’68 Deuce 1/2 army truck, or help his wife Nancy around their homestead, “Wildweed Farm“.