Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Banging Iron

You all may know that one of my birthday presents this year was a blacksmithing class! Gwyn thought that it would be fun, and oh my goodness was it.

We had seen this demonstrating at the Watch City Festival in Waltham back in May, that was put on by Prospect Hill Forge. We were slightly interested, and picked up a brochure, just in case. As the flyer sat on the kitchen counter, the desire grew. Both of us started talking about it more and more. And then my Birthday came around and I opened a card filled with fictional blacksmiths and a certificate for two people to attend a 'Basics of Blacksmithing' class.

You should all go here and check out the site for this place. It is ran by these two guys who want the craft to live on, and so they teach. The forge is set up with 4 stations and lots and lots of tools. The first hour Carl, or Karl... I don't know... went over basics of the forge, starting with safety, then more safety (there is a lot that can go wrong, smashed toes, cut off fingers, burned body parts...) and then covered the process for the project the 7 students were going to work on. We were making 'S' hooks. If you don't know what an S hook is, think about it, and what you are thinking of is most likely right. Or you can scroll down to the finished product. After going over the process, he paired us off so that two people would share a forge and anvil. I was paired up with Mike, an old steel worker who had biceps the size of torso; Gwyn was pared with a young artist. Then we got to work. Mike and I alternated heating iron and whacking it. There was some bending in there... and some twisting... But in the end We had ourselves an S Hook.

I am sure that in the future there will be more classes. It was awesome. I wish that I had a space to do that all the time. 
Action Shot, tapering down one end.
Gwyn getting ready to do the same thing.
It takes some finesse to efficiently heat the piece.
Adding a curl to the end of the taper.
Gwyn getting some instruction on the bending.
There is one more forge to the right.
We did it!
Final product for the whole class. Mine is in the center (90 degree turn) Gwyn's is on the bottom.


  1. VERY fun!!!! and great pics. Thanks for sharing, and you probably need to put info out there for Christmas list purposes ~ Either us to buy more classes for you, or for us to put in our wish lists ;-)

  2. way cool! Looks just like Tristran!