February 26th, 2010

Smithy Class

On occasion friends have stopped by the studio while I’ve been working on a forged metal project.  Other times I’ve invited them down, filled the propane tank along with a growler from the neighborhood brewery and lit the forge for an evening of uninhibited, creative blacksmithing.  Upon connecting a hammer to red hot malleable steel, some of them have become taken by the artistic and utilitarian potential of the trade.  In lieu of their enthusiasm, I started a weekly blacksmith class, teaching a variety of traditional techniques and facilitating three students with personal projects.  Over the past few months, Jon, Scott and Ian have hammered away at a number of projects, most often returning home with something more refined than the week before.  Forging is a medium that is the epitome of process; a discovery of the specific steps and techniques needed to reach your goal.  A combination of brief moments of intense and calculated action, then paused as the steel returns to the forge to reheat, a period of study, planning and anticipation.  Every strike of the hammer leaves its influence on the piece.  By the second and third revisions of a project, the correct steps are discovered and the student’s learning curve steepens.  Through this alchemy of fire and hammer, rigid blocks of iron and artistic vision soften and take shape.

Scott connects with the evening’s project.

Smithy class

Jon and Ian creating pieces of a larger project.


Waiting for the steel to reach the right working temperature.


‘Drifting’ rectangular holes.


One Response to “Smithy Class”

  1. hetero says:

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