An Introduction to Traditional Blacksmithing using the Hammer, Anvil and Forge
Blacksmithing I is a one-day hands-on introduction to the art of forging hot steel on the anvil. No prior experience is necessary to take this class. We begin by discussing equipment and tools needed for basic forging, and then move on to teaching you how to light and maintain a coal fire. Next, we proceed to help you develop proper hammer technique and control as you learn to draw, round and shape simple scrolls. In this exercise, you will begin to become familiar with how to work the fire, how to heat the bar in the forge and how the hot steel responds to your hammer. The project for the day will be a simple three-hook wall rack. Making the hook is a perfect foundational project, requiring seven basic techniques to finish, yet simple and small enough that you can complete it quickly. There will be ample time for you to repeat the process several times, in order to gain confidence through practice and repetition. Splitting and scrolling the ends of the wall plate is a rewarding challenge—blacksmithing requires some accuracy! Then you will finish by fastening your hooks to the wall plate with soft steel rivets. You will take home not only a handsome piece for your home or shop, but also and even more importantly, the beginning skills that you will need to become a blacksmith. These foundational skills will help prepare you for whatever type of blacksmithing you choose in the future, from tool-making to ornamental work. Since we will be working with hot steel, we recommend that you wear leather shoes and bring gloves and safety glasses to the class.
When this class is offered on a Thursday, then we usually offer the two-day Blacksmithing II class on Friday and Saturday. This way you can take both classes over the weekend.