Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A Blacksmith....what exactly is it??

BLACK: The color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum
huh??    Translation: the bottom of my son's socks.

SMITH: A worker in metal. Or an alias assumed by someone on the lam. No translation necessary.

So a blacksmith would be someone working on my son's socks....that would be me.

There are coppersmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths and probably other smiths, too.
Pretty cool, no?

Years ago, I took a couple of courses in blacksmithing. The real thing. Not Junior's socks.
(I'm still working on those...)

I LOVED IT !! It was right up my alley. One thing, I'm always cold, so standing by a fire was so perfect for me.  Secondly, holy smokes, you could actually change the shape of a big honking piece of metal!
And you could do this without backing into anything in the parking lot !!!!!

Of course, I was just about the only female in both of these classes. I don't really know why, but I didn't care. I was happy warming my fingers and thinking about how I should have brought marshmallows . Maybe some chocolate bars and graham crackers. A little glass of Merlot to sip by a crackling fire........

First we watched the demo....looked as easy as working with Playdo. 
Make the metal soft by sticking it into a 4 million degree fire until it turns red hot, and then smash it to smithereens with a hammer on an ANVIL until you get the shape you want. 

On an  A N V I L !!!!!!!

An Anvil: The thing that the Roadrunner continually dropped onto Wile E. Coyote's head from a 100 foot cliff.

The weird shape of the anvil is actually that way on purpose. It allows you to bend the metal into different shapes. For some reason, putting something that is red hot 1,000 degrees on it's surface and then pounding on it has no effect on that darn anvil. It seems to be impervious to all that abuse.
But the iron stick you work with, well, THAT can be twisted, curved, flattened and bent like a pipe cleaner. No prob.

So I made things. I made a poker for our woodstove, some hooks and a swivel plant hanger, that I designed.
It was like magic......

Here is the poker.....

We've been using it for over 15 years and it hasn't changed shape or bent at all.

Here's a close up of the end of the handle part. I flattened it and made it into a leaf shape, then twisted and bent it.

Close up of a few of the twists...

The working end of the poker...

I couldn't find any of the hooks I made, but here is the plant hanger. 
The hook can turn in it's holder so that I could turn the plant to face the sun.
Hmmm, that sure looks like a sharp tip, doesn't it ?