I was Blacksmith for a day last Friday, thanks for a generous and spot-on present from the good wife, and thanks to excellent one-on-one tuition by Jo “The Iron” Fry in the beautiful setting of Standalone Farm in Letchworth Garden City.
Jo knows exactly the right balance between explaining and letting students try out. He’s been an excellent teacher for the day, never letting me alone or feeling lost, never letting me feel supervised or put under stress. The perfect way to experience bright orange hot iron, a forge, hammer, anvil and a good old ping ping ping.
Banging a piece of hot iron into shape is a very satisfying thing, but I suppose my highlight of the day was the cutting of hot steel with hammer and chisel. All in all very satisfying.
The creations made during my first ever eight hours of being a blacksmith are of course of questionable beauty and limited usefulness, but heck! I had fun and would happily repeat the experience. Who knows. Maybe one day, I might even have space for my own little forge.
- ‘Garden cities’ finalists announced (bbc.co.uk)
- Blacksmithing Basics: Forge Your Own Flatter (makezine.com)