How I Became a Beginner Blacksmith
I was brought up in Maine and I had a hand to build things. As a kid I built tree forts in the woods.
In high-school I learned construction and I used that skill to pay my way through college as I studied mechanical engineering. After college I worked in the engineering field, but in 2010 an opportunity came up for me to teach high school. I took this opportunity and have enjoyed this new career path.
Through my teaching years I met a skilled retired blacksmith who recommended I read The New Edge of the Anvil. This sparked my interest even more, yet because life gets busy it took me several years of researching, collecting books, reading and watching youtube videos before I took the next step.
In 2014 I decided to join the Gulf Coast Blacksmith Association so that I could get my hands on metal and to learn for the purpose of starting an elective metal art class at Northlake Christian School, where I teach.
The next several years I had the opportunity to take local blacksmithing classes as well as travel regionally to blacksmith workshops. My first one on one class was with Lyle Wynn, Tools to Make Tools, where I learned to make 20 -or so – tools over the course of three days. The benefit I learned there was how to move and shape metal – which technically is what forging is.
The next class I was able to take was a three day class with John Perilloux, in Robert Louisiana, where we concentrated on making tools for my classroom workshop. This class not only benefited my classroom and students but I walked away learning how to efficiently make multiples of the same tools.
In the three years since starting the class I have had over 60 students come through and take some portion of the class.
In January 2018, I decided to start this blog for three reasons. First, I decided to start this to help others who are trying to learn to forge, and are looking for information, inspiration, or just a community to help them as they are finding the time and resources to get started in forging process.
Secondly, I hope to one day have built up enough content on this site, so that I can organize it in such a way that I could use it as a curriculum for my class, or others could use it as they learn to forge.
Thirdly, I needed a way to internalize the lessons and resource that I have learned, and this seemed like a good way for me to wrap my brain around it in such a way that it help me to formulate a way to communicate these lessons learned to others .
With all that being said, I hope that you join me in the journey down this path from beginner blacksmith to skilled blacksmith by learning to forge.