Thanks all! I am located in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. When I can find time, I will post some pics of different projects I am currently forging, and maybe some past photos. If you are interested in seeing some fine metal work by todays blacksmith artists, go to www.iforgeiron.com and have a look, I am divermike there as well. if you join the forum, tellem where you heard about it, a fine group, much like this one, willing to share info about their lifes passions. May your hens be.... blessed!!!
I'm basically a hobby Blacksmith now, from a tracable 700year history of smiths until my grandfather, dad was an electricial engineer, the man that taught me was aprenticed to my great grandfather so I learnt working smith work, you know you're alive after a day spent with three other hammer hands refacing old anvils with 18 pound sledges... to learn how to forge weld I had to make thirty meters of chain...
unfortuneately the trade is dying, it's up to the hobbyist to find all the old tradesmen and preserve the skills, I've spent weeks tracking down and hours interviewing wheelwrights, coachpainters, pinstripers, copperknockers, silversmiths of the old school before their trades disappeared with their minds. I have tools and devices in my collection that I have no idea what they were made to do, but some time in the last 200 years of Australian history someone did and spent the time to craft a useful item that in the end fed his family.
Sorry for the rant but for our craft is reliant on the passing on of these skills. My work costs alot more than what a fabricator can make it for in a workshop with all the modern equipment, but the people that buy my work are happy to pay for my knowledge, my sweat and often my blood that goes into a traditionally crafted functional item, I try to avoid art pieces and finish every part to the best of my skill, even if the part is hidden away because I know it's there and it will bug me forever