Sunday 22 January 2023
......with some basic blacksmithing skills.
It's fairly difficult to get blacksmiths to make the standard items I need. Rosehead nails, snipe hinges, strap hinges, locks etc. So it's back to school for me. Let's start at the beginning, firing the forge, making coathooks, pokers, toasting forks ....
Love it. I wouldn't burn coal in my stove any more, but I love the smell of coal burning; I grew up with coal fires, the only warmth in an otherwise unheated northern house in the 1970s. Not far away, the coal-fired blast furnaces of Teeside pumping out steel for the nation's shipbuilding. At it's height the area had 91 blast furnaces, by the 80s just one. That too has now closed. Along with most of Great Britain's heavy industry. The shame. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Mild steel, coal, hand-powered wind and hammers. In my blood from aeons past. My great-grandfather's family were steel/ironworkers in Sheffield and before that became an industrial centre, around Worcester. Most probably out in the woods, producing iron with charcoal.
So it's up to a barn on a stormy, icy winter evening, with the daughter, to shelter with the horses and pigs and bother some metal. Elemental is not the word.