Please allow us to interview YOU.
The following questions are sample questions, and are simply a place to start the interview.
1) Name Adam J
2) Location North of Two Rivers wi
3) What type blacksmithing do you do, what do you make. At the moment, just some small to midsize items. Lot's of hooks, stands, curtain rods, home improvement/decoration/utility items
4) How and when did you get started in blacksmithing: I picked up blacksmithing in 2016. I started it because of Forged in Fire. My wife kept asking me questions about how/what the smiths were making and why, and i got to the point where i didnt know. So i said "fuck it, ill build a forge and see what happens" and off i went. I picked up the pace when i became disabled and couldnt work anymore.
5) What object or thing did you use as your first anvil. I found a 4 foot long piece of railroad track that i used as my first anvil. i ended up forgetting to pick it up after i moved, and when i went back to grab it, the new owners had thrown it away. i cried...a lot. i still cry about it.
6) Tell us about your first forge, hole in the ground, camp fire, brake drum, stacked bricks. 1st forge was a brake drum forge. That lasted all of 2 weeks until i snagged my neighbors grill he was throwing away. I replaced the bottom with 3/8s inch steel plate, ran a hair dryer for a blower, and steel pipe with holes cut into it for a modified teuyere. It worked well enough to last 6 months until i bought a fire pot. Once i had the fire pot, i made my own forge, got a proper hand crank blower, and used that outside for about a year after. With that setup, i had no overhead structure, so i was out in the sun, and even forged a couple times in the middle of a blizzard cuz it was awesome!
7) Who assisted you or encouraged you in the craft. My wife did. Otherwise, i was on my own
8) What event changed your attitude about blacksmithing. Watching the TV show forged in fire, if it wasnt for that show, id still be sitting here thinking about doing it.
9) What tool has changed or made your life easier in the shop. The 100foot extension cord. Allowed me to have a light in my shop and i could close the door to my shop. before this i had to keep the door open and all sorts of crap flew in, wind, rain, since it was my only light source. once i ran the cord for light, i could close up the door and was able to properly see what i was working on.
10) What advice would you give those starting out in blacksmithing. $50 and you can make your own coffee can forge. cheap way to figure out if you want to actually get into blacksmithing. If you dont like it, you only spent $50, if you do like it, well then, you can build upon that basic setup and slowly grow. Also, if you do like it, find someone to teach you, either by class or, if youre lucky, by apprenticeship.
11) What advice would you give those already involved in blacksmithing. Keep on helping those that ask for it. I, for one, appreciate the help when i can find it!
12) What are some of the interesting things that have happened to you in your life as a blacksmith. i actually was on the show Forged in Fire. I know, they were desperate. aside from that, ive made some knives for family members, made utilitarian items for around the house, and have managed to burn my beard while lighting a cigarette using hot steel. I dont recommend that last bit. very surprising.
Please add any thing we may have missed or should have asked. I would ask "what's your trouble spot?" or "where do you need help?" i personally, am struggling, especially with the virus going on. It's limited my ability to ask my local blacksmith, a guy who is a hobbyist who takes his time to help me. Im trying to go from the "amateur" status of what my projects look like to "semi-professional", along with increasing my knowledge on the hows/whys/what'its of the craft. Overall, im just trying to become better at blacksmithing, to achieve a state that i know i am capable of getting to (although, to be honest, my mental deficiancy due to combat PTSD and memory loss issues makes this very very difficult in achieving)