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I Forge Iron

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The owner of a local industrial steel supplier often lets me pick through the drop from their saws without charging me much, or often anything at all. As a return gesture, I decided to make him a flesh fork to show my gratitude. As somewhat of a newbie, I came close to scraping this fork on several occasions. The end result looks nothing like how I intended it to,  but in the end it came out alright and I learned a few things along the way. Not that I'll remember any of them.




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Thanks for all the kind words. 90% of the time I wonder why I try at all, or, if I'll ever get the point where I feel some connection or flow, like I'm working with the metal, not against it. I know it's mostly time and perseverance, but that doesn't always help with the frustration. When I see what some of you are capable of producing, I'm just amazed and in disbelief.  Not looking for pity here, as I assume I'm only one in a long line to feel this way. Today was just one of those days where the scrap bucket grew in proportion to how much my ego and self esteem shrank. 

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That's a fine piece of work Dognose. The fork is well formed, even and attractive. The decorations on the handle are not only unique, they're attractive and look comfortable in the hand. The finial loop is even, well formed and flows into the shank very nicely.


It didn't come out as you originally envisioned it, ask anyone who's done this and see if you're unique in that little fact of life. This is where taking notes of what how and why is soooooo important to the learning curve. I'd be bragging about that fork for decades. It CERTAINLY wouldn't make me feel frustrated or question why I play with fire and hammers.


DUDE, we all have days when we wonder why we ever lit a fire or got into ANYTHING. Failure or disappointing results is a fact of life in any craft worth pursuing. Without challenge we're just processing food and air, life is overcoming obstacles, not just living.


Some projects don't let us enter the meditative state that allows us to get INTO the steel, it happens, some processes are like that. The decorative punches and filing involved sure could fall into that category. However, the Zone will open if you do it enough. Call it muscle memory, reflex, autopilot, whatever but once we attain a level of skill our conscious mind can step back from the fiddly details of controlling the tools and become the director, THE zone.


Sweet metalhead nirvana! Before the accident I could predict the metal's flow under every blow, not just the outward form, the flow of the metal. This zone isn't part of your conscious mind, it's in the part of your mind that controls your muscles, allows you to walk or heck just stand still. Simply standing requires your brain to do thousands of calculations per second in micrometric detail or we'd just fall over, walking takes hundreds of thousands of calculations per second. We have to train our brains enough to put or smithing skills on that level, THAT'S when the zone is ours. Very desirable state but the result of many hours, maybe years of work.


It's worth it though. It's glimmers like this fork that are the light at the end of the tunnel and it AIN'T an oncoming train!


Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

dognose you sound like an artist. From looking at that flesh fork I would say you are an artist. That is great work. As an artist myself I can say that we realy are our own worst critics. The simitry on the tines are spot on the circle looks great and those spots on the handle are something I would have never thought of realy great work. I have only rairly had anything come out as I invisioned and nothing has evercome out perfict. I can point out all the mistakes on any of my work. It looks great and will blow the mind of the person you give that too.

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