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I Forge Iron

Some Knowledge Gained

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I wanted to Thank everyone involved with this site for the knowledge that you freely share. As I have stated before I am fairly new to smithing. Reading the articles and blueprints on this site has provided me with the basics of safety & smithing techniques/tools to accomplish more than I ever could have on my own. I am sure I am not the only one you have helped and would like to hear from others.

Once again thank you,


I am posting a couple of projects I have completed using the knowledge gained from this site



Edit: use the BBcode to place the image directly into the forum.

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JWBIronworks, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, and I'm sure not here to be the ironnazi. To preface my critique, you make way better leaves than I ever have, but the spatial occupation of your wall sconce could use a little bit more detail in its presence. If you put more small leaves and junctures in the space that you occupy then I personally think that it might make an even more dramatic presentation. There isn't a dang thing that I can see you did wrong, just a wee bit of disorder in the space you take. Another point that really doesn't make wheat or hay is this, if you are going to execute scrolls in immergent vine like tendrils the leaves should be a bit more broad, like a grapevine or ivy. If you want to create more forked limber junctions then the leaves might affect a more globular or spade type shape like the oak or hickory.

I want to reitterate that I'm NOT giving you any criticism of your work, you obviously have a fine hand. The composition is what I see when I look at it. From what I see in those photos, there is something spectacular looking for a place to happen. :D:D:D:D

I suppose I oughta commission a piece from you now, cause in a few years I won't be able to afford it! :wink: 8)

P.S. When I was agonizing over faults in the multiplicity of leaves I had to make for a comissioned project in my first major blacksmithing foray, my boss stopped and told me to do my best and sort through the best ones. Only God makes perfect leaves. :D:D I have to say that the name that cannot be named has a verry able subaltern now!

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No offense taken. If I were not looking for feedback/opinion/criticisom I would be a fool to post pictures of my work. At the present time my review board consists of my wife and a few co-workers. My wife is happy with anything I make as long as it keeps me out of the local taverns. :P My co-workers just hope I'll make them a trinket once in awhile, which in it's self is a form of approval.

I will have to study vines and natural growth/ composition, but I do understand what you are saying and your feedback is welcomed. A good mixture of kind words and constructive suggestion is always appreciated.

Thank You and Happy Holidays :mrgreen:


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Ed Thomas, as soon as I get a chance I'll cobble something together. I'm the worst for archiving anything. I've got tons of blank journals that I intended to fill on various trips and never took any photos of my work when I was starting out and working in a shop.

It may be spring though. My tools are packed in the back barn and it's dark thirty when I get home right now. If I can run down another smith I know, and he'll let me use his shop, I'll try and post something sooner. Winter isn't good for anything but making a fella appreciate summer. :lol:

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Ironscot: You make some good points in the above posts. Most of us beginners start with learning the mechanics of smithing -- forge it, bend it, punch it, weld it, etc., and we spend a lot of time making tools. Many of us do not have any art trainging at all. I am hoping that one or more members of the Saltfork Craftsmen ABA will be able to teach some basic art classes at our 2006 meetings. Thanks for your well taken points. Jim C. President Saltfork Craftsmen ABA

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  • 2 weeks later...

See the ABANA magazine "Hammer's Blow" Vol. 13, #4, Fall 2005 for more thoughts on Art & Design. It seems that Mark Aspery (page 13 of the magazine) has been thinking much as I have about our teaching the Mechanics of Smithing and not teaching enough about the Mechanics of Design / Art. The subject of Mechanics of Design and Drawing is also very well covered in Chapter 10 of Geroge Dixon's book about Francis Whitaker (A Blacksmith's Craft - The Legacy of Francis Whitaker - Vol. 1) ISBN 0-9707664-7-5. Quoting Clay Spencer about the George Dixson book: "If you could only have one blacksmithing book, this would be the book." In my opinion, Clay is right; it's a really good book. Jim C.

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