Monday, June 04, 2018

Black smithing holiday...

Yesterday I took a holiday at the forge. Putting other things aside, I pounded hot steel in the ESSA metals studio. It is fun and engaging. Using tongs to pull a hot iron bar from the forge, carrying it to the anvil and whacking it into a new shape with a hammer takes care and concentration.

My teacher Bert Jones had gotten his start in black smithing at ESSA. He is great at showing how, and great also at building confidence. He was taught by master blacksmith Bob Patrick and so the circles widen and new folks are brought into the fold.

I made two projects, one simple, one more complex. I hope others will have the confidence to try. I expanded my comfort zone. Walking around the studio with tongs and hot iron in hand was new and exciting.

At one time, every small town in America would have a black smith available to fix things. Now we throw things away. The things we buy are often cheaply made and not repairable. And so we are building mountains of discarded junk and filling the oceans with plastic crap when we could instead be developing skill, developing problem solving intelligence and building character.

No one is bored when they have the opportunity to do real things of value to their communities. Compare that to conventional schooling.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

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