blacksmithing

Makin’ the stuff to make the stuff – that’s my version of blacksmithing.  Tools to help me make the things I need.  I am fortunate to count Lucian Avery as a friend of mine.  Aside from being a master blacksmith, he is also a naturalist, general craftsman, gifted teacher, fiddler, and family guy.  We hung out once a week for a year and a half, spending the morning looking at birds and plants and tracks and whatever else was happening outside, and then we’d fire up the forge and make tools.

I also received a fellowship from the Vermont Folklife Center to study formally with him for a summer.  We started making our own hardwood charcoal, and then used that to run the forge.  My fellowship goal was to make all the tools I needed to work on my traditional craft projects.  I almost pulled it off, but then I moved to Minnesota and ran out of time.  So, thanks, Lucian.

Here’s some blacksmithing photos.

toolmaking small.jpg
Some of the tools made during my apprenticeship with Lucian Avery.
crookedknives small.jpg
IMG_9930.JPG
Maple burl handle, beaver tail knife sheath.
hook knives.jpg
IMG_0267.JPG
Making charcoal. There is a smaller barrel inside the larger barrel. The small barrel is filled with wood and then capped. A fire is lit in the space between the two barrels, and the heat generated causes the wood to combust without oxygen, creating charcoal.
charcoal small.jpg
Homemade charcoal for homemade toolmaking.
IMG_0286.JPG
IMG_0330.JPG
Drawing out an ax head from an axle