Forging ahead to revive, preserve an old art

There was a time when just about every town in America had a shop where a local blacksmith used a forge to heat and shape pieces of wrought iron or steel and, with great skill and physical labor, joined those pieces by hammering them together on an anvil in a process called forge welding.

The local blacksmith commonly made nails, tools, gates, railings, farming implements, kitchen utensils, light fixtures, weapons and more.

The advent of gas, arc and resistance welding, as well as mass production techniques, began to erode the traditional roles of the blacksmith and the need for hand-crafted items.

By 1930, blacksmith shops had nearly disappeared but, starting in the 1970s, artisan groups across the country, including the New Mexico Artist-Blacksmiths Association, have kept the craft alive. The association has about 75 members.

“Our mission is to further and preserve the art of blacksmithing,” said the association’s State Fair coordinator Alex Ivey, who is himself a hobbyist blacksmith.

Tickets on sale for Festival of Dark Arts

  1. street of the Tangal town, there were a blacksmith and his young son carrying on the activity of bending, curving, molding, hammering, flattening & shaping different items of iron & steel by using their tools of hammer, jig, blower, tongs & anvil
  2. Festival-goers will behold artisan demonstrations from the iron forge, tattoo artists, a glass blower, an ice sculptor, and stout servers. Delight in the fire dancers, a tarot card reader, a tintype photographer, belly dancers, and much more — all
  3. The middle opening is fed by an AC air blower on a dimmer switch. I am using a squirrel cage blower that I got from Grainger (yes, it sat in my junk pile too and now I've rescued it). Many people use a hair dryer; in my case I no longer have hair and

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