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.

Duljo, San Nicolas losing their pandays to modernity

  1. The city's noise ordinance already limits leaf blowers to 65 decibels, but virtually nobody follows that rule — including the city itself. Landscapers more commonly use 77-decible leaf blowers. Councilors are trying to forge new partnerships with
  2. They use two sacks of charcoal a day to fuel the forge, a conventional furnace made of packed clay. Instead of a manual blower, though, they use an electric-powered blower. Oxygen is needed to ensure complete combustion of the fuel that is fed into the 
  3. To that end, the attractions on Saturday include a horse parade (at 9 a.m.), rides in horse-drawn wagons or Amish buggies and a variety of craftsmen and women, such as a glass blower, a broom maker and a blacksmith. Nisly said the event normally

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