Part of the Blacksmith's shopNeeds a hot fire to work ironHeating the iron

Children fascinated by blacksmith

B lacksmith Richard Neville has forged a long career out of the age-old trade of metalworking and now he shares his skills with visitors to Motat. He tells reporter Danielle Street the secrets of a good smithy.

The summer sun is beating down outside and Richard Neville is bent over a blazing coal oven in his dark workshop.

Eager eyes watch as he hammers a piece of steel and hot sparks fly out and bounce off the ground.

It's fair to say blacksmithing is in his blood.

His grandfather was a coach-building blacksmith and as a child Mr Neville sat on the workbench and made trinkets while absorbing ancestral wisdom.

"My grandad told me the secret to blacksmithing is to be more stubborn than the metal you are working with," he says.

"And if you ask my wife she will agree that I am very stubborn in many ways."

Mr Neville has been working as a blacksmith for the last 25 years, having trained under some of the country's best.

There is an abundance of classes being offered in the local region

  1. He mainly teaches basic black-smithing, and prefers using a coal-fired forge, which sounds traditional but is relatively new in the history of iron-working. Before that, blacksmiths fired their forges with charcoal. "Anything that gets it hot -- that's
  2. $20 per person per class. 276-608-9904 or BLACKSMITHING CLASSES: Bristol, Va., Reedy Creek Road, Blacksmith Greg Shaffer of Three Springs Forge and Holston Mountain Artisans offering beginning blacksmith classes, Saturdays at
  3. Raising a 70ft coal boat from the canal to ground level for repairs may seem easy, but to raise one onto the next floor somewhat more difficult. The answer was to Massive benches, stabling for horses, boskins. tack rooms, a blacksmith's forge. Time

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