Sunday Sit-down: Blacksmith Michael J. Saari

It looked like Mike Saari was making a brick-oven pizza.

Only Mr. Saari's "oven" was a gas forge that produces 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit of heat.

The "dish" was an inches-long decorative nail, which he made at the spur of the moment from the end of a 4-foot, quarter-inch round piece of steel.

Demonstrating the blacksmithing process in his workshop, Mr. Saari heated the end of the metal for several minutes until the tip turned orange.

After a few minutes of Mr. Saari beating the tip into shape with an anvil, he reheated the steel and beat it again, to draw down the shank away from the original material.

"That'll be the shank to the head of the nail," he said.

Later, he puts the metal in a header, twists it off and produces the nail.

For much larger and time-consuming works, such as the 20-foot tall steel sculpture commemorating the former American Optical complex in Southbridge, Mr. Saari used his coal forge and a machine called a German

'Wolf Hall' Is A Masterful Study Of Power And Politics

  1. Blacksmith Adam Howard of Villas, (left) hammers out hot iron during a blacksmith workshop at Historic Cold Spring Village in Lower Township. Howard taught the beginning class as an introduction to the trade. Cold Spring Village resident blacksmith
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  3. By limiting his use of power tools, Borstelmann tries to stay close to the 1,000-year tradition of blacksmithing. He does as much as he can using only a hammer and an anvil, a block used for striking objects. Borstelmann began forging in 2006 at the

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