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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brooms & Copper Flowers & Flying Anvils

Two and a half years ago, Himself and I went to a meeting of a blacksmith group. I'm not really sure why, I guess curiosity and a chance for an interesting photo shoot. We are still going! And not only are we still going to the meetings, Himself has taken an interest in it and has started assembling the tools to have his own small workshop.

This year we went down to the biannual meeting of the Southern Blacksmith Conference in Madison, GA. John and Kathy H invited us, and I'm so glad they did! There were so many things to see and do. There were vendors set up selling things... most of them were regular blacksmiths who were clearing stuff out of their workshops (making room to bring home new stuff, I bet!), demonstrations by masters went on all day, meals, an auction, a couple of raffles... and classes.

My first class was "broom tying". That's right... I made a hearth broom! And you know what? I'll never complain about the cost of a good stiff broomcorn broom again! While it was easy enough once you got the technique down, it's a bit physical and time consuming.

My other class was "copper flower". In this one we made a rose. We did a bit of everything on this... blacksmithing, grinding and using a blow torch to heat the metal. It was easy if you had all the equipment and fun to see how everyone's rose came out different even tho we were using the same pattern.

Himself took a class called "green coal". (Think "green horn"!) He made a letter opener with a coiled handle.

To signal the end of the conference, there is the anvil shoot. This consists of having 2 anvils, one on top of the other, and somehow loading some black powder between them. It's lit... and BOOM! The top anvil goes flying up in the air about 20 feet (or more).

I'm already making plans for 2011!!!

Vendors selling their items.
Himself trying out the throwing tomahawks.

Not bad!!

"Show and Tell" display of a few of the beautiful things made by folks attending the conference.

This heron was made by the same person who taught my copper rose class.

That feather looked so real!

The dogwood lamp was beautful.

Two Scots meet!

The instructors for the broom tying class and a few of their brooms.

Kathy and I halfway thru making our brooms.

Copper Rose class.... the sample and the pattern we started with.

Grinding off the rough edges.

Heating the metal for shaping.

Texturing the petals.

Shaping the petals.

My finished rose.

Himself in his "green coal" class.

Heating the metal.

A better view of the portable forges.

The shooting of the anvil. It had just started pouring rain and they did it rather hurried.

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