Monday, June 18, 2007

Ready to Go

I've been working more with my forge in preparation for my teaching engagement at Penland. It has been as fascinating as it has been humbling. Pictured are my first attempts at making froes. The rough looking one on top is my initial try. As crude as it looks, it gave me a first crack at many new skills, such as, localized heating, forge welding, tapering an edge, creating a round eye and not burning myself.

After a conversation with my blacksmith partner, I was ready to give it another go. Much better. This improvement is a great example of the learning process as I've come to understand and enjoy it. When I attempt so many new skills at once, I focus on the huge leap that occurs between knowing nothing and knowing something. Often the end result is only pleasing as a representation of this learning process (hence the ugly froe). I am looking forward to going down to Penland and watching the experienced blacksmiths move the metal around, now that I've tried it, I can appreciate their skill all the more.

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