Hank Rearden

I would tell you the first time I saw a smith working was when my horse pumpkin was shod by a local farrier. That was 42 years ago. I stood back as he pulled the old shoes off and tossed them aside. Then he prepared the hoof. The fire was burning and smoked pretty good. I think it was coal but I can't be sure.  He may have used charcoal. I watched him shape the first shoe. I soon lost interest and went on to play with friends.

31395_122017111170814_3604783_n.jpg

We lived in Rolesville North Carolina back then. I was only 8 years old.
Anyway, I thought Pumpkin did a good job since He didn't kick the farrier.

My next blacksmith was my babysitters husband. He worked as a mechanic and maintenance man at the local garment factory. He was always making things in his tin shed outback. He made a forge in the garden using soil to shape a bowl in the ground. It think he had a blower because I remember a pipe going into the pit. The fire was still hot but he had finished what ever he was making and just told us to stay away. We didn't leave right away. Instead we played with the fire. 

We moved to Steelton, PA. in 1979 and shortly after that to the Harrisburg area. I went to a high school that was filled with every kind of shop you could want. I signed up for metal shop where I got to forge, cast, and machine metal.

A required project was a simple wrecking bar. The teacher gave us instructions to follow and we got graded on our finished project. We had a week to do the project. Forging the wrecking bar was easy for me. I finished my bar early. The teacher said to me, "If I didn't watch you make it I would think you went to the store and bought it. Since nothing is perfect you'll get a 98% on it." I was proud. Forging steel was great. At least forging a wrecking bar.  I wish I still had it.

Today, I want to teach my children. They don't have shop in their school and my understanding is a lot of schools are closing metal shops. Sad I think.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
Quote 0 0


Arrow Head
I own a full time forge shop in Wyoming and conduct blacksmithing classes year round. Most students come from east coast, west coast and Canada to spend 1 to 4 weeks with me. My first exposure to smithing was in 1976 at Skunk Hollow Forge in CO. I stayed there for over a year.
Quote 0 0
Hank Rearden
Hello Arrow Head. First thanks for commenting I appreciate you taking time to share. What are your fees to instruct a four week class for a student? Have you ever given any thought to a webinar or online classes?




code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
Quote 0 0