A couple of our Shedders, Dave and John, attended a Blacksmith experience day at Little Hampden Forge recently. Dave recalls the last time he did anything like this was 40 years ago for O-Level metalwork!
It was clear from the start that Adrian, our host and Master Blacksmith was a fellow shedder. The kettle was already on when we arrived and the coffee flowed and flowed. This was much appreciated as it soon became obvious that so would the sweat.
Adrian suggested that we make an 'organic hanging basket bracket'. This would involve a number of skills using the core tools of fire and big hammers!
We started off with some round steel bar and ironically made the end of this square with fire and a hammer. We then proceeded to draw out the square end to a thin point (you guessed it) with fire and a hammer. Once we had thinned the end we rounded the square corners once again.
The main shape of the bracket is a scroll created by bending the heated rod round a former. In fact, we needed to repeat this process twice for the main bracket.
Adrian's style is organic and he suggested we decorate the bracket with forged oak leaves.
These started off as basic laser cut shapes. However, after a LOT of heating and hammering they were transformed into delicate oak leaves with texture and twisted curves stems.
Our host kindly welded the items together and our finished item came to life. We were both very proud of the finished product.
As we had some time left, we considered small items we could possibly make to sell at the shed. We decided to forge another oak leaf but this time to form a small hook. Here we learned a new skill, putting multiple twists in the stem.
We have plans to build a small forge at Wendover Shed so these are amazing skills to have amongst our shedder community.
Adrian has been Smithying most of his life and sells his bespoke products through word of mouth and online. He is also a terribly nice chap. We very much hope to see him at The Hog some time soon.