As a child, I was deprived! In my mother’s eyes; the local Blacksmith shop was as culturally appealing as the Pool Hall. (Yu might learn somthin’ that yu wasn’t suposed to).
I grew up swinging a Claw Hammer and working with wood, as Dad did. But being from farm stock you also took welding in 4H. My first project was the table I still use today (welded as best my Dad could do).
It wasn’t until I was taking a Metal Fabrication Apprenticeship in a Smelter down East; that I learned what a “Forge” was. I marvelled at how the Smith could get those rivets just the right heat so some !@#$% idiot (like Me could jam them crosswise in the hole before they could get bucked and headed nice and tight.
After returning back to the prairies; I continued my Metal work trade both on and off the job. The Garage got turned into a “Shop” as well as the driveway (understanding Wife).
The real crunch came at the local Fair, when I was lured into one of the Heritage Buildings by the sounds of “Hammer on Anvil”. Inside was one of the weirdest sights I’ve ever seen (Doc’s Town): Coal Smoke so thick, you could just make out these two strange dudes. Smoke and sweat streaked faces, Duck-Billed Tweed caps, collarless shirts buttoned up to the very top, Leather aprons and sparks galore. Like I said Two of the strangest dudes; now there’s THREE.
After taking the basic Blacksmithing course from the Western Development Museum; I’ve toured around doing demos (Piapot) at local Fairs and Community happenings. I’ve done some of my own designs, but mostly use traditional designs with my own twist (and I do mean Twist). The traditional Steak Turner is now a Texas Turner seen weekly on a national TV barbQ show.
You can visit Aird online at www.ponderosaforge.net