I spent Saturday morning here, at Bartington Forge, taking a masterclass in blacksmithing. My husband and daughter bought it for me for Christmas. I had a great time learning from David Wilson, who has been doing this sort of work for 60 years. And I (mostly) made a poker. I say 'mostly' because you can't expect, in 3 hours, to gain a skill that takes years to build. There is so much to learn, but I did get to do a good amount of stuff myself with David tidying up my messy, first-try attempts.
Above, David is holding the main body of the poker firm while I turn the circle of the handle. This happens after you taper the top of the iron rod, which is the hard arm work of hammering.
Here I'm getting ready to twist the tapered top around the body.
This is the end of the first turn around the body. The loop is removed from the peg and turned around before doing the next turn, otherwise you end up walking around the anvil. You continue to twist and then form a little tail with the thin end.
Here is the finished article (on the messy carpet in my studio 😊)
Here's a close-up of the top of the poker, and below you can see the twist in a squared off section of the bar. You square it off so that the corner lines show up nicely. The end is thickened up and then made into a point.
It was a great morning but blacksmithing isn't something you can take up and do at home.
What new skill would you like to have a go at?