I was only rostered on for one day at BAM (which was yesterday), so today I checked out the Blacksmiths Festival.
I have a level 14 blacksmith in Final Fantasy XIV, so I know all there is to know about blacksmithing.
Yep. Absolutely. It was actually quite nice to find that the blacksmithing sounds you hear in game are like the sounds that were being made at the festival. I asked one of the smiths why anvils are shaped the way that they are, and she said it’s because different parts of the anvil can be used for shaping the end product. So if you want something that curves, you use the pointy curved bit, if you want something that’s flat, you use the flat bit. Seems like something that’s so simple, but it just never occurred to me.
They had a section where you could try pumping a bellow, but I knew that somehow, I’d find a way to screw it up and set the entire place on fire.
Watching the blacksmiths in action was really interesting. I saw two guys working together to hammer into a piece of metal, and I think I was holding my breath in suspense the whole time, worried that one of them was going to miss and smash the hammer down on the other guy’s hand, but I had to remind myself that these guys are professionals, and they know what they’re doing.
There was also a section inside the Waterside Metal Arts Studio where you could see some of the modern advances in metalwork. This smith was using a machine that stamped down, rather than having to beat at a piece of metal with a hammer. I think this let her create a smoother finish.
To be honest, I don’t think blacksmithing is for me. I’d be far too nervous about burning myself, smashing my fingers, or just causing a disaster in some way. But if you are interested, they do run courses, and someone posted on reddit saying that you could set up a forge in your own backyard for less than $1k if you wanted to get into the blacksmithing art (post can be found here). The commenter said that blacksmithing is a dying craft, and it isn’t really used for much other than art these days, which I think is really sad. Some of the works on display today were very pretty. I was tempted to buy some coat hooks, but I don’t think we have anywhere to put them, unfortunately.
Here’s their business card if you want to look into some classes: