Around my second semester, I decided to join a club on campus that wasn’t so well known at the time. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, but the person who invited me gave me a rundown of how things worked. They also gave me a bit of safety tour so I wouldn’t end up hurting myself, which I learned was kind of inevitable — at least for me it was. Luckily, it was nothing too severe, but don’t let that put you off from trying out this new fun hobby. Blacksmithing isn’t really talked about a lot, much less as a regular ol’ hobby. I took up my friend on their offer to join because I heard it was a great way to release pent up emotions — in my case, anger (at the time, at least). It was fun, and I got to hit things, which helped.
While it might not be so easy to find a blacksmithing studio, looking online for such places might be a good start to see if there are any in your area. What I got from this strange and fun hobby was that it really did help me with my stress. There’s just something about hitting red hot metal with a hammer that does the job.
You can create whatever you want in blacksmithing, so long as you know what you’re doing or have an instructor. There are plenty of helpful resources to learn more about the tools you need to properly blacksmith, and if you would really like to know more, there are plenty of tutorial videos of what to do.
I had some good help and was able to make a couple of coat hangers, and for someone who had never done that before, they didn’t turn out so bad. The fun part about this hobby is that you have the creative freedom to make something unique and special to you, all the while hitting stuff. Even if you don’t have a lot of pent up emotions or stress, blacksmithing can still be a fun way to explore a new activity just because there is a lot of new and interesting things you can learn. If you have zero experience, but would still like to take it up, it’s not hard to learn the basics.
For those who have watched the show “Forged in Fire,” that’s basically how blacksmithing works, except you don’t have judges or anybody really critiquing your work at all, and generally it isn’t as intense as the show portrays, though sometimes — depending on the project you’re working on — it can be a bit tiring because of the work you put in. “Forged in Fire” is a good show to watch if you want to check out how people create things under pressure. It’s pretty interesting.
This activity is also its own workout. Seeing how most of what you do is lift a hammer to hit another piece of metal repeatedly, it can also be good for you physically — though maybe not right away, since you’ll probably be sore the first few times you blacksmith.
Blacksmithing is fun and rewarding, but it’s important to keep in mind the safety regulations. If you’re new to the scene, then you’ll generally be told what to do, what not to do and how to not hurt others and yourself. Again, there are video tutorials that can give you a much better idea of how safety works and how you can protect yourself and still have a good experience creating something new.
There is also something to keep in mind, which is the kind of clothing to wear during such an activity. In my experience, no shorts, open-toed shoes and shirts made out of synthetic material were allowed. It’s recommended to wear wool or cotton clothing. Usually safety goggles are handed to you, but it’s best to bring your own if you can, as well as ear plugs which you will most definitely need in a place that gets pretty loud.
Going with friends made the experience a lot more fun and memorable, so if there are any people you know who would be interested in such an endeavor, then go for it. Seeing the kinds of projects you and your friends come up with over time can be really exciting. This is definitely something worth checking out, and I got lucky that my campus has its own club dedicated to it.
This is an activity that requires patience, especially if you are working on a big project. In the end, however, it is always worth seeing the results of your work. Seeing your project completed is a pretty good feeling, and it just makes you want to keep at it, no matter how hard you have to work at it. Your projects can be shared, kept to yourself or even donated. My school’s club has donated pieces of their works to places that needed them, and it was pretty cool to see.
Definitely check out this interesting hobby if it is something you think you’d be into. Blacksmithing is much more than just hitting pieces of metal together; I find that it is its own art because you get to make something that’s unique.
Someone I used to take up the hobby with once told me that blacksmithing is essentially creative destruction. You’re using negative energy and stress to then channel that into something that is going to become positive and worthwhile. By using all of the negative energy, you are pouring that into a metal project that can withstand that frustration and create something that is useful.