Monday, December 03, 2012

An Old Time Smithy

Homeschooling provides our family with so many opportunities to meet interesting people. I especially enjoy meeting people who do what they love each and every day. People who have a passion for life and show this through their work. On Friday we joined many other homeschooling families on a trip to visit one such person. We visited Bill Smith, a blacksmith in our community.

I think initially we surprised the artists at Cattletrack with the size of our group and the eagerness of the children, who ranged in age from preschool all the way to high school. After splitting our tour into two groups, we made our way into Smith's shop. It was full of all sorts of tools of his trade. He answered questions from the kiddos smiling as he told of the age of his anvil and hammer (Benton asked about the anvil). He showed the piece he was currently crafting. It will become a brand for a rancher; he was currently working on the "B." Smith explained how he began his career in Scotland, making horseshoes and shoeing horses. The kiddos were amazed to see the size of one of his horseshoes intended for a Clydesdale. They were equally impressed with more of his current work which includes bed frames, swords, flowers and door pulls.

I think the best part for my children was watching this quiet man in action. We watched as he fired up his furnace, which uses coal just as it has done for years. The hot coals of the fire heated a piece of steel to a red hot color. He then fashioned that rod into a ring with several blows from his hammer. As Benton remarked loudly to him, "That is so cool!" That single statement summed the experience up quite well.

6 comments:

  1. that is such an amazing skill. it is very cool. was that a big yellow peace symbol spray painted on the wall?

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  2. I need to get on this list. We need to do more interesting trips.

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    1. Peggy wold me about this one. It was thru VHE.

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  3. ooh I love places like that and the peace sign...cool guy. When I was a little girl I used to like spending time with my grandad in his work room. He had a big old wooden box with tools in. He said the box was a trunk that belonged to his father or grandfather who was the captain of a ship. He would polish all his tools away carefully and make lovely wooden furniture...I wish I could.

    Thanks for sharing this Heather. I look forward to hearing about your next educational outing.
    Deb

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    1. Oh, Debby, that sounds like a wonderful memory.

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