The hiss of the fire burned in our ears as a man dressed all in black stood before us, clutching a hammer by its wooden handle. The lot of us--marketing professionals, interior designers, curious patrons, and more--watched wide-eyed as he gestured toward the swirling metal creations that hung above our heads. None of us had ever forged anything and were naive to the skillset it took to create the artwork and light fixtures that we have seen used in homes around the country.
That is why we signed up for this workshop, hosted by Jefferson Mack Metal and Aaron Gordon Construction. As industry professionals, we often saw the pieces created in this studio but never quite understood how. Now, we would not only be learning the process of metal forging but forging something of our own.
One-by-one, we pulled a set of safety glasses over our eyes and made our way to the roaring fireplace where sticks of metal protruded from its gaping mouth. Grasping a hold of the cooler end with a gloved hand, we transferred these sticks to the sturdy anvils. Following an instructive blacksmith, we matched each hammer strike with his until we’d created a point at the end of the rods.
The weight of the hammer with which we struck the iron seemed insignificant at first, but as we continued to pound the metal, it became apparent that the majority of us weren’t prepared for this type of work. Our forearms shook as we hammered and hammered until we’d gotten the right point.
We then twisted the metal in two separate contraptions until we had made our own fire pokers. Following our own aesthetic and vision, we chose to either twist the rods for a more traditional look or keep them straight for a more rustic style.
At the end of the evening, after the gloves and eyewear had been replaced, we were able to admire our work. It was immensely satisfying to review the creations that we had forged ourselves! It also made a great impression on us when we stared up at the intricate twirls and twists of the chandeliers and wall art that were displayed around the warehouse. The fact that these simple metal pokers had taken so much effort, strength, attention to detail, made the designs we bring into our designs so much more impactful and important.
It’s always such an incredible experience seeing what goes into the products that we bring into our interiors. A big thank you to Jefferson Mack Metal and Aaron Gordon Construction for sharing the blacksmithing world with us!