Artisans Project: Michael Hart, Blacksmith.

The photography stage of the first part of my Artisans project is now complete and I will soon finish the photo book and have it on sale to raise money for NASS. This week I was welcomed byMichael Hart at his workshop in Horsmonden, Kent and it was another brilliant experience. Michael was making something a little different to normal, a knife blade where the donor metal was a pair of old chainsaw blades which would give the finished item a distinctive finish due to the mix of metals in the blades. The fire was started quickly and was soon red hot which at ‘only’ 800º is of little use to a blacksmith apparently, the real action starts at over 1200º. Michael has to work quickly to keep the metal in it’s correct temperature range to work with so there is a lot of back-and-forth between forge and anvil for example. I soon realised that the first strike of the hammer creates the most spectacular display of sparks and I was lucky to catch a great example of this. The blade was later dipped in acid and sanded to it’s near final state but sadly there was a problem with the handle which Michael will go back to at another time. I’d like to thank Michael for being so welcoming and explaining every stage with such enthusiasm, if you need something impressive made then get in touch with him.


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