The Blacksmithing Benchmark: Raven Forge
Ray Gard – Raven Forge Blacksmith.
In Australia we don’t have a long history of blacksmithing in the decorative/artistic sense. As a new country we embraced the Industrial revolution and all that it offered by way of machine made articles.
The handmade items that the blacksmith produced were in the main very sturdy and functional, whether it is in a rural application, or tools for industry. Having said that, there are some fine examples of artistic work in the form of gates, balustrade and the like around Melbourne, in my home state, and I’m sure most cities can boast fine examples of the blacksmiths craft. The American and European iron work however, is certainly much more extensive.
Blacksmithing in Australia went into the doldrums to some extent in the 1970s. The production line as well as mass-produced goods, cheap imports and the demise of blacksmith apprentices seemed to spell the end of centuries of knowledge, however groups of people – some retired blacksmiths and some passionate non blacksmiths – banded together and either formed the Australian Blacksmiths Association Victoria inc, or worked alone to preserve the craft.
Today blacksmithing is enjoying something of a revival, many people old and young, male and female wish to carry on this ancient craft and to some degree it’s morphing into metal art forms.
To address this need we run classes right here at Raven Forge. We start off with the basic course and then add modules to improve skill levels. If you are interested in learning more about blacksmithing visit our Blacksmithing Classes page for further details..