Forge Day at the Arboretum attracts young crowd

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Have you ever wanted to pick up a new hobby? Some people may consider taking up gardening, woodworking or any other craft that doesn’t involve fire and red hot metal.

But, each year the Crosby Arboretum event provides an opportunity for local metal workers across the area to showcase their skills and techniques that just might spark an interest in those who’ve considered making their own jewelry and knives.

This year, despite the rain, the event drew a huge crowd of both young and old.

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While it definitely isn’t surprising to see adults express an interest in the craft, it may be considered unusual to see children trying their hands in molding the metal into an accessory of their choice. That’s because in order to shape metal into a useable form, it requires a lot of heat and heavy hammers.

But that didn’t stop these children, who were guided through the procedure of handling metals from start to finish.

The first thing they were taught was to heat the metal. Next, as soon as the metal turns red and becomes a little soft, they were taught how to hammer it into a shape of their choosing. They were taught that the change in color of the metal is important. Initially, when the metal is heated, it will turn red, before turning into hues of orange, yellow and white. The idea of encouraging young individuals to take up the craft shows how hobby preferences have changed drastically these days. The young crowd received one on one training from local blacksmiths, who were diligent in ensuring children followed the appropriate safety measures such as wearing eye protection and safety clothes at all times.

With years of experience behind them, these masters of the craft were delighted to see the interest expressed among children and hope that more and more children develop an interest in this impressive craft. Because it involves and the tradition of dedication to create these beautiful works of metal.