Forging as a Craft, and an Art

Sculptor’s guide gives richly illustrated approach to the methods, tools, and skills of blacksmithing

Forgers and craftsmen, and anyone with an interest in the skills that link those two avocations, will appreciate Blacksmithing Techniques: The Basics Explained Step by Step, Complete with 10 Projects, a richly mounted and illustrated volume by sculptor and teacher José Antonio Ares, whose work provides a helpful guide to the basic steps and methods of blacksmithing — and also many impressive examples of the work in artistic presentation.

The 144-page volume, presented in full color in glossy format, introduces traditional forging techniques “from a modern perspective.” It carefully defines and demonstrates basic methods, including classic procedures like punching and bending, as well as more current blacksmithing approaches like plasma cutting, heating with a blowtorch, or using manual power tools.

Over 500 photos accompany the clear instructions, covering subjects ranging from materials (iron and steel), fuels, to forge and accessory design and set-up.

The book includes instructions that readers may follow for 10 blacksmithing projects, including a cold-forged table trivet, a candelabra, and large-scale sculpture involving more industrial processes.

José Antonio Ares holds degrees in fine arts, printmaking, and sculpture. He works in various metals, and also teaches as head of the studio at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Blacksmithing Techniques: The Basics Explained Step by Step, Complete with 10 Projects is available for $29.99 from Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Tel. 610-593-1777.

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