In almost every film and novel, the village blacksmith is a massive man who uses brute strength and sheer will-power to pound, flex and bend red-hot metal into whatever is needed.
When I went to the large warehouse-size forge of Artisans of the Anvil , I discovered three men -- Andrew Molinaro, Josh Blum and Rich Prevost -- who didn't so much defy the stereotype as refine it, forging the role of blacksmith into something very personal, creative and precise.
Here, Andrew, the master of the shop, tends one of the forge fires. Later that day, he had me try my hand at blacksmithing, explaining how he judges the heat of the fire and of any metal he puts into it, by color. He instructed me to be sure to place the metal rod at just the right place within the flames, for maximum heat. But to be very careful to not let the metal burn.
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