Blacksmith keeps fires burning for ancient craft


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Published: 2 years ago
LEADIN:
The blacksmith was once a central part of village life in centuries past.
The dying craft has seen a resurgence at one blacksmiths in Milwaukee, US.
Here budding students are being taught how to forge their own futures.
STORYLINE:
Throughout the centuries, blacksmiths have been bending and bashing hot iron with the hammer and the anvil.
And it's not much different today for owner of Milwaukee Blacksmith, Kent Knapp.
"When I stand behind the anvil, I think there was a guy doing this a hundred years ago," he says.
"There was a guy doing this a thousand years ago, several thousand years ago. So, I feel that it kind of ties me into the history of man."
Knapp is a modern day blacksmith.
He's forged a career thanks to demand for iron fences, railings and other metal architecture, but says it's not easy being a blacksmith in the 21st century.
"There are people out there who appreciate what we do and understand how much work is involved and fortunately some of them have enough money to pay for it," he says.
"But there are a lot of smaller jobs that you can do for your average Joe that everybody can afford and so that's kind of our meat and potatoes."
Knapp has started offering weekend courses because of a high interest from people wanting to learn blacksmith skills.
Now they're helping keep his business running.
Colin Fung drove all the way from neighbouring state Illinois to take the class.
"I've always been really intrigued by it, even as a kid," he says.
Here, aspiring blacksmiths like Fung can learn how to use a hammer and tongs to taper, bend and twist iron and steel.
"I didn't know what I was getting into. I just knew I was getting in a car and driving here," says Fung.
"So, I went in blind and it's awesome. I'm having a great time."
The Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America says they're working on a uniform curriculum because of the growing number of schools and courses.
Knapp hopes to one day open his own full-time school - doing his part to keep the fires burning of this ancient craft.


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اجري ياد

1 year ago