Day fifty-nine

Wrought iron

The flower hook Casey made, with a little help from me!

I’m more than excited to say that I helped make that beautiful hook yesterday!  Casey Deane invited me to spend the day seeing how he works with wrought iron at  the Toronto Blacksmith Shop Ltd.  It was so much fun!  And Casey is a fountain of knowledge, so I spent the afternoon listening to all his tidbits of information on the blacksmith trade and watching him create art out of iron poles.

The process of making the rose and hook began with the iron poles in the forge (a giant oven used to heat the metal so it is malleable).  Rotating between texturing (with the ball end of a ball-peen hammer) and cutting the petals for the rose and bending the hook (by hitting the pole on an anvil with a hammer and cooling certain areas in a drum full of cold water called a  quenching bucket), the process takes patience and skill.  The time between when the iron is taken out of the forge, until it stops being hot enough to be able to work with is called a “heat” (hence the saying “in the heat of the moment” and “strike while the iron’s hot”).  Traditional blacksmiths pride themselves on how much they can get accomplished during one heat.  It was interesting to see how the metal sheds its coating during each heat, like layers of skin flaking off.

Then the flower was created by bending the iron into a spiral and welding on the petals.  A blowtorch and vice were used to mold the petals into shape and to twist the hook section into the curve (this is the part I helped with!!!!).  The bracket was made by drilling the holes, countersinking them, and welding it into place.  Finally the whole thing was sanded, polished and coated with a clear coat to keep it from rusting.  It all took about two and a half hours to make and I love it!

Casey started learning the trade after discovering that he couldn’t find certain custom parts for his motorcycle.  After an apprenticeship with some very accomplished (and old school) blacksmiths and a few years experience, Casey opened the Toronto Blacksmith Shop to create custom furniture and home decor.  Check out some photos of Casey’s amazing pieces on the facebook page here or on torontoblacksmithshop.com.  Everything is beautiful and he does custom work, so if you need a unique, hand-made piece for your home, then look him up!

Here are some photos of my experience and some of Casey’s work:

The forge

Casey making the rose petals with a safety message on the wall in the background

Using the blow torch

Wine rack by Casey Deane

Iron bird by Casey Deane

Lamp by Casey Deane

Tonight I had the dress rehearsal for the International Dance Day flash mob!  The flash mob will take place tomorrow at 12:10pm in Toronto.  If anyone’s interested in coming out to see, send me a message and I’ll let you know where it is (as long as you pretend you don’t know it’s going to happen!).

Dress rehearsal for the flash mob. 12:10 tomorrow. If you know where this is, come see the dance on your lunch!

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12 thoughts on “Day fifty-nine

  1. That is a beautiful flower!
    It was nice chatting with you tonight at the rehearsal. 🙂
    Have a good rest and see you tomorrow!

  2. Pingback: Day sixty-one | threehundredsixtysixdays

  3. Congrats on being Fressly Pressed. It was a big year for you. Your recap is captivating. Love your Month of Art and had to stop here to say this is my favorite post so far. I have always wanted to weld and blacksmith. It’s fasinating. I live in the hot desert so I’m thinking I’ll learn when I move back to the cold northwest Montana. Back to reading.
    Cheers and congrats again Lindsay.
    SueAnn aka http://capturing1light.wordpress.com

    • Just checked out your blog. Love your photos, SueAnn! Beautiful.

      Hanging out with the blacksmith was fascinating, if not a bit thrilling because of the high heat of it all. It might be a little too much in the hot desert, I agree.

      Thanks again!

      • thanks. Ive only been with WP since November but am so inspired by other bloggers such as yourself, great photoblogs which in turn inspires me to be a better writer, photographer and get my work out there. And the community is so supportive…love it.
        Since your project has come to an end whats next for you?
        be well.

      • I agree. It’s great to be able to share with other people who are into the same things as you, share resources and stories, and support each other through the bad and good.

        I’m writing the book about my experiences, getting that published, but still blogging at least weekly. I’m still deciding exactly where the blog will go from here, but I want to keep it up somehow.

        Thanks. You too!

      • after I asked I read you thank you blog. Keep us up to date on the book. I’d love to see it. Self publish?
        Which reminds me I should link my books on WP.
        Nice chatting.
        SueAnn

      • I’m debating whether I’m going to self publish or get an agent and try for a book deal. I’m weighing the pros and cons. And of course whether I can get an agent and publisher 😉

        Nice chatting too, SueAnn.

      • I think that with your blog and what it contains you could get a book deal. but the way it’s presented will be key. You’ve got something there with real substance…work from the gut.
        power to ya,,,,
        SueAnn

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