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These two highly reviewed books provide blacksmiths with what are probably the most varied, the most interesting and most modern blacksmithing projects available today in a printed format. The beginning and intermediate projects in the 1st book have the aim of teaching blacksmiths new skills and techniques in a methodic, step-by-step fashion using excellent color photos and complete written instructions. The more advanced projects in the 2nd book give more freedom to the blacksmith to use his or her creativity to deviate from the instructions and personalize the projects.
“Secrets of the Forge” contains 48 different projects for beginning and intermediate level blacksmiths. It begins with basic smithing jobs such as twisting bars and making spearhead shapes and scrolls. As you progress through the book the projects become more difficult and complex and involve forging truly artistic iron sculptures such as a duck in flight, a snail, flowers, a dragon, a nude, and more. It is a large 250-page hardcover book which measures 9-½-inches x 11-¼-inches.
“The Blacksmith’s Project Book” is described quite accurately in the following paragraph by the editor of the The Saltfork Craftsmen Artist-Blacksmith Association Newsletter: “You will find twenty projects from various, mostly European, smiths presented with 900 quality color photographs showing key steps for each project with brief explanatory text. Many of the projects are contemporary art sculptures. Some have that certain contemporary “look” (think Zeevik Gottlieb from Israel who demonstrates the first project - a joined figure sculpture.) There is an interesting Venetian door knocker, a somewhat utilitarian billhook project and window shutter stop as well. Each project is documented with photos of key steps including which tools are used and how they are used. The brief text explains the processes very well without getting overly bogged down in explaining the basics. The feel is almost like traveling in person to watch demonstrations in the various smiths’ shops. Stock sizes are given for each project (in imperial units.)” The book is a 248 page hardcover.