I recently watched a pair of DVD’s titled Artist Blacksmithing, Techniques in Action. I really enjoyed his presentation. Of course it is always a pleasure to see a master at work.
I thought the instruction, which covers all the basics, was very efficient and the filming is quite good. It is especial good when he is showing fine details of work such as two ways to temper tool steel working tips. Occasionally the audio volume was a bit soft but always understandable.
In addition to carefully explaining each process, he also gives some nice tips on design. These will probably be more noticeable to the advanced smith who recognizes that after the techniques are mastered it will be design which sells the work.
In my opinion these would be great aids for beginners to view quite a few times. Peter makes the work look very easy and the beginner won’t find it so easy to accomplish. Remember the old adage, “Everything is easy when you know how.” The master knows how and the beginner doesn’t know how yet.
I picked up a few new ideas. I marvel at the inventiveness of individual smiths in figuring out how to accomplish tasks. Using some electrical cord the same size as the round bar to calculate a decorative wrap join is clever. The hanger he attached to the gas torch welding tip to use with his gas saver was new to me.
He gave quite a few tips about heating metal in the forge fire but there wasn’t much about fire management itself. The reason it is not an issue seems to be the constant perfect coke fire in his vertical draft forge. I wish I had such a fire.