Blacksmithing: no longer a thing of the past

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Photo courtesy of Eamon Williams

Sophomore Eamon Williams uses his blacksmithing skills to make jewelry as gifts for others.

Blacksmithing, the creation of objects from wrought iron or steel, dates back to before the Industrial Revolution. Pre-industrial blacksmiths were held in high regard amongst other professions because of how necessary the tools they made were for daily life. Blacksmithing was a way of life in from the 1750s to the late 1800s, but sophomore Eamon Williams has currently taken it up as a hobby.

Williams acquired this hobby over winter break.

“I started blacksmithing when my sister, Morgan [Williams], was off doing whatnot in the garage over Christmas break,” Eamon said. “I walked in and she decided I was her new pupil.”

Morgan started blacksmithing in June of 2013 as a senior at Academe of the Oaks, when her class took a lesson on it.

“There was something deeply satisfying about transforming raw metal into something beautiful,” Morgan said. “It was also thrilling to be working with something that could be potentially dangerous.”

After she graduated, Morgan asked for metal working classes as a graduation present. Since then, Morgan has been making jewelry with her newly acquired skills. While she was at home, she taught Eamon to make jewelry as well.

“I liked that I could make cool pieces of jewelry and give them out as gifts,” Eamon said.

Both Eamon and Morgan say that though this hobby is an intriguing and beautiful one, it is time consuming and quite costly.

“It is a difficult hobby to take up because of all the equipment that is required,” Eamon said. “Some of the materials are hard to get, like a blowtorch and soft sandpaper.”

Blacksmith studios are also scarce.

“It was difficult to stick with blacksmithing after my classes ended and I no longer had a studio to work in,” Morgan said. “There are a couple studios around Atlanta that you can pay to rent out, but the hours are generally relatively inconvenient.”

Even though Morgan had difficulties sticking with blacksmithing, she kept at it, using all of her Christmas money and more to make a studio in her family’s’ garage.

“I thought it would be a fun thing to teach to other people since I like it so much,” Morgan said. “Eamon seemed to enjoy it a lot, and the more I practice and get better at what I do the more I can teach people.”