Take This Job & Love It: Blacksmith 

If you have an idea for an upcoming “Take This Job & Love It” email us at [email protected] this “Take This Job & Love It” report Chelsey Anderson forges ahead. John Calderwood has been forging metal for almost 40 years now. He runs his own shop, JC Forge in Etna, and teaches classes too.Chelsey was invited to try her hand at the job.—————–John Calderwood, JC Forge- “Our goal today is to make a leaf.”John was going to show me the entire process with modeling clay.John- “Cause if you can’t make it out of clay, guess what?” Chelsey- “You can’t do it.” John- “That’s right.”Then he quickly showed me the processes in steel.John- “I’m going to make a leaf for you right now. See the point. I’m just kind of neatening up now so it looks something like a leaf. Use the wire brush away from you. Because we’re taking the scale off. Finished.” (nat steam)”There’s your leaf.”It was my turn.John- “Whack it! Right there. See now you’re off a little bit. Turn it.” Chelsey- “I’m a little too far back.” John- “That’s okay. Turn it. We need more heat. So you’re doing okay.” Chelsey- “Pull that one out?” Jon- “Yep. Yep.”Chelsey- “Takes a little bit of muscle.” John- “Choke up on your hammer next when we come out.”John- “Okay, now look at it and see where our bias is. I’m going to mark both sides okay. Because that’s where we are putting our bias okay. Okay. Heat. So I’m putting it in and you’re going to bring it out and forge that bias. Do it!”John- “Good. Let’s have a look at it. Have we got a point pretty close?” Chelsey- “A little bit.”John- “But you want to aim for the very end. Stay over on your anvil though. Okay, turn it. Okay, heat. Really get the stem good. Whack it! I mean hit it! You feel the notch there now? We’re just going to make the leaf. You’re going to stay in this circle. You’re going to come down the middle here.”But I was having problems keeping the hammer in the same place, and John wasn’t going to let me get away with it.John- “You’ve got to stay there or you’re going to get demerits.”I did my best to keep on track.John- “Put some fire in that baby! Okay. Go. You’re doing great. It’s beginning to look like a leaf. Keep your hammer 90 degrees to that leaf yet. So I would do the middle a lot in the middle. That’s going to spread it for you. See it moving.” Chelsey- “Yep.””Now you’re going to work this. You’re going to work this right here.” Chelsey- “Oh yes. Bring it out.” John- “Okay. Here. This is going to be a really nice leaf. Let me tell you. Okay. I’m going to put a stem on it for you.”Now I folded my leaf almost closed and then opened it back up a little bit to make it look more realistic.”So you’re going to take the wire brush and brush away from the camera guy and me and everybody else.” Chelsey- “Okay.”John- “Okay. Go over to the water bucket.” (nat steam) “Beautiful.” Last John cut the stems short and finished the metal with furniture wax so it wouldn’t rust.That’s when he saw me checking out the blisters I’d been building during this job.John- “That’s why I ended up with this callus right here.”Chelsey- “That’s serious work!”So was this the job for me?John- “Uh. Well. We’d have to practice a little bit more, but that’s just normal. Hundred leaves you’ll be in like Flynn. I’ll hire you!” Chelsey- “Sounds good. Thanks.” John- “Your welcome.”————–For more information on John’s work or to take classes contact John at 745-7710.