In perfect dreams

March 08, 2007

The Classical Blacksmithing School of Boston gets a mention in The Boston Globe article ‘In perfect dreams’


In an unassuming warehouse by the train tracks in West Concord, master blacksmith Carl Close teaches the craft he learned from his father. ”People think of blacksmithing as old,” says his wife and business partner, Susan. ”They think, ‘My grandfather did that.’ But you can do it, too. You can make something from nothing in a day.” Held two Saturdays a month, the class runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $190, which includes materials and a communal lunch. Students get their own propane-fired forge, anvil, and set of hammers along with an iron rod that they will shape into a plant hanger by the end of the day. ”Blacksmithing is like chess,” says Close, as he demonstrates hammering techniques. ”You’ve always got to be thinking of your next move.’ As the six men fire their 2-foot-long steel rods and pound the red-hot metal, the quiet intensity of concentration settles over the forge, punctuated by the ring of hammer strikes. It takes muscle, but the metal slowly bends, and a scroll begins to take shape. The process is slow but satisfying. Said Bill Litant, ”It’s nice not to have a computer between me and what I’m doing.”

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