How do I learn blacksmithing, or more about it, etc..?

I guess it's time, once again, to post my response to the subject question. Here is the question and the response I just sent:
-------------------------------------------------------- On Sat Feb 21 23:41 , ' snipped-for-privacy@cavenet.com' sent:
>I was wondering if you might have any suggestions >about blacksmithing that you wouldn't mind passing >along to me? I don't have very much experience as a >blacksmith yet, but I desperately want to learn more >on the subject. Any advice would be more then >welcome. Thanks! > >-Christopher > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello, Christopher. The best way to learn blacksmithing is by getting connected with other people who do it. I suggest that you go to www.abana.org (Artist Blacksmith Associaiton of North America) It is the largest blacksmithing organization in the world. Click on the "affiliate" link. That will take you to a list of regional blacksmithing organizations. Find the one closest to you and contact them. They are all interested in helping people who have genuine interest in the craft. Many of them have training programs. Most of them have special events and conferences, too. At the conferences, they bring in demonstrators from all over the USA and from other countries. There are gallerys of local work and, usually, "tailgate sales" where you can buy equipment, both new and used.
If you are already doing some blacksmithing and would like to improve or broaden your skills, click on the abana link for "controlled hand forging". It is an excellent resource for high quality instruction on the basics.
Many libraries have books on blacksmithing, too. There are many good titles; "The New Edge of the Anvil" being one that I'd recommend.
My best answer, though, is to get connected with a blacksmithing organization in your area. Many of the members will have shops of their own, and if they see that you have a real interest, they will often offer to have you come to their shop for tutoring.
If you have more detailed questions, don't be afraid to email me again. If you tell me, in general, what part of the world you live in, I may be able to point you in the right direction.
Pete Stanaiitis -------------------------------
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