What do you make when demonstrating to the public?

I will soon begin demonstrating to the public again this season. When I am in a setting where there are lots of people, I usually
demonstrate relatively simple items, since the attention spam of people trying to soak up "the way it was" is generally pretty short.
As I may have said before on this newsgroup, I often demonstrate the same series of items over an over, because I think they form a sort of "basics of blacksmithing", each project building on the last.
Here's a series I have done often:
-3 nails. Tell them they are seeing drawing out, shouldering and upsetting. -an S hook with twist. Tell them they are seeing bending and twisting. -A strike-a-light (flint and steel) I make a big deal out of the heat treating. Then I demonstrate making charcloth and finally make a fire. Tell them they have just learned the basics of heat treating. -3 links of chain. Or add a set of 3 links to a growing chain I carry around. Tell them that they are seeing forge welding. -A candle holder. It is decorated (by fullering three lines). Tell them they are seeing chasing and forge brazing. -A tiny pair of tongs out of 1/4" sq. I can do each half in one heat. Tell them that this is an example of a blacksmith making their own tools. Remember, I am not demonstrating to other blacksmiths. ---------------------------------------------------------
Okay, for all that, but I'd like to change some things.
What do you folks do?
Pete Stanaitis
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spaco wrote:

I usually pop out a knife, a fiend of mine does arrow heads.
Regards Charles
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When spaco put fingers to keys it was 7/22/08 8:52 PM...

...
I'd like to see a picture. I can see getting the shaping done in one heat, the hole too?

We did a big 'ole scroll which wasn't so interesting to the crowd. Then we did a knife. Much more interesting.
http://www.prospecthillforge.com/CelticFest.php
These hearts are nice and quick: http://www.prospecthillforge.com/itemDescriber.php?itemName=IronHearts
With a medievalist crowd, bodkin points go over well. As I drop one in the bucket, I say, "Another French knight." Gets a chuckle. http://www.prospecthillforge.com/classDescriber.php?className=Bodkin
--

Carl West
http://prospecthillforge.com : The Blacksmithing Classroom
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I work (demo) with 2 other blacksmiths at a local Agricultural Fair. We tend to take a slightly different philosophy for projects. We have been known for years by the guys who show up each year. The first thing out of their mouths is "What are you guys making this year?" We make many small projects during the day, we also will take on repair and new requests that come in through the back door, AND we plan and try to execute at least 1 large project per year. The Fair lasts for 8 days. We have made items such as Drive hooks, S hooks, and Ox-bow pins on request as smaller stuff. We routinely work as 2 and even 3 man teams to create mid-sized items like 6 lb. Forging Sledge hammers, stake bungs for logging trucks, and forging 3/4" square bar into smithing tongs. We have also planned and completed large projects like a Log Scoot, started a Stone Boat, worked on furnishing a Colonial Kitchen with a Kettle crane, fireplace fender, cooking hooks, andirons, and trammel hooks.
As I said previously, we routinely have guys come into the shop, and ask us what we are going to make this year. Without batting an eyelash they will hand the wife and kids a handfull of cash to send them away and they will stay there watching us for the afternoon. I did the same thing to my family before I got the chance to join the blacksmiths on the other side of the rail.
So, my advice would be to try something larger once in a while and see what happens. You just might be surprised. I have seen times when conversations start out from a question directed at you that turns into a discussion involving another blacksmith who is watching and a toolmaker too. I end up learning as much as everyone else. It's a great opportunity.
Hope this helps,
Paul
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