Why did YOU get into blacksmithing?

Again, just a thought to keep the newsgroup going-----
People get into blacksmithing for many reasons; what's yours?
I got into blacksmithing as a hobby farmer in about 1985. I had worked
with my hands all my life and had worked with metals and heat, although most of my career was in electronics. One day I needed to move a farm tractor front end loader from one brand of tractor to a different brand. That meant bending a couple of 1/2" thick by 3" wide straps to fit. I couldn't get enough heat with the acetylene outfit I had. The next day we went to a threshing show. I watched the blacksmith there for a while. I asked a bunch of questions so he invited me in to wield the hammer and "try it out". His name was Ollie Juaire and the event was in Hastings, MN. I made a post hook and then I myself, was hooked. The next weekend a local farmer convinced my wife and I to help set up and then clerk an auction for an older fellow who was going to move into assisted care. At that auction, I bought my first forge, a small cast iron "Lever forge", the type that many call a "rivet forge", I guess. Anyway, I got it going and was easily able to heat and bend those brackets. While I was at that threshing show, Ollie convinced me to join the Guild of Metalsmiths, a Minnesota/western Wisconsin ABANA Chapter (yes, that's what they used to be called before the days of political correctness and lawyers stirring the pot everywhere). A year went by, with nothing at all from the "Guild". Then, one Sunday we were driving down MN state highway 95 toward Afton MN when we say a sign saying "Blacksmith Conference" or something like that. We parked the car, walked into this guy's yard and started looking around at the activities. After a while, a guy carefully introduced himself to let it be known that you had to pay to be there and that it was for Guild of Metalsmith members only. This guy was Bob Fredell, then president of the Guild. I told him that I was, indeed, a member of the Guild, having joined fully a year ago, but that I had never received any communication from them. He became very apologetic, allowed us to hang around for free, gave me some back issues of the "Metalsmith" newsletter and invited us to their next meeting.
I think I got voted onto the board at my first or second Guild meeting, took on the job of data management and "lick-'em stick 'em" soon after and enrolled in all the classes they had to offer. A guy named Bob Walsh (www.robertwalsh.com )had designed a "5 Year plan" for blacksmithing education just at the right time for me! I was off and running.
Pete Stanaitis
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Right on Pete once again 1432 in the queue and you are the only current one. Another ISP died.
I got into some of it since I can melt metal in a furnace I made, have a design for another and own a small place that can use help from time to time.
In other words - because I wanted to help myself and keep the craft going.
Martin
spaco wrote:

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Why did I get into blacksmithing?
I was a tinker-er for many years and this was basically a hobby. Making things off an on for a long time.
The main thing that kicked me in the right direction was getting retrenched, and communicating with knife makers, blacksmiths and casters over the net.
I had the opportunity to try my hand at forging professionally.
These days I experiment a lot with metal and strive to make things easier for those that follow.
Regards Charles
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while on a family outing exploring a western ghost town, my dad showed me the blacksmith shop. that did it, i was hooked. i spent much of that summer with a hammer, pliers, pounding on the only solid thing i could find ( the back porch). later that year for my 10 th birthday i was given a small anvil. that was 51 years ago. have fun......mark
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