My name is Solomon Marshall and I am the Solo Blacksmith. I aim to share with you the skills and products of an ancient craft. I have been a hobby blacksmith since 2014 learning mostly from youtube smiths and online forums as well as spending time with an experienced smith. Although I offer forged pieces for sale, my passion lies in teaching the self-reliant craft of forging. I hope these workshops will be able to accelerate the learning process of other hobby blacksmiths or simply provide an interesting experience for people to enjoy.
Building on traditional methods and using time-tested materials, I focus on a useful, rough and ready, pared back design. I believe cheap, raw materials are given value by skilled hands and time of the maker; it can turn a piece of scrap into long lasting objects of daily use. Steel can be forged to make so much but creating functional tools is what drew me into this craft; pans for the kitchen, chisels to turn bowls, axes and knives to whittle spoons and endless possibilities abound.
Simple handmade products for the truly materialistic. Fewer better things.
I sometimes take for granted how foreign blacksmithing is in the modern day. With the complexities of things its no surprise material intelligence is being lost; understanding materials and the process in which things are made.
So here's an overview of the forging process for those unfamiliar with this ancient craft. Two steps;
Heat it. Beat it
I use a modern technique's either gas or electric induction forges which are a little less romantic than their sensory coal fire predecessor. There is no fire crackle, pungent smoke or filthy black dust but it still brings the heat.
After that, things haven't changed much in the last century. Its all heat, steel, strength and sweat, manipulating the 1000 degree metal with hammer and anvil. Once hot, the metal becomes a hard dough type consistency and, with a little bit of coercion, can be formed into any shape. Flattened, rounded, stretched, twisted, or folded. There is almost zero waste in the process, and theoretically, if it didn't go to the shape you like, you could heat it up and smoosh it all back together again.