The photos are from the Arizona Artists’ Blacksmith Association Demonstration at Sahuaro Ranch Park. The featured blacksmith is Henry Promfret, from England. This man is amazing. He gave a little bit of a talk while waiting for the demo to begin, and pointed out that while he is interested in newer ways of doing things, 5000 years of blacksmithing tradition has many timeless lessons and so he still believes in doing things in the traditional manner as much as possible, while still innovating and pushing the bounds of what a blacksmith can create. He teaches his students using the traditional methods, making sure they have the basics mastered before they go on to newer methods. He points out, rightly, that if you aren’t going to do anything in the traditional manner, why call yourself a blacksmith? Why not a welder, or metalworker?
All in all, a very enjoyable day, and I was amazed at some of the artwork presented by the sponsors, the Arizona Artist’s Blacksmith Association. The shoes you see on the table are *also* blacksmithed. Really. The detail in the buckles, the wrinkles in the ‘leather’ all done with fire and metal.