Blacksmithing banana tree

blacksmith banana tree 1I made this blacksmithing banana tree a while ago now, but thought it worth a revisit in my occasional look at things I have made on the forge.

It is basically one piece of bar, split at the base to make the stand, and at the top to make 2 hooks for the bananas.

It has an extra small foot, held in place by a rivet, to stop it toppling over.

It typifies the style I like, and am slowly adopting. A solid design, incorporating organic flowing lines, with traditional blacksmithing techniques of splitting, riveting and fire welding.


Wood carved fuchsia, part 3

For this part of the wood carved fuchsia project I moved over to metal.

I like mixed media artwork, so decided that for the leaves and stems I would forge them from steel. The pictures below show the step by step process. I first cut the outline shape from 3mm steel, welded on a 6 mm rod to form the stem, and then, after heating on the forge, formed the leaf detail with veins marked with a flat chisel.

I then welded 3 together around a rod, to form the fuchsia stem, ready to fit the wooden flower:









Forged Obelisk

blacksmith obeliskI have been finishing off the forged obelisk I started last week. As a recap, below I am including the pictures of the forging process for the top. The obelisk is 2m high and 0.5m diameter. The outline design is based on obelisks I have made for our garden. Our friend designed the flowing shape of the top herself, the finial is based on the design of a sculpture I made to represent a flower form.

It is finished in zinc undercoat, for rust protection, and silk black paint.




blacksmith obelisk forgeblacksmith obelisk on forgeblacksmith obelisk top

Forge day

forge day 3Given that yesterday was forecast as wet and windy, I thought it perfect to get the forge out and have a day hitting hot metal.

My forge is obviously outside, which has its good and bad sides.  The open air can be a double edged sword of course and today I hardly needed the  blower.





forge day 1forge day 4
I started off with the finial for an obelisk I am making for a friend and moved on to a stand for a gallon (literally) kettle, bought from a local reclaim centre.





forge day 2forge day 5I also hardened off the surface of the portable anvil I made a few weeks ago, so that it now has a nice ring to it. To say it needed a big fire is an understatement, but at least it gave me the opportunity to try out the new heat baffle I made to protect the forge base. It obviously worked.

The Circle of Engineering

This is my latest sculpture, made on my forge.

I call it ‘The Circle of Engineering’, for reasons I will explain.

blacksmith sculpture

The first stage of my career in engineering was as a technician engineer. This began with my apprenticeship. I spent my first year learning traditional machining techniques, the use of lathes, mills, sheet metal work etc.


blacksmith sculpture

Now, nearly 34 years and a full career later, I am able to fully indulge my hitherto part-time passion for making things, for creating, for designing.

And so I come to my sculpture. If it’s genesis hasn’t become obvious by now, I’ll tell more.

It is made from spanners. All are old whitworth sizes, as used on Mildred, our 1933 Austin Seven, bought from an autojumble for 20p each.

The circle theme is of course a metaphor for life. A working life that has taken me full circle, through an engineering career I would not have changed for anything, back to working with my hands, but now in my own workshop, creating art as inspiration take me.

So there you have it, the ‘Circle of Engineering’.