Photography: Charles Winter
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wrought iron was the most common material a blacksmith would be forging at a rural blacksmith shop in the mid-19th century. Wrought iron was used to make everything from nails and horseshoes to hinges and tools. It has a lot of silica slag in the metal as an impurity. One task in the shop would have been to forge weld small scrap pieces into a single large bar. Wrought iron is worked at a high heat, and when welded it sprays out flux and silica slag. When I weld I am aware that flux and slag are being ejected from the piece; my apron catches the worst of the sparks. The camera catches the process much more dramatically than it seems while making the weld.