They've involved training sessions for Westfield Heritage Village. Even though I have 20 years experience as a hobby smith, the head smith at the village wanted to see me work and just do some meet-and-greet. He turned out to be a really nice guy and he has a FANTASTIC home shop ... I was totally jealous of all the toys he had. The day was marvelous ... I haven't swung a hammer in 2 years but once I knocked off all the rust, it all came back to me in a big, joyous wave ... I haven't felt that happy in what feels like forever. I think he was happy with my skill set, and I was definitely happy with what he taught me.
I MADE TONGS!!!
I know it seems silly, but I've never made a successful set of tongs in my 20 years of smithing. He started me off with a bar of 1/2" mild steel and demonstrated the steps to making a basic set of tongs. I had a bit of difficulties and had to restart once, and there needed to be a bit of adjustment with a grinder, but in the end I got a very serviceable pair of light duck-bill tongs to do sheet work with ... I was so stoked ... I can't wait to make more.
Then I got to show off a bit with a leaf hook. I've been making leaves and hooks forever, so I didn't need much instruction here.
It was soooo much fun to make stuff again, but, did my arms ever ache.
This weekend was another workshop day. Today I learned how to braid a rush seat for a chair. It turns out that it was the exact same weaving pattern as the 2 rush seat chairs we have at home that our cats are making short work of ... I guess now I'll be able to fix them. I was having so much fun that I forgot to go to my second workshop. I didn't get a chance to finish the rocking chair I was fixing, but I was still pretty satisfied with my first try ... but I have to say that my hands and carpal-tunnel are KILLING ME right now ... but it was worth it.
... more steps ... ever forward ...