Saturday, July 16, 2016

Poppies.

Had a good day today - but, of course, I think any day spent in a forge is a good day. This all started last fall when I got a most interesting email. My blacksmith association (OABA) sent out an email with a link about an amazing event that was going to happen in the fall of 2016 ... the link is http://www.ypres2016.com/ . 
2016 is the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Ypres and to commemorate it, blacksmiths from around Europe and Canada are going to construct a cenotaph IN Ypres, Belgium. Well, I can't afford to go to Belgium (and the event is happening during school-time) ... but the interesting part was that the event organizers put a call out to all smiths to contribute steel poppies to the project - they need 2016 poppies! - they even provided a template to cut out the blanks and instructional videos in how to forge them into shape.
A friend of mine, Darrell Markewitz (http://www.warehamforge.ca/) set up a forging day at his shop today and he, myself and another friend Neil were able to cut out and forge 5 poppies (cutting them out of the 1/8" steel plate and grinding them to shape was the hardest part). I forged out 2 poppies - my arm is a bit sore, but I had a great time working at the anvil. 
We'll have no way of knowing if our flowers will be used in the project,  but just participating in a project like this was a great experience.
My two poppies I forged today - the right one still needs to be drilled. I learned a lot about texturing today.