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A 2015 Blueprint for an Artisan's Metalworking Association

Posted By Todd Daniel, Thursday, September 17, 2015

By Dan Nauman, Bighorn Forge Inc.

NOMMA Member



This is a compilation of thoughts and ideas spawned from seasoned and learned artisans in metal who have offered their wisdom in an effort to improve a metalworking organization.  I dedicate this text to these individuals, indeed hoping that this initiates a trend towards positive change, improving and solidifying the future of forging, along with complimentary forms of creative metalwork.

“A leader takes people where they want to go.  A great leader takes people where they don’t want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter

It has been over 40 years since the renaissance in forging and shaping metal began.  Numerous organizations have sprouted, some flourishing at some point during this time-period.  Making a living shaping metal was merely a dream for most in the 1970’s.  Today, though still not common, hundreds of men and women provide for their families by making things of metal; some full time, some part time.  Over the four decades, we can even identify some of the metalwork made during this span as being made in a specific decade, or by a certain individual.  Where once it was difficult to find a book on forging, today not only are there numerous books, but we also have the Internet, providing information on metalwork literally at our fingertips.   This knowledge base has increased at an alarming rate.  What was almost lost, has now been re-established in not only the minds of those who practice shaping metal, but also in the minds of architects, interior designers, and even the every-day ordinary person with simply a passing interest.  Many artisans who began their interest in metal in the 70’s have grown by leaps and bounds learning many aspects of design, architecture, and process.  The work that these artisans produce can sometimes be compared to the great masters, while others express new and exciting designs. For most, this maturation process took much longer than the average college education, and longer than the master guided apprentice/journeyman (guild) system of long ago.

However, while metalworking individuals have matured, metalworking organizations have not kept up with their maturation process.  Some organizations began and flourished with their original game-plan, specifically geared towards artists, beginning smiths and hobbyists, while others targeted specific process, modern technology, or leaned heavily towards the business of metalwork.  Unfortunately, these organizations planed out, and failed to take the lead; their original game plans wore out, and eventually outdated.

For example, learning to forge in the 1970’s was a scattergun approach.  Students had no clear path to learning, so they enrolled in just about any workshop, bought any available books, and sought anyone who smelled like coal to teach them.  Today, though we have a bounty of resources to learn from, as well as places to learn, learning is still a scattergun approach.  Even with this now vast knowledge base, and with numerous learned individuals, we still do not have an established, clear, and linear path to learn how to forge…not one. Yes, we can point to many forging how-to books and instruction manuals, but none have proved to be a thorough treatise, nor a linear approach for the student. This is but one of the issues that has sadly never been seriously addressed by any metalworking organization.  There is a need for metalworking organizations to mature, and there are numerous other outstanding reasons to do so; safety in the studio, as well as product safety and integrity heading the list.

“Leadership is the ability to transform vision into reality.” – Warren G. Bennis

Since roughly 1996, these and other issues have been highlighted through numerous conversations with many people, whom I shall refer to as “senior smiths”, or those who have dedicated their lives to shaping iron, mainly by use of hammer, anvil and forge.  Many of these individuals have pushed themselves to learn much of the processes of the great master blacksmiths, i.e. Tijou, Mazzucotelli, Colnik, Yellin, Benetton, Kuhn, and others like them.  They then apply and push themselves to master like forms, or then progress to design and create fresh ideas.  Many of these senior smiths have offered opinions about what is lacking, what is missed, or what is needed in an organization to more properly lead, teach, communicate, and prepare highly motivated, interested, and devoted individuals in designing, studying, and shaping hot metal (See note #1 below).  This dialogue speaks mainly for these senior smiths, as well as for some younger smiths, who are driven, determined, and disciplined in forging. 

Note #1: It is interesting to note that many individuals dedicated to solely forging would not be satisfied with an association based solely on forging.  Many of these individuals also understand and appreciate many forms of well designed and well executed metalwork that utilize the cutting edge of technology, i.e. MIG and TIG welding, laser and plasma cutting, and more.  Many also understand that to make a living shaping metal without sometimes using cutting edge technology is difficult (though not impossible.) It is also commonly accepted that if artisans and artists expect metal design to progress, that there must be freedom in the processes and technology utilized in order to do so.  Thus, an organization that promotes and represents these many forms of metalwork would be acceptable, however with a caveat: The organization must delineate each discipline as separate from the other(s), strongly highlighting each discipline’s peculiarities to avoid confusion between disciplines.  These distinctions are key in order for the organization to be successful.

For clarification purposes in the organization, it must be noted that each of these are indeed separate and distinct disciplines: 1.) Forging 2.) Electric welding (includes arc, MIG, TIG) 3.) Fabrication (not utilizing forged elements or forged joinery) 4.) Casting 5.) Stamping 6.) Machining (lathe, mill, CNC, etc.)

“Diversion” by Dan Nauman
Forged and fabricated, mild steel, natural patina, 48” x 88” 
2012 Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, WI

Here is a 2015 combined overview of the existing metalworking organization’s dynamics, and also the roots of some of their issues, and potential solutions:

Many observations by the senior smiths speak of a lack of design leadership, as well as forging fundamental leadership.  
So…where are our leaders, and who are they?  It would be easy to play favorites here, but clearly a leader would be one who shows proficiency in his or her craft.  Other indicators would be business success, notoriety outside of the organization, proficiency in teaching the respective craft, and a proficiency in organizing and managing.  These attributes largely describe a business owner.  Of the successful business owners I know, many work 50, 60 or even 70 hours per week.  This does not bode well for one who is asked to volunteer a great deal of time to run an organization outside of their work environment.  It is well known that “time is money.” That said, a volunteer based organization would not likely have many individuals reflecting many of the above listed attributes running the organization on a regular basis, or consistently.  Volunteering gets old in a hurry when there are major problems within your own company.  Many older, and/or retired artisans also feel they have already put in their proverbial dues by serving earlier in life.  (For solutions to this situation, see #3 below.)
2.) Many site the publications as being often sub-par, siting several cover images in particular.  

Say what you may, but many folks do judge books by their covers.  Simply put, the cover ought to represent the craft’s best in design and craftsmanship.  The publication’s contents should do the same.  However, many articles are written in a folksy manner, and contain poor images (poor lighting, bad background, noise, etc.) This is due in large part as many articles are written by the membership, not by journalists or professional writers.

Other complaints include editorial responsibilities, i.e. bad lay-out and format (lay-out too busy, confusing, graphic noise, contrasting color, etc.) If a publication pays professional writers to write the articles, the resulting essays will be well written, but sometimes lack insight or substance.  The reason is likely that some of these professional writers are solely reporters, and not familiar with metalworking disciplines.  Thus, the resulting article may miss key points, miss emphasis on the process(es) used, and terminology is sometimes confused.

Potential solutions for #2 would be to first have an editor that is of the mindset.  He or she would be familiar with several forms of metalworking.  The publication would have regular contributing writers, all of whom are established in some form of metalwork, some or all of whom are paid to provide these articles.  Member submitted articles would require sound content, and images that reflect professional qualities.  Member submitted articles would also be accepted/rejected by an established review committee that works closely with the editor.  The category (of metalwork), quality of the articles, and cover image selection would be by recommendation of this committee. Specific departments would be established (i.e. forging, fabrication, restoration, reproduction, etc.) for continuity from one issue to the next, with lay-out that is high on essay and image content, and less on exotic page color, design, and font.  Broader content could be accomplished by an “International Communiqué” department, as well as through regional editors, i.e. East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, etc.  If there is nothing to report for a given department in an issue, it would be noted “No Report” or “No Article Submitted for this Issue.”

To help insure quality submissions, an annual “Members Choice Awards” would be held, based on publication submissions.  Awards, based on images and design in the publication, would be for each category (see #II in the outline below), awarding gold, silver and bronze medals.

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.  In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max DuPree.

“Pool Gate Drawing #2” by Dan Nauman
Graphite and ink. 2007 (Artisan’s collection.)

3.) Standards, education, and identification of achievements.  

Starting with the latter, if you sign up for a workshop, often the workshop is listed as for a beginner, intermediate, or for an advanced individual.  We can all define a “beginner”.  However, what defines “intermediate” or “advanced”? (Think on this for a moment.)  There are no universally accepted, nor accurate definitions of either as a gauge for learning metalworkers, especially where forged work is concerned. Ask a room of ten people in a given workshop to describe what an “intermediate” is, and you’ll receive eleven different answers.  You will likely receive a very huge and diverse cross section of what the requirements are for any given level.  

Example: When a forging workshop is billed as “advanced”, many might assume that an advanced individual is well acquainted and competent with forge welding.  However, because of today’s lack of level definitions, likely one or more members of a given advanced workshop would not be able to weld very well, or perhaps may never have forge welded anything at all.  This is not so much of a problem if the student is only mildly interested in forging, but what of the other students in the advanced workshop?  Will they get equal attention time from the instructor?  Or will the instructor be mired down showing a novice welder how to weld?  Or worse…several novices?!  One instructor lamented that he held an advanced workshop that involved knowledge of forging, hardening, and tempering of carbon steels, along with power hammer work, only to find out that two out of the five students had never had a forging hammer in their hand prior to that workshop. 

Thus, to help solve this problem, there is a need for a system that identifies an individual’s forging achievements.

What about the instructor’s capabilities?  How does the student know whether the instructor knows enough about the craft to teach…and if he does have the requirements, can he teach the processes clearly? It might clearly  state “master blacksmith” on the teacher’s card or bio, so he must be a capable teacher, correct?  Unfortunately, (and sadly), there are many instructors out there who should not be teaching or demonstrating.  Since there is no established criterion for an individual to prove an individual’s achievements, nor their ability to teach the craft in any way, shape or form…anyone, no matter their capabilities, can bill themselves as a forging instructor, teacher, or demonstrator.  So for the unfortunate students, it is truly a roll-of-the-dice as from whom they will be learning.  

I have heard one horror story where a person was teaching regularly (and charging a fee) with under a year’s worth of forging experience…and that experience was based on only two weeks worth of formal instruction.  He gets away with it because let’s face it, in today’s world most people (i.e. beginners) have no clue about forging.  A good analogy would be touting the fact that one can “imitate Abraham Lincoln orating when he was 26 years old.”  If you’ve never witnessed the original, it all looks and sounds fantastic!  

Many seasoned smiths can think back upon what they used to perceive as great design and workmanship, only to realize later what a disappointment that work really was back then. Remember the work of the late 1970’s?  Everything was extreme twists, dragons, and letter openers, and many of us thought it was all wonderful.

Thus, knowing whether an instructor is competent in forging will help the young students, as well as maturing students greatly.

“Leaders think and talk about solutions.  Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy


“Progression of a Bobeche” Storyboard, by Dan Nauman
Repousse’ in mild steel, wax finish.  2005
Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee, WI

B2.) But because an instructor is capable, doesn’t necessarily mean he can teach the fundamentals well, linearly, or clearly.  A universally accepted curriculum is needed, so everyone teaching can read from the same book.  Beyond that, a system to train instructors should be developed, (perhaps a mentor-ship program) to insure the very best teachers for the students.

C.) Today, there are likely hundreds of individuals identifying themselves as “Master” blacksmiths.  A true master (of anything) is a title awarded by a guild (or at the very least, a committee), to and individual who has met the criterion set forth by the guild.  Since the guild system has ceased to exist, “these modern day masters” are self-proclaimed, and have done so based on their own criterion.  Unfortunately, this again causes confusion in many circumstances, as these “masters” could potentially be merely novices who went to Kinko’s to have business cards printed with “Master Blacksmith” by their names.  Sadly, their students, and sometimes their clients are duped into believing these individuals are reputable, competent, and proven in their designs and workmanship.  Likely, many times their students are taught the “long way around the barn”, or wrong altogether.  Also likely, their clients are left with a poorly designed piece that neither fits their style, nor the appropriate proportions of the given space.

“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision.  You cannot blow an uncertain trumpet.”
Theodore M. Hesburgh

Note #2: Many snarl at the notion of established levels, but as is being shown here, clearly established levels will aid in teaching and learning. It may be that those who turn up their noses to established levels fear that their true level is lower than they might believe.  In other words, they fear they might be exposed as being less than they pontificate.  

Established levels also serve as a benchmark, or a sort of achievement award for aspiring individuals. Consider this: What good would it have done for you if you had no idea what your grades were in grammar school? It is no different in forging and other disciplines.  

Still others feel that established levels would create an elitist contingent.   Believe me, the contingent exists, titles or not, so that is not a valid concern.

Note #3: Many who turn their noses up to labels or achievement levels say “My portfolio is all I need to declare and prove my competency.”  That may be true, both to their credit, but also perhaps to their detriment, as it may show how incompetent they are, and many don’t even recognize their own incompetence.  Their portfolio might show what appears to be fine workmanship, however we all know an image may be deceiving or enhanced.  We ourselves have “our best side”, and likewise, so do some of our earlier works.

Beyond that, an image cannot prove out structural integrity.  Have you ever approached a table, forged or not, and upon placing pressure upon it, had it shift miserably…so miserably that you dared not place a full glass upon it?  That table looked just fine as you approached it, however just looking at it didn’t prove its integrity, or lack thereof.  Likewise an image proves nothing of structural integrity.  Form follows function, and we’ve all seen seemingly wonderful designs, only to find out later that though it looks great, it functions poorly. Thus, one’s “portfolio” is not proof of competency.

“Leadership is an action, not a position.” – Donald H. McGannon

Dan Nauman, Artist in Residence
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
Wausau, WI July 2011

The solution to Item #3 A-C would be to establish a well thought out system of achievement levels.  This system should be based on the knowledge and experience of several seasoned and learned individuals who would pass the criterion in item #1 (above).  Once a system has been established, a test period should ensue, and then an annual review board should evaluate how well the system is working, and make necessary revisions.  This review board should be in close contact with craft schools, forging organizations, and affiliates.

Some form of accepted instructor criterion should be in place to insure instructor competency.  Again, perhaps a mentor-ship program could be in place where aspiring instructors could work alongside established instructors, until they learn the methodology of teaching the respective craft.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that certifying instructors would be a positive step for the betterment of the students, and especially the craft itself.

As mentioned above, a test period for the initial instructor training should be put into place, followed again by annual reviews by a board, also involving craft schools, forging associations, and affiliates.

However, more importantly, before a curricula or achievement levels can be established, there needs to be a forging standard to measure by.  But what standard?  That is correct, there isn’t a standard for forging, so at present, there is no concrete measuring stick to determine the level of competency of any individual.  On another level, in the building trades, there is no” forging standard” to insure the safety of the product.  That alone is a recipe for disaster.  In addition, there is nothing in place to insure safety in the forging studio.

Broken pier leg due to lack of material.

Think on this for a bit: What denotes a sound tenon joint (see above image), a sound upset right angle bend, or a sound forge weld?  For example, if a railing used as a barrier is constructed, and any one of these should fail, lives are in jeopardy.  Simply stating that the railing must withstand 200 ft. lbs. from any given direction is not enough to insure safety, as if these joints are improperly executed, they may fail over time, and perhaps in a short time at that.

Finally, without a forging standard, it is impossible to develop a proper forging curriculum.  The standard must come first, then the curriculum can be written.  The curriculum should be of a linear nature, gradually immersing the student into more difficult processes.  The student should then be graded, and finally awarded for any and all achievements.  

Standards, curriculum, education, achievements, and safety…these all work together to better the craft, as well as the craftsman.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world.  Indeed it always has.” – Margaret Meed.

4.) Forged, Fabricated, Or?
When we see an image in a publication or a piece in a competition, we need to know more specific information.  We can all identify with marveling at a piece of metalwork, then wondering how a specific motif was accomplished.  Some of us can also relate to viewing a project billed as “forged”, only to note that most of it has been MIG welded, ground with a right angle grinder, used cast or stamped elements, and truly the only “forging” were some hot-formed and bent bars.  The problems here are many.  For the learning metalworker, primarily interested in forging, trying to figure out how a piece was formed is hard enough without being miss-identified regarding the process.  Many “forged” projects have hidden MIG, TIG, or arc welds…we need to know this, if we are to truly understand and appreciate what we are looking at.  Unfortunately, this information and more is not honestly presented, or it is even hidden for whatever purpose.  Even honestly stating that a piece is “forged and fabricated” does not go far enough, as we need to know what was forged, and what was fabricated.  Example: How does a student know if a leaf is forged, cast, stamped, or by means of repousse’ merely by looking at it?  

On another note, in a competition, it isn’t fair to one who primarily forged something to be competing with another project that is mostly fabricated, but entered as mostly or wholly forged.  In this case we are comparing and judging radically different processes, and nobody truly wins.

Without clearly defined submissions or entries, the integrity of the publication or competition may be compromised.


“Altar Candlestick” by Dan Nauman
Mild steel, 24” x 36”, Gilders Paste finish
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Fayetteville, NC

Example:  In the image of the candlestick above, can you determine simply by looking at it whether it is 100% forged, 90% forged, or forged and fabricated?  What do those terms (forged, fabricated, etc.) actually mean?

Potential solutions obviously involve honesty on whomever is submitting the information.  However, an experienced review board could also determine whether a project passes the criterion for “forged” or falls more correctly into “fabricated”, or “forged and fabricated.”  Further, demand to know what parts of the project were forged, what were fabricated, etc.

Perhaps categories could determine: A.) Period Forging, 100% forged (only forging processes including the nine forging fundamentals listed in #3 of the “Clarification Notes” below) 2.) Modern Forging, 90% to 99% forged. 3.) Forged and fabricated (Less than 90% forged.)  Note:  These are only suggestions, and could be refined.

Other pertinent information would suggest, A.) Who designed the project?  2.) What determined the discipline(s) used?   Certainly these clarification aspects could be defined even further and more clearly.

There also needs to be clear definitions regarding disciplines, i.e., 1.) Forging 2.) Fabricating 3.) Machining 4.) Casting 5.) Welding 6.) Etc.

Some might feel these distinctions are too picky.  However, consider how many times you have asked the question, “How was that motif executed?”, only to find out that the process used was not even close to what you had considered.  You may have even been disappointed to learn that it involved no hand skills by the creator. We need to be more scrutinizing in how we present projects to others, so others may clearly understand, and thereby learn.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer

Summary: This is serious stuff. 

To implement any of the above ideas and programs will take a dedicated force, and years to conceive, refine, and finally establish.  If it happens quickly one should question the integrity of the program.

For now we can agree that no existing organization:

Caters well to a solely forging based member.  
Clearly distinguishes between forging, fabrication, period work, etc. 
Has a linear, progressive, and well-planned teaching program for forging. 
Insures the competency of instructors, teachers, or demonstrators. 
Has established a forging standard.  
Has attempted to establish achievement levels or status, based on an individual’s accumulated knowledge and skill base.

Audience participation at “Dan Nauman, Artist in Residence”
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI.  July 2012.

Action: A new blueprint is needed to establish a new or existing organization that addresses the above issues. 

An “Artisan’s Assembly of Metalworkers” association likely would be widely accepted, with proper monitoring, and implementing of the above thoughts and ideas.  Again, distinguishing between disciplines, is of the utmost importance. Also, there needs to be solid leadership in the senior category, and likely the organization would not be of a non-profit status; and much, much more, as discussed above.

 The outline below is designed to begin the process of organizing these thoughts and ideas for whatever organization that realizes the value of such wisdom.  (Note that the items are not listed in order of importance.)

Some clarification notes:

A.) This text has avoided the use of the word “blacksmith” as it does not clearly describe what one does, nor does it define a process.  The word “blacksmithing” is not recognized by most dictionaries as a word, and thus also does not describe a process.  Thus, neither word will be found in this text. 

B.) The word “artisan" is used in this text to describe a creative metalworker.  As one must be an artisan to be an “artist”, we are not excluding artists from this dialogue.

C.)The word “forge” and its derivatives define a unique discipline defined by primary processes of which there are nine fundamentals: 1.) Drawing down 2.) Upsetting 3.) Cutting (splitting, slitting, or surface embellishment) 4.) Bending 5.) Twisting 6.) Joinery (rivets, collars, lap joints, mortise and tenon, etc.) 7.) Punching 8.) Drifting 5.) Forge welding.  The products created by forging use only these fundamentals to produce a piece in its entirety.

D.)The word “fabricate” and its derivatives define a discipline where forging is not used as the main process, where metal is fused by electric welding, and by use of catalogue parts, i.e. cast or stamped, are employed. 

E.) There may be a category of metalwork that employs both forged and fabricated disciplines, and thus will be denoted as “Forged and Fabricated.”

“Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other.” – John F. Kennedy.

For a 2015 “Artisans Assembly of Metalworkers”

Define vocabulary
Period forging
Other categories

II.) Categories/Departments (and definitions of such)
Forged 100%
Forged and Fabricated (hybrid)
1.) Percent forged
2.) Percent fabricated
Fabricated 100%
Decorative Art
Level of Accomplishment
1.) Beginner
2.) Amateur
3.) Seasoned Professional
4.) Other(s)?

I.) Organization (leadership panel) has final word on what category a piece falls into.

Good quality articles
Pay for good articles
Regular, seasoned contributors
International communiqué
Regional articles
Leadership committee accepts/rejects articles (not board of directors, nor the editor.)
Avoid folksy, cutesy language
High quality images only
Editor must be of the mindset.

Articles must declare specific criteria
Size x, y and z if applicable
Approx. hours to complete
Category (see #II.)
Year made
Creator’s name
10.) Level, i.e. established 20+ years; up and coming 10-19 years, newcomer 1-9 years.
11.) All categories may not be addressed in every issue.  
If a category is not addressed, the publication must say, “No report, or no article submitted.”
E.) Editor should seek authors for specific categories.

F.) Cover 
Chosen by leadership committee (not any one person, i.e. the editor.)
Must be from an article in current magazine
Must be highly representative of specific category

G.) Advertising
1.) Review committee

Annual “Member’s Choice Awards”
A.) Awards for each category
Gold, silver, bronze medals awarded
      B.) Awards given for works shown in association publication only
Helps to insure articles are written well.
Helps to insure images submitted with articles are of good quality
Competition helps to insure best works submitted to magazine
C.) Annual Awards Banquet
Awards are announced through a bulletin in creator’s hometown.
Online voting?

Develop Curriculums 
Create standard for each category before writing curriculum(s)
Teach fundamentals first
Teach stylistic, national, period, and process differences
Have targets (levels)
After a target level is reached, another is established
Recognition for achieving target level

Dues should be significant, in order to provide the best service to the membership.
Significant dues help to deter wishy-washy membership

Organization may not be a Non-Profit entity.
Allows organization to pay those on board of directors.
One current problem is that most seasoned artisans do not have time to volunteer.
Helps board member justify spending the time doing their job.
Helps to insure a board member does there job…no work/no pay.
Allows organization to write articles on professional activities.
Allows organization to pay for good articles for magazine.

Board of Directors
Must have representative(s) from each category (See II.)
Will be paid for their tenure
President must be a seasoned professional
Former presidents must help guide newly elected presidents.
Limited terms
Initial two or three year.
Can only be re-elected once.
Annual meetings
Fall on same day every year.
Paid for by association

Focus on education
Concentrate on addressing skill levels
Concentrate on areas of interest
Period forging
Different and rotating locations
Chosen by leadership committee
All expenses paid
Stipend paid
International flavor
D.) Gallery
E.)Public Involvement 
Page 15
IX.) Social Media
Discussion boards

Divisional fees
Benefactors (bequest)
Event fees

Membership Empowerment
Biennial survey
Board responsiveness
Membership forums 
Blog oriented
Letters to the editor
Complaints and solutions
Review cycle of organization status.

XII.) Structure
Mission Statement

(Conclusion of outline. Obviously, much needs to be added, massaged, and clarified.)

                                                             Cyril Colnik (Undated photo)

Conclusions “For the Good of the Craft.”

Solid leadership from well seasoned and learned artisans is essential for a truly successful metalworking organization.  However the reality is this: If we expect leaders to lead, and to do so with vigor, likely they will need more of an incentive than simple “passion for the process.”  Compensating them for their work (i.e. articles, board membership, demonstrating, teaching, etc.) would be a win for all parties involved.

Create a forging standard to A.) Produce a forging curriculum B.) To establish achievement levels C.) To teach D.) To insure safety in the shop. E.) To insure safety of the products F.) To potentially certify forging students and forging instructors.

The purpose of compiling this information is in response to the many who have shared their wisdom over the last 25 years or so.  This text is put out there for any existing organization to adopt, dissect, or glean what they can from it.  Perhaps some energetic individuals will rally and create an entirely new organization based on this content.  In any event, it is hoped that those who care will review these thoughts in earnest, and some benefit will result for the good of the craft, the good of the students, and for general safety.

Any and all comments are appreciated regarding this text. Only reasonable comments will be published.  Vulgar language and sophomoric comments will be deleted.

This text in no way indicates an intent to launch a new organization, or to undermine any existing organizations.  Rather, this labor is intended for the good of the various disciplines of metalworking.  

Lastly, a resounding “Thank you” to all who contributed to this text.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Nauman
Bighorn Forge, Inc.
February 2015

(Note: Images used are intended solely as examples, and not intended for self-promotion.)

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