Emma D's diary

By EmmaDrabble

At Caplor: The Blacksmithstress

I dont know if there is a term for a female Blacksmith. So Ill call Mary a 'Blacksmithstress'. She forges iron in a purely female way. Crafting today an ornate woodworking tool for her friend. Its curve, she says went wrong, so she 'fires' it repeatedly. Hammers it delicately around the horn of the anvil. 'Fires' it again, to soften a little more. She tweaks it with the pliers. Fires it again. She knows from experience and creative heart when it is finished.

The fire on the forge, only a Blacksmith knows the colours of burning hot iron it produces. Colour is important for indicating the temperature and workability of the metal: As iron is heated to increasing temperatures, it first glows red, then orange, yellow, and finally white. The ideal heat for most forging is the bright yellow-orange, colour appropriately known as a "forging heat".

The blacksmith must be able to see the glowing color of the metal, some blacksmiths work in dim, low-light conditions. The key is to have consistent lighting which is not too bright. Direct sunlight obscures the colour.

Mary was just about to begin on a huge spring, which she found. Its part of a lorries suspension I think. A real craft, seeing a piece of old metal and turning it into something beautiful again!....Thats why women can be Blacksmiths, and Blacksmithstresses nowadays...x

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