Day 256 of 365


A study of nature

It's day 256 and I learned a new blacksmithing skill.

It is impossible to express how happy I am when I have a hammer in my hand and hot steel on my anvil. I don't think I really understood the joy until today. When I attend a workshop there are always a few dozen students trying to work at a half dozen stations. The firepots are crowded and the anvil is always hot. It can be frustrating.

Day 256 was completely different and it was a gift I didn't know I needed. Today's students were divided in two groups, beginner and not. I was in the not group of which there were a total of 3. For the first time ever I had my own workstation and didn't have to wait and watch my projects burn like fourth of July sparklers.

I have been playing at the forge since my youngest kid was 14 and built one in the yard. That clever kid assembled a pile of scrap into a working coal setup and taught himself how to be a blacksmith. How did I get addicted? My kid invited me into that world and I've been a curious blacksmith since.

I'm on my own these days so when a workshop comes up I'm attend because it is the one environment where I'm happy to be the student. The projects today were introductory hooks and latches and... leaves.

Oh those leaves. I have avoided them because they seem impossible.

I can say that because I have never made one until today. To call this a spiritual blacksmithing moment would hit the nail on the head.

I made a tiny pile of scrap metal while I worked today. That's not new for me but the instructors spent a lot of time breaking down the process in to steps that I could follow and duplicate. Little by little my square became round and my flat took on the shape of a chubby little aspen leaf.

I got a tiny bit frustrated and my teacher took me for a short walk through the patch of trees and brush. He picked a leaf and we studied the physical structure. We talked about texture and symmetry. It was almost spiritual and spoke to the artist in my soul.

I spent 3 hours making a leaf that should take 15 minutes and it was amazing. Once I finished I started another and by the end of the day I had three leaves, two of which felt like pieces of art.

From failure comes success. It was almost perfect.

Day 256

Love & Light

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