Isn't blacksmithing a thing of the past? Actually, blacksmithing is a craft and art form that is alive and well.

Blacksmiths create works of art using metal.

Blacksmithing Is Still A Thing

Before the industrial revolution, roughly 1 in 5 workers was a blacksmith.

While machines and automation have taken many of these jobs, there are between 5,000-10,000 blacksmiths in the US today.

Most of these are hobbyists who work as blacksmiths for extra income.

The Work

Although some tools have changed, many have remained the same.

Basic Tools

Anvil

Person using an anvil for shaping metal

Forge

Person using a forge for heating metal.

Hammer

Person using a cross peen hammer for shaping metal.

Tongs

Tongs resting on an anvil.

Process

Blacksmiths shape and join metal, mainly wrought iron or steel. They do this by heating the metal until it can be bent or reshaped.

After shaping the metal to satisfaction and cooling it, you're done.

Image showing 4 steps in circular process: heating, holding, hitting, shaping.

Quiz

What are some of the requirements for heating and shaping metal? Select all that apply.

How To Make Money As A Blacksmith

GIF of Dany Mcbride from Eastbound and Down motioning, 'Dollar, dollar, bills y'all.'

A full-time blacksmith can earn an average yearly salary of $39,779 US or $52,912 CA .

Getting Started

The most common paths of entering the profession are:

  1. Hobbyist

  2. Part-time

  3. Side business

  4. Apprentice

Your Own Business

Many blacksmiths are small business owners. The two most common ways to make a living as a blacksmith are by:

  1. Creating high-quality custom items

  2. Creating small, high quantity items

You can sell items through an online shop or in-person at craft fairs.

You'll love being a blacksmith if...

Gentleman with long flowing white beard shaping metal in a blacksmith shop. Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash

Blacksmithing is a labor of love and could be right for you if you enjoy:

  • Working with your hands

  • Getting your hands dirty

  • Physical labor

  • Having your own business

  • Artistic expression

It's probably not for you if...

GIF of Michael Scott from 'The Office' yelling,

  • You want a predictable career. It can take years before attaining success.

  • You prefer a comfortable and easy job. Blacksmithing is physically demanding and hard work.

Quiz

What are some things you can create as a blacksmith?

Take Action

Shop named, Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

If you're curious about or interested in blacksmithing:

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