Blacksmiths. Most people have heard of them, the majority know roughly what they do, yet hardly anyone has seen them in action. Although an essential job, the role of a blacksmith is not one that people in the modern era are overly familiar with. A simple definition would be someone who works with metal, forging it to create everyday objects and repair those that are broken. But where did blacksmiths get their name?

Where Did The Term ‘Blacksmith’ Come From?

The process by which blacksmithing got its name is actually a fairly simple one. Iron is one of the common materials that blacksmiths forge, and when it is heated it turns black – providing the first part of the name. There are various sources that describe the origination of the second part of the name, but generally it’s believed to come from the word ‘smite’, which means ‘to hit’. Thus, the term blacksmith was born.

Blacksmiths Are Excellent Drawers

No, we’re not talking about creating a masterpiece Picasso would be proud of. Drawing is a process used by blacksmiths to lengthen metal, whereby they decrease the dimensions of the width or depth of the metal they are working on to provide more length.

Blacksmithing Can Be Quite Upsetting

You won’t find blacksmiths up and down the country with tears pouring down their face. The term ‘upsetting’ refers to a process where metal is made thicker by shortening another dimension, similar to how drawing lengthens the metal being worked on.

Blacksmiths Do A Lot Of Punching

They’re not a violent bunch; the process of punching isn’t unique to blacksmithing. Using a small punch or chisel, holes or decorative patterns can be put into the metal in preparation for further work or selling.

They Also Need A Striker

The process a blacksmith goes through to create an object is quite a long and strenuous one, so they often require assistance. Usually they will take on an apprentice to do this, allowing them to build their understanding of the trade. These apprentices are often known as ‘strikers’, so called because they are often given the task of heavy, larger forging work.

Fun Fact

There is actually a World Championship Blacksmiths Competition, where blacksmiths from all over the world compete against each other in front of crowds. The aim is to not only win the event, but to inform and entertain the audience.

Post By Daniel