41 / Blacksmith

This reminiscence is a contribution by my niece.  Her mother has verified the tale.:

As a child my idea of a cosy evening by the fire would be to pretend I was a blacksmith. My poor family would have to watch television past my head as I heated up the end of the poker until it was red hot and then used other elements of the companion set to bash it into shape. I was determined I could create a useful hooked poker and I was committed to the task. The hearth brush didn’t escape my labours and the wooden handle was reduced to a stubby piece of charcoal which I used to draw patterns around the fireplace. The sitting room was quite small but I didn’t hold back on any of the hammering and banging involved during my evenings as a blacksmith.

I don’t remember ever being asked to stop this, but I’m sure I was, I only remember being completely absorbed by watching the fire and the fascination at the power of it. I managed to bend the very tip of the poker in to a hook shape and I was very pleased with the result.

Years later I was given a voucher to spend a day at a blacksmith’s forge. I am still the one sitting too close to the fire but I have always resisted heating up the poker so I hadn’t tried any of my blacksmith skills for a long time.

The day flashed by with all the hammering and banging I could have wished for. I was again completely absorbed in the fascination at taking a piece of metal, heating it up and totally changing its shape. It was a lot harder than I imagined but very satisfying. The candlestick I made sits on my mantlepiece now. I look at it and smile.

© Sharon Kavanagh


  1. What a lovely passion, fire-gazing and metal-bashing- perfect activities for these cold wintry nights!


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