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South Shore Regional School Board
Forging Our Way Through Time
My project is about the importance of blacksmithing in the history of Nova Scotia and how it has changed over time. The introduction of electric tools has made the blacksmith’s work faster and easier. Thirty years ago blacksmithing was considered to be a dying trade, but interest in it has been revived in the past fifteen to twenty years.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
The most interesting thing I learned was how to make a hook and I had the opportunity to make three of them with three different blacksmiths. One blacksmith taught me about the proper body mechanics for working at the anvil. Another taught me about the science of metal.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
I have learned the basic steps of the blacksmithing process. I have learned many things that blacksmiths used to make and how important their work was to the community, how it has changed over time, and the importance of their artistic work in our time. It has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the blacksmiths in my community.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
In the past blacksmiths worked many long hours to make all the tools and utensils everyone in the community needed. There were no mass production factories and everything had to be handmade. Nowadays electric tools make the work of the blacksmith faster and easier. It was much harder to make a living at blacksmithing in the past than in my lifetime.