Ferric Fusions Top 10 Blacksmithing Books


And finally for our blog this month – our list of top reads for smiths. Despite the wonders of the internet you still can’t beat a good book. Below are Ferric Fusion’s personal top 10 books. All the ones below are available via Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk

Do you have a smithing book you’d recommend? – Let us know.

1. The Artist Blacksmith: Design and Techniques by Peter Parkinson, (published by The Crowood Press Ltd (2001)

For anyone interested in modern art blacksmithing who doesn’t know where to start. Parkinson’s is by far the best introductory book on the topic. 5 stars on Amazon and justifiably great reviews. Good illustrations and photos – a must for any smith’s library.

2. New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith by Jack Andrews (Skipjack Press 1994)

Before Parkinson’s book this was the standard textbook I always recommended for people starting out in blacksmithing. It introduces you to all the tools and techniques you need. Andrews has a good clear writing style. This is an excellent resource book.

3. Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork: Tools, Techniques and Inspiration (Schiffer Book for Collectors) by Dona Z. Meilach (Schiffer Publishing Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition, 1999)

Loads of illustrations. Lives up to its title – inspiring. I love this little book. There is a great chapter on carving animal shapes. For blade smiths there is a chapter on knives, choppers and scissors and a whole chapter on Damascus steel. Nice to see something a bit different.

4. Art Metalforging by David Hawkins (A & C Black Publishers Ltd. Nov 2002)

A Beautifully illustrated book – lots of photographs. It includes a section on makers and their work where you can see pictures of work by my father, David Petersen and my brother Toby as well as, on page 46, a great shot of the family forge where we run our blacksmithing courses. This isn’t why I’ve included it (!) – It is truly a gorgeous book.

5.To Draw, Upset and Weld: Work of the Pennsylvania Rural Blacksmith, 1742-1935 . Edited by Jeannette Lasansky (Pennsylvania State University Press 1981)

A fascinating insight into traditional smithing in North America during the colonisation. There are strong links between Pennsylvania and Wales, which is where I am based. Many miners settled there and there is still a Welsh Society there that organises Eisteddfodau

6. The Blacksmith’s Craft: An Introduction to Smithing for Apprentices and Craftsmen Rural Development Commission (1997)

Classic text with a first edition in 1961

7. The Village Blacksmith by Ronald Webber (Country Book Club / R U; Reprint edition 1972)

Another golden oldie, full of tales and anecdotes relating to everything of a smithing nature. A treasure chest compendium of fascinating facts and fables.

8. De Re Metallica. Written by Georgius Agricola. Translated by Herbert and Lou Hoover. (Dover Publications Inc. 1912)

First published in 1556. Translated by Herbert Hoover (the U.S President and mining engineer.) and his wife. This is an amazingly detailed book on all aspects of metallurgy and mining in the early 17th century. A must for all history fans (if slightly hard work in places).

9.Metal Techniques for Craftsmen by Oppi Untracht (Robert Hale Ltd; illustrated edition edition 1985)

A lavishly illustrated and detailed book covering all aspects of metal working from metals themselves to techniques, tools and finishing. Smithing, annealing, forging, casting and other methods of metal fabrication are all covered.

And finally for number 10 a book we haven’t got – yet!

10. Artist Blacksmithing 3 Volume Set: Basics of Style, Classical Techniques of Hand Forged Iron, Pattern Book for the Artist Blacksmith by Max Metzger (published by Ruhloff 2009)

Aaron says – “I haven’t got this but it looks amazing, though at £121 a copy it’s going to have to sit on the wish list a bit longer. A classic text rediscovered –this 3 volume set contains a rare pattern book as well as a section on technique and one on the basics of style. I have hinted to my lovely wife that Christmas is just around the corner……you never know”.

Aaron’s lovely wife says – “get in that forge and make more stock!”

Well that’s it for this month – well talk again before Christmas – “Hwyl Fawr am nawr!” – Bye for now.

Aaron & Trudi Petersen