My idea for the product was to to learn blacksmithing, to design a functioning forge that was capable of heating metal at a high enough temperature, and to create an artistic sculpture of a hand which would be donated to the SLA Library in honor of the merging with Ben Franklin High School. The months of work time I had were actually spent designing, realizing, testing and operating a functioning forge capable of heating metal at a high temperature. I began researching how current blacksmiths do their work, and later transitioned to learning about how to get started with creating a workshop at home. I built a forge using refractory brick, arranged forced ventilation system, testing different materials, and different temperatures of operation. I acquired and learned how to use the basic tools a blacksmith works with. I learned about different types of metal and forges, tools, heating techniques, hot metal handling and safety. I am continuing to learn so much, not just about metalworking, but also with project management, design, and history. I believe that this is something I will continue beyond high school as it is evident from having done this project that many of the skills learned here can be applied to other aspects of life. While I will probably not able to complete the sculpture in time with the material I’ve selected, I realized that the process can be a lifelong journey and it is something that I could continue until the day I die.
click HERE to view my annotated bibliography.