Gauge Check: Where I've Been

Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge

I spent tonight at a gallery show opening at ADX in Portland. The artwork was great, but what I went for was the blacksmithing demo.

There wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before in his technique, but it was nice to watch him work and remind myself that yes, I could do that.

I know it’s been a little quiet over here the last week or so. (Though my definition of ‘a little quiet’ differs from many bloggers… oh no, only three posts this week!) There are a couple reasons for that.

First of all, work is hitting my perfectionist/”bad at taking criticism” OCD buttons really hard at the moment. Hard enough that I think I’m out of exposure therapy and into compulsions again- I noticed that I was refusing to walk on the red and black colored tiles in the hallway because I had decided that stepping on them brought bad news. I’ve been focusing on stepping on the black squares the last few days. Next week I’m hoping I’ll feel up to tackling the red squares, too.

The other huge pull on both my time and my writing productivity is a project called Story-a-day in May. Stories, even short ones, tend to require more of my attention than poems did last month, so a lot of days, whatever energy I have left for writing after work goes to that. It’s not that I don’t love you guys, I promise. I just love my characters more.

0 thoughts on “Gauge Check: Where I've Been

  1. I am a blacksmith myself, and you could definitely do that. I learned the art from amazing traditional teachers at my local Community College. It is a fabulous trade, and I recommend it wholeheartedly!! It is soothing and very zen…..

    1. It’s been about a year since I was able to get into a forge, and I’m just missing it a lot more than I expected, I think.

      1. Understood! I have all of my equipment, but no place to put it since we moved. I am desperate to set up “shop,” if you will.

        What sort of blacksmithing do you do? I practice traditional joinery, using coal and gas forges, as needed, and I mostly make furniture……

        1. I mostly worked with gas forges, though I’ve used coal as well. I haven’t done it long enough to have a lot of equipment – I have hammers and tongs and the like but I don’t have forge or anything of my own.

          1. There is a schematic you can easily find online that shows one how to build a forge using a brake drum, which can be had rather inexpensively at a junkyard…. Might be an idea you would want to explore……

          2. I’m planning to eventually, but apartment living is not very conducive to setting up workspace. 😉

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