From the moment blacksmiths divined a method of forging iron to make stronger weapons and tools, the chosen few who could wield this skill became critical members of the community. Everyone from farmers to carpenters to soldiers relied on their village blacksmith for the tools they needed for daily life. When the industrial revolution came along, tools, hardware, and other staples of the blacksmithing craft could be built en masse in factories. Eventually, the need for the village blacksmith largely disappeared. As the trade faded, so did the importance of the local blacksmiths who were forced to abandon it.
Thankfully, blacksmithing is seeing a resurgence. But what about the role blacksmiths once played as community builders -- both through their physical products and the resilience that comes from local production? We at Wicks Forge have been thinking a lot about how we can have a positive impact on both our environment and our community-- similarly to those who founded this trade.
Keep reading to learn about the history of blacksmiths, the impact they had, and how Wicks Forge is trying to continue that legacy through our work.