Iron Age Forging

The use of meteoric iron was known to the people of Mesopotamia around 2000B.C. and the people of the Shang Dynasty between 1700B.C.and1450B.C.,long before the iron ages which came for different regions of the earth at different times. For India 1800B.C.,Africa 1200B.C.and central Europe 800B.C. mark the beginning of the Iron Ages. Skin bellows attached to wood or clay pipes directed air into a ground level clay forge which was fired by charcoal. Meteoric iron and in some parts of the world iron sand were forged into tools and weapons.

As smelting technology became available, iron ore could be processed,  the footpath for the march into industrial societies was set.The smith was endowed with a lot of power due to his knowledge of physical-chemical forces in nature and his skill to control them. In Africa it is told that the smiths also often possessed shamanic powers.

This type of forging also greatly fosters the awareness of the other (partner) and teamwork.

We offer iron age forging courses to participants from age7 and up in outdoor adventure classes; students make small knives and amulets. For older students the making of tools and knifes is accompanied by the historical, geographic and scientific background needed to understand the larger context of metals in our society. Each time a group builds a clay forge which is then fired with charcoal. As wood is available through our forest management, we burn charcoal out of material which would otherwise have to be burnt for fire safety. Now it can become fuel for our forges.

The rhythmical activities of blowing two handed bellows, forging and transforming metal and the control of the four elements of earth, water, air and fire have many positive, lasting effects on the development of the practitioners. Here we can experience rhythmical  breathing  activity in conjunction with sequential thinking and the awakening of all our senses. This type of forging also greatly fosters the awareness of the other (partner) and teamwork.  

Classes for individuals and small groups are available here on Pine Mountain. Courses for schools and institutions are conducted in many locations upon request.