Lorelei Sims is an artist blacksmith who opened her own studio, Five Points Blacksmith Shop, in 1993. She incorporates traditional blacksmithing techniques with the use of modern equipment. Her commissions are quite varied, with a major portion of these directed toward a functional use in the home and garden. With recent public art commissions dedicated to indigenous plants of the Midwest, Lorelei has had the opportunity to continue her research and development of forging and fabricating botanical forms in iron.
The Backyard Blacksmith shows you how -- with some patience and a working knowledge of metals, basic tools, and techniques -- blacksmithing can be easy to learn, and a rewarding hobby. Through instructions and illustrations, readers will learn to make simple tools and useful items, such as nails, hinges, and handles, and also an interesting mix of artful projects, such letter openers, door knockers and botanical ornaments. Written by an expert in blacksmith and metal artist, this book provides readers with a basic understanding of blacksmithing, including an explanation of tools like an anvil, an anvil stand, hammers, and tongs. Heating techniques like coal forging and fire tending are explained in detail, along with different types of metal like wrought iron, cast iron, and steel. The Backyard Blacksmith walks readers through step-by-step, illustrated projects including hooks, door and gate pulls, wall-mounted hooks, knockers, racks, and more. These expert blacksmithing lessons come to life with full-color photography to illustrate the steps and provide a better understanding of the text. With this book, beginning blacksmiths can learn to turn metal from its raw shape into something useful and beautiful to behold.