A valuable trade in the ancient time period have become a distinguished college major offered at various colleges and universities. Blacksmithing was an important profession in the medieval and colonial times. The term blacksmithing comes from the black layer of oxides which forms on the surface of the metal while a blacksmith is forging the tools and ‘smith’ is derived from the word ‘smite’ i.e. to hit. But the job of a blacksmith was replaced with the entry of modern welding machineries and tools.
For the most part, blacksmithing is considered as an art form today that is used in jewelry designing, sculpturing, etc. Even the booming industry of online games is using the blacksmithing skills as a player role. Consider World of Warcraft (WoW), one of the most popular online role-playing games released by the Blizzard entertainment. In this online game, blacksmithing is one of the 11 basic professions which can be chosen by a player.
Most of us are in the impression that blacksmiths manufacture the horse shoes and weld parts. But in reality, they are just one type of blacksmiths who are called farriers. There are six main types of blacksmith specialties, metal artists, architectural, historical, weapon and industrial smiths and farriers. Metal artist make art forms out of metals. Architectural blacksmiths make fences, gates, window bars and other architectural iron items using traditional techniques. A historical blacksmith specializes in a particular historical period and makes objects of steel and iron used significantly in that particular era. Objects may be decorative pieces also.
Industrial blacksmiths are involved in making industrial parts. Though this role has completely been taken over by the machines, there are still some blacksmiths who re-forge jackhammer bits and other construction tools, as well as forging a variety of tools such as crankshafts and drill steel for mining industry. A farrier is a type of blacksmith who makes horse shoes. As a part of the equestrian culture, he may have deep knowledge about horses in addition to the blacksmithing art.
Blacksmiths have contributed much in developing new metal models and structures designed by the professionals. So if you are interested in a profession that offers an aesthetic sense and income generating job space, then blacksmithing will be a right option.