Art of the Bamana Blacksmith
by Patrick McNaughton
Learning the techniques of ironworking come after training in wood. Ironwork is considerably harder. It takes more strength, but also a tremendous amount of exacting control. Smiths typically use a personal collection of hammers that range in size from very large two-handed affairs, to very small and delicate ones. Exact placement and pressure with the bellows of these hammers is critical, and the skills involved can take years to master.