A couple of years ago my parents and brother, along with some other wonderful folks, started a 4-H Blacksmithing project in their county. Having 7 kids, my parents had children in 4-H for 23 years from 1986 to 2009! (Yes, they are crazy..I know!) And they haven't stopped just because we are all out of the house. Instead they keep working with the youth in their community by helping to offer such a wonderful opportunity.
This is, I believe, only the second 4-H Blacksmithing project in the state of Indiana. The 4-H leaders raised money, built forges, made tools, tore down barns to build the blacksmith building and hold meetings once a month for 4-H members....and so much more!
Yap and Papa
Even though Yip and Yap are too young for their first year of 4-H, Mom and Dad opened up the blacksmith shop over Mother's Day weekend and let us take a "whack" at it! Dad started them on a beginner project making an S hook.
Yip and Papa
Even DR and Papa! Dad makes it look so easy but he is a great teacher.
Here's Mom a' pounding! That's my little brother in the background.
Even though Mom is technically a Blacksmith 4-H Leader, she had never done any blacksmithing. She always has taken care of the 4-H kid's paperwork and keeping everyone in line! (ha, ha). So she and I both made an S hook for the first time too.
Yahoo and my sister-in-law just chilling out!
And the result from all our hard work. A bunch of S hooks that are already attached all over Yip and Yap's bunkbead. It kind of looks like a jungle with all the stuff they have hanging from them!
I could see myself getting hooked on blacksmithing really easily! It was so much fun and there are so many things I'd like to make. Trivets, wineracks, candleholders......ah, I wish I was in 4-H again!!
I'm not sure what Kansas 4-H projects are like but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm calling up Mom and Dad someday for advice on how to get a blacksmith project started. Yip and Yap didn't want to stop. They worked for hours and would have worked much longer had we let them! If this is what my kids want to learn then I'm all for it!!