Monday, May 01, 2006

black hot

The second day of this amazing weekend was spent at the Danbury Railway Museum for their Metalworking Hammer-In. The blacksmiths were already in action when we arrived, so Jesse hooked right up with one and was proclaimed an apprentice. Together, they made slow but steady progress on creating a hook. While waiting for the steel to reheat at one point, the very-enthusiastic-and-eager-to-be-helpful apprentice rushed to pick up a piece of metal that had dropped to the ground from another blacksmith's anvil. It was at this point that our aspiring blacksmith learned about "black hot." This is when steel is no longer red hot and glowing, but is still way too hot to be touched safely. As Jesse soaked his finger in the water bucket, the guys immediately pulled out their ice packs, vitamin E capsules, and favorite burn creams and all started to share their own first-burn/worst-burn stories. At first Jesse was obviously embarrassed and in some pain, but after a few minutes of good-natured support from the blacksmiths, I think he realized that he was just initiated into their club, in a way. :-)

Since the burned fingertip made it difficult to hold a hammer, we spent the rest of our time exploring the many train cars, watching the blacksmiths in action, speaking with a guy who was demonstrating pewter casting, exploring the train museum, and taking a short ride through the train yard, including getting off the train and standing on the last working train turntable in Connecticut as it turned 360 degrees.

We stopped at Brookfield Craft Center on the way home, to browse the many works of art in the store and especially to see Passing the Torch, an exhibit of lampwork art. We took a break by the Still River and then headed home, listening to a powerful book on tape and marveling at what a great weekend it was. Posted by Picasa

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