Forging: A Smashing Introduction
In one action-packed day, artist Keith Lo Bue will give you a good working knowledge of forging (flattening and shaping) wire. You'll learn proper technique, safety and invaluable tricks that will become a vital part of your creative expression. Come find out why so many people are falling in love with their hammers!


• 'Re-bar tie wire' <Here> (also found in most hardware stores in the construction materials section, near the cinder block and chain-link fencing. IMPORTANT: make sure it is steel or iron wire, NOT galvanized! should be dark grey-black). NOTE: You won't need to haul the whole roll, as it's quite heavy - bring 1/2 of it with you and you'll have plenty!

roll of 19 gauge 'dark annealed' steel wire: <Here>

• Memory wire shear cutter <Here> This is by FAR the easiest cutter to use with steel wire.

Pliers: Round-nose (a PERFECT one for the class can be found <here> - choose the first in the list and either the size 6 1/4" or the 7"), Flat-nose <here> - also the first tool on the page and choose the 6 1/4", and a Linesman's plier <here> or <here>. Trust me, these three pliers will be the best purchases you ever make! They are perfectly adapted for use with the steel wire we'll be using in the class (sometimes small jewelry pliers are too weak to handle the steel).

• Steel bench vise <Here> This big a vise should ONLY BE BROUGHT IF YOU'RE DRIVING to the class! Don't fly with this, it's too heavy. The bottom line is that the heavier the steel surface you're hammering on, THE EASIER IT IS TO FORGE. Short of an anvil, this will be the best surface to forge on.

• If you are flying and can't get that vise, you'll need a steel bench block. <Here> It should be noted that forging on this kind of surface is, for lack of a better way to say it... LOUD. A bag of sand or table salt that sits under it will dampen the sound a bit.

• While we're on the subject, ear plugs <Here>

Safety glasses If you wear eyeglasses, make sure to get goggles that fit over your existing frames.

16 oz. ball-pein hammer A cheap good quality one's <Here> If you've got a slightly smaller hammer, that's OK, but 8 oz. minimum. The heavier weight of 16 oz. makes forging easier on the arm!

• If you are driving to the workshop, can I ask that one more of you please bring a small creme brulée type butane torch? <Here's> what they look like. I can't put this on the supply list officially, since those flying can't bring them. As long as we have one or two in class, we'll be good to go.

• Rawhide (leather) mallet <Here>

Please email me with any questions you might have that this page didn't address.

See you there! Keith