'The Art of Iron'
It all starts with a single piece of iron. It is usually a bar with a round, square or rectangular cross-section, which is hot-forged on an anvil and worked under a hammer by smiths until the desired form is obtained. Working in forged iron, we can create various shapes, such as leaves or branches of different flowers... The purpose of “metal forming” – as a modern technologist would describe the work of a blacksmith – is to obtain the final product only by properly compressing, stretching or threading the material. Iron - like cold porcelain clay - is hard and brittle. It only softens when it’s heated, although, of course, its temperature has to be incomparably higher. The Polish expression “forge iron when it is hot”, which means “to seize the opportunity when it presents itself”, is quite true, although the term “hot” itself tells us little about the actual forging temperature of iron.