RED HOT IRON WORKS    The Forging of a Cross

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Earth, wind, fire, and water plus a little magic is what it takes to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind item. Using both traditional and modern blacksmithing techniques, a piece of iron is split, heated and shaped. The blacksmith performs his magic and turns a rusty piece of iron into a beautiful rugged cross, each one unique.
1. The "Before": A single bar of iron is slit and cut as shown.Forging step 1Forging step 22. Looking somewhat like a clothespin, the iron is heated in the forge.
3. The red hot iron
yields to the blacksmith’s wishes as the cross
begins to “unfold.”
Forging step 3Forging step 44. The arms of the cross are opened gradually, one direction then the other.
5. Finally the arms are flattened and shaped, textured or polished.Forging step 5

6. The "After": A cross with the distinctive diamond star that only a blacksmith can create.

Photos 1-5 Copyright Glenn Conner - Used by permission

Except for Railroad Spike Crosses, any cross can be forged in size from approximately 1 inch to over 3 feet tall. The main distinction is texture and width of the stock from which they are created. A cross made from 1/2" square stock will have the body width of 1/2"; 3/4'' stock would produce a cross with 3/4'' wide vertical and horizontal elements.

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