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 1 Forging step 2 2. 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 3 Forging step 4 4. 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 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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