"I was the president of a heritage society, and we had a three car, four car garage shed on the property, and one of the guys said, 'Can I store an anvil and forge in there?" I said, 'Sure, Bob, put 'em in there.' Well, overnight, we had four forges and eight anvils and all the stuff that went with it. I said, 'Let's fire it up for the fall event!' He says, 'You better talk to the park district.' I said, 'You tell the park district you have a three thousand degree open flame fire in their lousy little wood building and the answer's gonna be *no*' So I said, 'Let's ask for forgiveness.' So we started it; every kid from 10 to 16 wanted a piece of the action. We made it so they could hammer with it and they'd walk out with a hook they made at the end of a struggle. And they were delighted with it."
"So where are you doing this now?"
"We're doing it in Historic Bethlehem, 1750's Smithy Shoppe. We introduce you to hot metal, how to move it, what you can do with it in a three hour class. I usually start them with the small hooks, it gives you several elements of design: it's the scroll, it's the bottom of the hook, the twist, and then the flame at the top and punching holes. So there's about four or five elements involved in making that process come together. For a novice that's an hours worth of work. For myself, about ten minutes. Maybe. If you got young men you can go on and do what I call a cheese knife--what they call a shiv (laughs)--depends on your class."
For more information, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://historicbethlehem.org/programs/blacksmithing-101/