Blacksmiths forge at library

Sparks flew and metal rang out as medieval enthusiasts gathered at the library for the opportunity to participate in an interactive medieval blacksmithing demonstration. The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a medieval and renaissance group, hosted the two-hour blacksmithing class in the parking lot of the Copperas Cove Public Library. The class began at 8 p.m. and was free and open to anyone who wanted to experience blacksmithing. Participants were welcome to either watch others work or to take it a step further and actually forge their own creations. A blacksmith is someone who creates metal works by forging metal using tools to bend, hammer, cut, or shape metal into a desired form. Forged objects range from practical items to decorative items. Wednesday’s class kept things relatively simple and focused on crafting a medieval brooch, or cloak pin. “It’s simple, but it still combines a lot of basic techniques like twisting, drawing a point out, learning temperature control, and also being able to watch the fire and make sure you don’t melt everything,” said Anthony Schienschang (known in the SCA as Lord Cataldo), who hosted the blacksmithing class. “It’s a lot of fun, and pretty safe— generally speaking as long as you pay attention.” Excited participants gleefully donned the protective gloves and goggles and chose bits of metal that would hopefully become a brooch. After, they took turns sharing materials as they did their best to hammer their metal into the desired form. It wasn’t easy, many dropped their metal on the ground from time to time and another lost his to the fire, but by the end of the event several had successfully created their very own cloak pins to be proud of. Besides the brooches, participants were able to work on other projects should they so desire. Other projects included work on a grinding stone, a blade, and a skinner. Schienschang, who headed the class, said that he has been working with metal for five years and blacksmithing for three years. He said that blacksmithing is very good for art therapy and great for stress relief. “It’s fun!” said Schienschang. “Working with metal is one of the few skills where hitting it harder really does fix the problem!” Schienschang added that although it isn’ta skill that many people have, it’s a very good skill to have. “I always wanted to learn blacksmithing and see what it’s like,” said Samantha Gardner who recently joined the SCA. “It’s a lot of fun…They actually teach you a lot of really cool things.” “I just came because the class seemed like it would be cool,” said Victor Rodriguez as he worked on hammering out his metal. “With stuff like this, I’ll be sure to check [the group] out.” Nathan Hickson (known in the SCA as Seamus) was the first to finish forging his medieval brooch, and proudly showed it off to the other participants. After, he grabbed another piece of metal to build a second brooch. Hickson said that he was having a blast. “I was at the blacksmithing event last year. That’s kinda what brought me into the SCA,” said Hickson. “[Being in the SCA]’s the most fun you’ll ever have learning history.” The SCA is a family-friendly, international non-profit educational organization dedicated to the recreation of the arts, crafts, and experiences of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Members are given the freedom to focus their attention on whatever aspect of that time period interests them the most. Some of the SCA activities include blacksmithing, brewing, archery, costuming, cooking, and armored combat. Anyone interested in learning more about the SCA is welcome to attend one of the SCA’s future meetings. The group meets in Harker Heights every Thursday for socializing and fighting practice. They also meet at the library every third Wednesday of the month to host a medieval themed class from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. For more information about the SCA visit and for information about their Central Texas branch, visit

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