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Antonello Rizzo (Author)

Secrets of the Forge

Secrets of the Forge

Regular price $49.95 USD
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Artisan Ideas
9.5 X 11.5 in
224 pg

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In this fascinating and useful project book for beginning and intermediate level blacksmiths and hobbyists, twenty-four master blacksmiths share their techniques on a great variety of jobs, ranging from the basic and simple to the more complex and artistic.

This large 250-page hardcover book measures 9-½-inches x 11-¼-inches and contains 48 different blacksmithing projects. The individual steps of each job are clearly illustrated with high quality close-up color photos.

Secrets of the Forge begins with basic smithing jobs such as twisting bars and making spearhead shapes and scrolls. As you progress through the book the projects become more difficult and complex and involve forging truly artistic iron sculptures such as a duck in flight, a snail, flowers, a dragon, a nude, and more.

The book concludes with two highly specialized projects: making a Damascus steel blade, and the construction of a fully functional hand-forged lock.

There is a wealth of knowledge in this excellent book. Experienced professional smiths will get as much from it as novices. Antonello Rizzo is also the author of The Blacksmith's Project Book: Intermediate & Advanced Projects from European Masters which picks up where Secrets of the Forge leaves off.

Antonello Rizzo
Author Bio

Antonello Rizzo is an internationally known author of books on learning the hobby and craft of blacksmithing. He lives in Lecce, Italy and travels regularly to the major blacksmithing shows, conferences and exhibitions throughout Europe. Mr Rizzo does all the photography for his books, which are characterized by detailed step-by-step instructions and high-quality photos showing readers how to perform each task.

Review text - the Midwest Book Review

"There is a wealth of knowledge in this excellent book. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Secrets of the Forge" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and technical college library collections on the art and science of blacksmithing"

Review text - The Mid Atlantic Smiths Association Newsletter

“Overall, there is a progression from simpler to more advance projects. There is a nice mix of large projects and small ones.  With the step-by-step pictures you get a good view of the tooling that (the smiths) are using. Given the variety of projects presented, from fairly simple to more advanced, with good step-by-step instructions; and given the reasonable price, this is a book that I recommend to others”.

Review text - The Anvil’s Horn

“Secrets of the Forge by Antonello Rizzo has numerous interesting projects with full color photos. The photos show good detail and don’t use up space on the simpler processes. Some of the things I learned from this book include the need to use cotton gloves to handle a heat patina item before it is sealed to keep skin oils from discoloring the patina. I also found several items I want to make for myself such as the Liberty Scroll, Calla Lily, Snail, Knothole, and, well, perhaps all of them. Secrets of the Forge inspired me to try some new ideas and refined some old ones providing some additional options. Happy Forging.” 

Review text - Hot Iron News

“No book can be a substitute for an apprenticeship with a master, of course, but this book introduces you to twenty-four Italian masters whose projects will guide even the least skilled beginner to advance in the craft. The book assumes a working knowledge of the forge and basic blacksmithing tools, but not much more. The series of projects selected begins at the beginning, with the most fundamental blacksmithing techniques and procedures, and builds logically upon these skills. Simple twists, to simple scrolls, then decorative scrolls of many styles, the first section of the book alone can be the jumping off point for multitudes of projects. The rest of the book introduces a wide array of approaches, procedures, and design ideas; from flora and fauna motifs to architectural elements and home décor, and finally to a more advanced sculpture project, Damascus steel making and a blacksmith’s lock. Included with each project is a description of materials used, step-by-step instructions, photographs which clearly illustrate the process, and a photo of the completed piece. Each artist demonstrates their own way of arriving at the intended goal, some meticulous and detailed, some are a bit rougher but no less useful. Though the book is geared toward the novice to intermediate smith, it contains many useful practices and ideas for those more experienced. Blacksmith instructors in need of a project idea can open the pages of this book to find a treasure trove of inspiration for their beginning to intermediate blacksmith class. This book belongs in your blacksmith shop on the workbench to provide stepwise instruction, on your book shelf as an excellent reference book, next to your design table for inspiration, and on the coffee table to educate your uninitiated guests about what goes on in your blacksmith shop.”-

Review text - Forge Facts

"Secrets of the Forge is for the beginner with some experience (knows how to manage a coal fire or uses a gas forge and has learned some basic techniques). It is plum full of projects that will challenge beginning and intermediate smiths. The first project in the book is how to put a spearhead shape on a square bar. The next few projects involve different kind of bar twists. Some of the last projects in the book go through making Damascus, or pattern welded billets for blade making including axes. It uses increasingly difficult projects from simple to complicated to improve skills and techniques”