Blacksmiths Journal's Techniques, Volume One

produced by Jerry Hoffman
Blacksmith's Journal
P.O. Box 1699
Washington, Missouri 63090 USA
573-237-8882 or 800-944-6134
Video, 50 minutes in length, $40.00
Reviewed by Emil Carré, CJF

This review was published in the November, 1996 issue of ANVIL Magazine

This is an interesting tape. Jerry Hoffmann, publisher of The Blacksmith's Journal, takes us a step further into the world of modern communication. He introduces us to five projects from the Journal, a monthly publication on smithing, and walks us through them in an easy and understandable way. Through the use of animated illustration and live action, we get to watch some basic blacksmithing skills demonstrated.

I was particularly impressed by the clarity of the picture in this tape. The filming was well done, with clear close-up shots as he progressed through each step of his demonstrations. The tape has a bit of a cookbook quality to it, though that makes it a little dry. It is strictly a how-to tape, and does not give us much of a look at Jerry himself. As I watched him work, I was left feeling I wanted to know a little more about him.

This is a tape for someone who is already set up and well versed in the art of blacksmithing. While the projects are basic in nature, it assumes you already have a well-equipped shop and the basic skills of hammer control, drawing, turning and upsetting learned. Therefore, I don't recommend it as an introduction to blacksmithing, if that is what you are looking for. If you have been working at smithing for awhile and want to develop your skills, this looks like it is going to be an excellent series of tapes. I like the idea!

This set of tapes deserves a place on the shelf next to your Otto Schmirler books. They have the same quality and clarity as your better blacksmithing books. I have to rate this a full four shoes! UUUU

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