is an artisan specializing in the hand-wrought manufacture of metal objects, such as wrought iron
gates, grills and railings, light fixtures and furniture
, even sculpture
, cooking utensils and tools. Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of metal (usually steel
) with a forge
until the metal becomes malleable enough to be shaped to a desired outcome, via repeated manipulation with a hammer
or other tooling against an anvil
. Heating is accomplished by the use of propane
, natural gas
Blacksmiths work with 'black' metals, especially iron (see wrought iron), while whitesmiths work with 'white' metals (such as tin).
Mass production techniques have reduced the marketplace for blacksmiths' work. The great demand for custom metalwork has given rise to a new breed of smiths commonly known as Artist-Blacksmiths.
One very famous blacksmith was Hephaestus (Latin: Vulcan). He was the blacksmith of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology and constructed all of their weapons and, especially, the lightning bolts that Zeus (Latin: Jupiter) threw at the Earth.