Young Blacksmith Inspired by Ship Visit

Mia Calusic, Staff Writer

While visiting the 19th century Balclutha sailing ship docked in San Fransisco with his father and brother, Thomas Haskins was intrigued by the century-old technology on display. “On the ship there was a blacksmith and a general cross smith. I got into a conversation with him and got engaged and I was very interested by what he was telling me,” Haskins said.

Soon after, Haskins began assembling his own blacksmith equipment, including an anvil which he found for sale on Amazon. It was a small 55 pound cast iron anvil. According to Haskins, it was “very nice” when he first got it, though it is now beaten up from use.

Haskins has taught himself most of the blacksmith trade. He took a few classes at a school in Oakland, but most of his knowledge has come from books and watching YouTube videos.

In the last year, Haskins has spent about $1000 on his hobby.

Haskins conducts much of his work in an old garden shed at his father’s house. Once a month he lights up his forge and shapes metal. His favorite projects are knives and ornaments.

He crafted a bracelet by twisting metal in an intricate pattern. Before he begins the shaping process, he draws it out with pencil and paper.

According to Haskins, being able to “creating something” tangible is what he finds most gratifying about the work.