All part of a day’s work at Robert Thomas’ workshop to forge iron gates, decorative pieces, and even cookware. The forging process creates a more durable, stronger end product com pared to casting or cutting as the arrangement of molecules in metal, or grains, become compressed.  “Which gives it strength. If you cut the steel if you were machining it away or grinding it away, you break the grain and create a fracture point in it.”  It takes brute force to redirect and compress those grains, but it heat helps as those grains expand move into new positions. Thomas explains, “the easiest way to forge it is to heat it up to a yellow/orange heat. Then it moves very easily, it becomes pliable. Anything clay will do, hot steel will do.” Watch part one of this series to see the different ways Thomas and his team heats up steel to nearly 2000 degrees at this forge. Once white hot, blacksmiths go to work hammering the steel. But it’s a race against time as iron cools down to a “red heat,” requiring nearly two times as much force to work with compared to yellow heat as the molecules in the bar become less malleable. Once the iron “cools” below 1500 degrees, it’s back into the fire  to make...