A Smithy-Style Birthday for a Junior Blacksmith

Our oldest turned thirteen this past week! The kid kind of amazes me. His latest obsession is blacksmithing. After learning how to build a backyard mini forge, he got all the materials and we let him set it up on our property. He'd love to apprentice somewhere and learn traditional smithing so we'll have to see if the opportunity opens up somewhere for him. He spends hours a day making his own charcoal in the way back yard to use in the forge. So far, his wares are mostly arrowheads but he also made me a rustic little hook for the house! I love it. He so proudly presented it to me one day in the kitchen and promised me some more. He was in his glory when we had people over for his birthday and he could share this little passion with them. After explaining how he does it all (to a very patient audience), he then demonstrated how he forges an arrowhead. 

All of this has been at the service of his first love of traditional bowhunting. Not that he's ever actually gone hunting. But he loves it and has learned every thing he can about it nonetheless. He carved a really impressive and powerful hickory bow out of a tree literally chopped down from a friend's property. He uses the arrowheads he makes to tip his homemade arrows. Traditional bowhunting gets his preference because according to him it depends a lot more on skill than technology. I kinda love that. Someday we might actually get him that hunting license he's so desperate to have so that his skill can be put to more use!

We celebrated with a special cake as well - smithy themed, of course. Details below :)

A blacksmithy cake!

I used all natural dyes. The tools and lettering were made with white chocolate and chocolate using the same mold I've had since this kid's second birthday party and he had a toolbox cake :) To make the gray, I used a tiny bit of natural blue powder dye (made with spirulina) with one chocolate chip mixed in the batch. It turned out perfectly gray! The flames were also made with powder dyes. (These ones are my new favorite!) The anvil is an actual two pound iron jewelry anvil, ha! I had to rest it on a few dowels so it wouldn't crush the cake! The letters were an attempt at feigning ironwork...eh, it was a nice attempt.

(The cake looks a little wet because I was keeping it in the fridge so there's some condensation! Not only was it really humid but I used a dairy substitute in the frosting to accommodate a guest and I could tell from the consistency that it would melt if I left it out!)

There's always a verse for that ;)

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  1. your creativity knows no limits!

  2. Such a cool birthday cake to celebrate a kid who sounds like a REALLY COOL teenager!! I would love to hear more about how he developed an interest in blacksmithing and how he went about researching and purchasing the materials! That's incredible!

    1. The interest mainly started because he wanted to be able to make his own traditional arrows. But he's always been very interested in medieval life and history so that was a huge part of it, too. He did a lot of reading but most of the nuts and bolts he learned from YouTube! Our brother in law was able to get a 50 gallon drum from where he works and the rest was purchased either from Lowe's or Amazon. I honestly don't even know most of the details since he and my husband did all of it! I take on the role of cheerleader and documenter :)

    2. That is amazing! Seems like one of those lost art things. I really admire him taking interest and pursuing something like that and I love that you and your hubby support and encourage him. Y'all are good people! Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  3. Always, always love the ingenuity of your oldest lad. One of the homeschooling Dad's here is a welder. He picked up a huge amount of smithy gear including a forge at an auction!! Might be time for you to haunt auctions ;-)

  4. What a kid! You must be so proud. I am truly impressed. (And that cake's not too shabby either! ;))


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