Book Review: “The Blacksmith’s Project Book” By Antonello Rizzo
The book is hard bound, a nice size and has a good feel to it. The book covers 20 projects and each project includes a nice layout of photographs. The photos are taken at the smith's shop and the background is interesting as you move from shop to shop. Each chapter has a quick but fairly complete overview of how the project was made. There is a clear order of operations and photographs of the tooling. I think this book would be helpful for any blacksmith trying to broaden their ideas and technique.
Most of the projects in the book are of figurative sculpture. Beginning with Zeevik Gottlieb’s wonderful rendition of a human form and moving to Fratisek Kalab, Standa Prikryl, and Jiri Bata’s whimsical live harp. Flowers, birds and horses are all covered. The projects range from intermediate to advanced. When the book deviates from figurative sculpture it does so in an interesting way covering a range of projects from a bill hook by Roberto Magni to Damascening (Antonio Stabile), Mokume ( Niko Giordani) and Patina Technique (Rene Soller). I particularly enjoyed the essay on Restoration by Alessandro Ervas at the end of the book. He does a beautiful job explaining wrought iron and expresses the need for the respect and care of all historical ironwork.
I was sorry to see that there were no women featured or even involved as assistants in this book of Masters. I see this as an oversight as I am sure that considering the broad range of techniques represented in the book a female Master could have been found.