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When a hammer is more than a tool

Like Thor’s Mjölnir (or Jane Foster’s, if you are staying current with superhero cinematic happenings), a hammer is rife with symbolism representing power, self-reliance, and honor. It’s also a tool whose origins date all the way back to the Stone Age.

For Eve Schauer, the Summer ’22 blacksmithing resident intern in the Metals Studios, the hammer captures a moment in her metalsmithing journey, one that delivered learning, working with a team on large projects, a connection to the metals community, plenty of camaraderie, and the opportunity to explore and expand her limits.

A blacksmith’s hammer is often an extension of themselves, and nothing makes you respect a tool more than making it yourself. It is understandable that Eve would want to create her own. The Metal Museum offers a hammer-making class, and Eve was able to seize the opportunity and take part in the class.

Eve has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and design, is a part-time staff

member at Stonybrook Metal Arts and Sculpture School (Boston, MA) and is currently

interning at Sculpture Trails Outdoor Sculpture Museum (Soldberry, IN). Eve has learned

iron casting and other forms of metalworking. At the full-time resident internship, Eve took her practice to new levels, which included creating a weathervane out of copper sheet and forging her first hammer out of tool steel then “hardening” the steel so it would be hard enough to use on steel and an anvil and not crack or break.

Which brings us to that object. As every good blacksmith knows, the hammer is an essential tool and probably the most used one in their toolkit. Simple in its appearance, a forging hammer can be fashioned for an individual’s preference in shape, size, weight, and balance.

Forged correctly, a hammer will last for an un-nameable amount of years. Made with the durability to withstand heavy and repetitive blows and repeated ones at that, a forging hammer is a go-to tool to shape hot metal.

Eve crafted her hammer to fit her frame – nothing too cumbersome, heavy, or

awkward. The result is a sturdy, well-made, custom tool. Jane Foster would be lucky to wield a hammer forged by our talented intern, Eve.

Sign up for the next hammer-making class in Spring 2023. Only six spots available.

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Loved this blog! It showed very well how a hammer can be used for multiple purposes in Handcrafted Metalworks.


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