I love fire. I love hammering. I love the changes that both impart to metal and the finished projects I create.
I always say that I must have been a smithy in another life because forging feels so natural to me, and I instinctively know how to use the tools required to get the results I’m after. It’s not difficult to set up a portable forging centre at home. I have a Craftmate workbench, and my rolling mill, vice and big anvil are attached with bolts to it.
This is somewhat portable (it gets a lot heavier with an anvil and rolling mill) and very compact. At my old house I kept it behind a rice paper room screen. Here, it’s in the basement.
To create a fire area, recycle an old baking tray and silpat. Put your fire brick/solder block or annealing pan on it and you’re ready to solder or foldform anywhere. You can place your quenching bowl and tools around it. This set up is very portable too. I do a lot of my forging and enamelling on the back deck in nice weather. Here I’m working at my dining room table.