Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello 2010!

Happy New Year, I hope everybody's year was much better then mine. And here is to a wonderful new year to start. Please be nice to me 2010. I'm cute.

I thought 2009 ended just right for me, with someone one hacking into my photo webiste, Classic stuff for 2009, just about sums it up. Luckily my provided was ontop of things and noticed the hacked and took down whatever was put up. Who knows why someone would want to do that, but there are all kinds of people doing many different things in the world with their time.

Oh well, let's leave all of the bad in 2009 and bring in the good with 2010.

13th shoe of December

Here is a lighter horseshoe, the Forged Half Round Shoe. It enables to the hoof to be picked up quicker.

12th shoe of December

The good ole forged Hackney pony shoe. The bar causes the horse to pickup its hooves quickly.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

11th shoe of December

Number 11 here is a forged slider plate horseshoe. The shoe is designed to enable the rear hooves to do a quick sliding stop.

10th shoe of December

Aahh, the training plate shoe. Not the same as training wheels on a bicycle, but it is small and lite.

Monday, December 28, 2009

9th shoe of December

This shoe is a little different, because it is actually for a mule. The bends at the heel and toe of the shoe give traction.

8th shoe of December

This is a forged hunter-jumper horseshoe. The attachment at the end of the shoe, called a Sticker, is used to give traction after jumping.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

7th shoe of December

This is a KEG shoe, a manufactured shoe, with some borium added on the ends. The borium has carbide bits which help with traction and wear.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays to everyone out there in Blogland

Happy Holidays everybody!
I hope yours is filled with joy and happiness.

6th Shoe of December

Last time I talked about how the greedy people should hang their horseshoe. Today, it being Christmas and all, I will talk about how generous people should hand their horseshoe. The generous person will hang the horseshoe above a doorway with the opening pointing down. This way anyone walking through the doorway will have luck rained down upon them.

Today's horseshoe is the spare tire. An adjustable hinged shoe slapped together with spare metal, used for emergencies only.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

5th shoe of December

The horse shoe for today is pretty weird looking. But before we get to that, I am going to talk about how to hang your horse shoe for good luck. While working with Mike Carson in the blacksmith booth at many a fair we would get this question very often. What it comes down to is if you are Greedy or Generous.

Since today is Christmas eve I will talk about the greedy option. If you are feeling greedy and want to horde your luck, you would mount your horseshoe above a doorway with the opening pointing up "U". This way all of your luck is contained for you in the horseshoe.

Tomorrow I will talk about how to mount the horseshoe for all you generous people out there.

Now back to the shoe of the day, this is a horseshoe for a Stifled horse. This shoe will help in preventing the horse's leg from locking up.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

4th shoe of December

Our fourth horseshoe is a hand forged Whip across bar shoe with a trailer. The trailer part helps to straighten hoof flight on a horse.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

3rd shoe of December

Here is a patten shoe. It is used to raise the heel to ease pressure on the flexor tendons.
No relation to the high healed horseshoe (the HHHS).

2nd Shoe of December

Here is a draft horse handmade shoe. These will be one of the biggest horse shoes out there spanning about 9" - 12".
And here is a "keg" draft horseshoe. Keg shoes are factory made.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Horseshoe a Day in December

Boy, have a been slacking here in December on my blog. I have just been busy dealing with life and the holidays, as I am sure everyone else is doing.

Well to start off December I will be posting some horseshoe photos.

Here is the first, a hand forged shoe for Tennessee Walker.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Something to brighten the day with

Just because it is wet, dark and cold out today here in Seattle, WA I am going to post some photos to brighten the day with. Here are a few of my butterfly photographs I have taken over the years. Dry, warm and sunny.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Blacksmith example board part three

The horseshoe. What first comes into the mind of people when you say Blacksmith. It is one of the top questions we get at the blacksmith booth, "Do you make horseshoes?" or "Do you shoe horses?". Where upon I answer yes, shoo shoo, begone you horses. Yes coal smoke does give you bad humor.

This board shoes the steps to make you basic horseshoe. You start with a piece of flat stock, 3/4"x1/4" or 1"x1/4". Approximately 3/4" of both ends are hammered to a 90 degree angle. Then one side is bent into an arc and then the other side to match. A groove or can be chiseled in to help with the placement of the nail holes which are punched threw the horseshoe.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Blacksmith example board part two

This board shows the process to make a tomahawk. First you start with a flat piece of mild steel or wrought iron. Chisel out the pattern you wish it to have if any. Wedge up the ends and fold in half. Slip a piece of high carbon steel into the end (shown here is a piece from an old horse rasp). You then forge weld the two pieces of steel together (this is done by heating the steel up to its melting point, somewhere between 2400-2800 degrees Fahrenheit depending on carbon content, so the surfaces become molten, where upon you bring out of the fire and hammer them not to soft and not to hard but just right. This lets the molten surfaces mix together and form into one piece.) You then do final hammering to shape, anneal the whole piece, harden and finally temper the edge.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Blacksmith example board part one

While visiting my Blacksmith friend, Mike Carson, in California I documented some of his example boards. These boards show the steps in creating some of the basic forged works we would create. The one pictured in this post shows three different items, a leaf, a wizard head and a horse head. These designs can then be used for key fobs, bottle openers, grill work, ends for bbq and/or fireplace sets, etc.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Burning Pumpkins Halloween to you all

Happy Halloween everybody. To celebrate here are some photos from the recent Jack-o-Lantern burning at the Hoes down festival in Capay Valley, CA.

I have been helping my friend Mike Carson, do the Hoe's Down festival at Full Belly Farms for a while now. And if I am able to visit California in the fall I always try to make this fair, it is that fun and comes HIGHLY recommended from me.

Well one year after a lone day at the forge (this is the time where you get a little loopy) we carved up some pumpkins. Of course one thing lead to another and it ended up on the forge to see how it would burn. Once we figured out you needed to cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, flaming Jack-o-lanterns were born (eat you heart out Green Goblin).

We get a big turn out for this nightly display all from word of mouth, because it is not in the fair's program. Here are a few photos from this years Hoe's down festival. This years pumpkin burning comes with a small twist, a cheesy one. Cartman from South Park would love this, Cheesy poofs burn and burn easily. In most of these photos you will notice one Jack-o-lantern on the forge and the other with flames coming out of it. The flame source for that other jack-O-lantern is cheesy poofs. So if you find yourself without any candles at home or at the store just get some cheesy poofs, fill you Jack-o-lantern up with them and toss one lite match in, instant flame.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wild Northern California

I was down at the Mother in Law's place during the last bit of September, 2009 to help replace some windows. My Mother in Law lives out in the country of Penn Valley, CA. Which is in northern California near Nevada City.

Being out in the country she see a large amount and variety of wildlife go through her property. What from birds to turkeys, rascillay rabbits to raccoons to deer to coyotes to foxes to mountain lines and even a bear. While there I was able to get some photos of the wild turkeys and deer.

Along with the wildlife you can also see some fun farm / ranching equipment around the area. I walked down the dirt road from my mother in law's place to go take some photos of this old truck with bits of old cars/trucks in its bed (see photos below). While walking I came across this old horse or ox drawn wagon under a big oak. I think the owner had it out there as a marker. One you can use while giving directions to your place. "Just drive up the dirt road for a 1/2 mile take the right fork and go up the driveway that has the old horse drawn wagon by it". Or at least that is what I think.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Idaho Statesman photo contest

Well the annual Idaho Statesman "Idaho Outdoors" Photography contest has been published. And of course my dad won the grand prize again, for the third time. He seems to be lucky on these odd years. Here is a link to the webpage.

My Uncle, Walter Kaiser, received two honorable mentions, his girlfriend Jennifer Rogers received an honorable mention and I received two honorable mentions (#'s 48 and 52). One of these years one of us will beat out my dad for the grand prize.

Here are the two photos that received the honorable mentions in the contest. One is from my photographs of the Bear that was cruising around the Easley Gulch and Baker/Newman Creek cabins this year. I captured this image while at my Uncle's cabin near Newman Creek in the Sawtooth National Forest of Idaho.

The butterfly photo is from 2008 and is a picture of a mountain blue. I took a lot of photos in this spot because the area was just infested with insects alighting themselves on the plant. The photo was taken just up the Easley Gulch road near our family cabin in Idaho.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Jamie Kirkpatrick's Kobo show

My ceramic artist friend Jamie Kirkpatrick just had a show at Kobo in the international district of Seattle, WA. Here is the shops website. I got a few photos from his opening a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately he had to take his show down this past Saturday. Because he is moving to Colorado. So all you people around the Denver/Boulder Colorado area be prepared for some awesome ceramics coming your way. And if you are lucky you might even get him to teach some classes out there too.

Anyways, the first photo is of Jamie (on the left) and Matt Allison (on the right). Matt is also a very talented ceramic artist, highly recommended. The second photo shows Jamie, Matt and Larry Naylor (another ceramic artist on the far right). All three of these guys have been a resident of pottery northwest here in Seattle. Larry is still in his residency there.

The rest of the photos show Jamie's pottery. Most of this actually came from a recent wood firing on Whidbey Island in Al Tenant's Kiln. He got some great pieces out of this firing.

So go on down and check out Kobo, which in itself is an excellent store. I believe Jamie still has some of his pottery there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun while BBQ'in

The other day while BBQ'ing I noticed how nice the light was falling on a piece of garden art. This Bacchus head has aged mightily since my wife bought it way back when we used to live in Sonoma (or even back in San Rafael). That is about 9-10+ years. This head has gone from California to Georgia and now to Seattle, WA. Some good traveling.

What with the good amount of detail brought on by the aging process and the great light I had to run in grab the camera and take a few photos. I think this one is the best.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The first fire

We had our first fire in our new apartment over Labor day weekend. Fireplace fire that is. That's right, our apartment has a fireplace. Which is going to make for a much easier winter to deal with in Seattle. It is amazing how much a fire can make you feel comfortable and relaxed. The last time we were able to do this was in our home back in Athens, GA.

Of course I got the camera out and had to take a couple of photos. I find it interesting what fire can do to me. It has this hypnotizing effect while at the same time it is able to instill a sense of respect/danger at the same time. Maybe that is why I have gone into crafts that rely on fire. Blacksmithing and Ceramics being the two crafts.

Enjoy the fire, because I know I will be enjoying them over this winter.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Having fun with depth of field

I have been playing with taking photos with a very shallow depth of field the past two days. It has be very fun and has given me a jolt to go out and photograph. Here are a few from my walk to the library yesterday and my walk today down to the docks at Fisherman's Terminal.