Blacksmithing is the art of shaping heated iron and steel with hand hammers and anvil or powerful forging machines.
"Black" comes from the colour of the metal after being heated and cooled. "Smith" comes from the word, "smite" or "to strike". Therefore the blacksmith is one who strikes black metal. Blacksmithing dates from the earliest iron age, which started about 1500 BC in central Asia. Many of the tools and techniques date from earlier times.
Blacksmiths are often confused with Farriers.
But Farriery is defined in the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 as :- ‘any work in connection with the preparation or treatment of the foot of a horse for the immediate reception of a shoe thereon, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot or the finishing off of such work to the foot'.
A farrier is a skilled craftsperson with a sound knowledge of both theory and practice of the craft, capable of shoeing all types of feet, whether normal or defective, of making shoes to suit all types of work and working conditions, and of devising corrective measures to compensate for faulty limb action.