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Winter Solstice Smelt

Andrew W

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To usher in the new solar year and drive away the Winterdark, I smelted some iron today.







My ore was 55lb (25kg) of “Spanish red” (ground hematite rocks, from a pottery studio). I mixed this with 7lb of sand (for better slag) and 7lb of whole wheat flour (to bind it all together, and maybe to add a bit of P to the metal too? I’m not sure if that worked yet).




We burned 96lb (44kg) of Royal Oak charcoal.




And we got a 13lb (6kg) bloom!










Each of us added special offerings to the fire half way through the smelt—things we want to have in the new year. If our luck is good, the ashes of our offerings will be mixed into the iron and we’ll have a fortunate new year; if our luck’s poor, our wishes washed away in the slag. Time will tell which it is.






This is the second smelt I've done in this furnace, and it survived for a third run next month.

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Extremely awesome (and if I say a wee bit jealous- my HOA would have me on a stick for trying this out!)


Bravo Indeed- and may your hopes come true- make a door sash touchstone with a wee bit and  keep the vibes alive in the new year! (Like a Jewish Mezuzah if you have no idea what I speak of)

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