Cast vs Forged

What is the difference between cast metal and forged metal?

Probably the most misunderstood subject of metalwork. Hand-forged metalwork is worked on an anvil while the material is red hot. It is heated in a Forge in order to allow the material to achieve a “rubbery” feel to allow the blacksmith to sculpt, hammer and shape the metal into its desired shape. By continuously working the metal, the blacksmith achieves the gracefulness and intricate patterns that can only be achieved with authentic hand-forged metalwork.

Cast metalwork on the otherhand is “cast” in molds and not worked beyond the point of being poured. The great majority of cast metalwork available through most supply houses are cast in sand thus producing the unsightly grainy texture and seams associated with cast metal. Cast metal gained popularity in the 1800’s during the Industrial Revolution as a ”marvel” that attempted to “imitate” forged metalwork.

As with all crafts no machine can emulate the beauty, strength, and character that is lavished by the hand of a skilled artisan expressing with each clank of the hammer his passion for an artform that is slowly eroding into our collective memories.

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