Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making a Horseshoe Nail Pendant- Harrison

In 2007, we were the featured artists at the Tallahatchie Riverfest, and they asked us to demonstrate as well as display our art work. Now it can be done, but blacksmithing equipment is not the most portable for such work.
As I was pondering what would be of interest to the viewers, and do-able with some of my lighter equipment, my copy of "The Upset", the publication of the Mississippi Forge Council, arrived. The editor, Jim Pigott, had included a sketch of a "horseshoe nail" pendant that was from a California group of blacksmiths (
The sketch was an attractive piece of jewelry and there were no details on how it was fabricated.
The following is how I made it, and the tools I used. There are other ways and other tools to make the same product. This was something I could make with my smallest anvil, one hammer, small chain tongs, and some scrolling pliers, an an acetylene torch for a heat source.

This is the sequence.

Elongate the nail to a toothpick size length, and fold it back with a nick on the edge of the anvil.

Peen the fold over to a sharp point.

Grasp this point with round nose pliers. (These are some pliers that I modified to reach into forged flower blossoms to turn the edges.)

The curved heart lobes are completed around the scroll plier tips. The tip of the nail is heated and curled with a small jeweler's scroll pliers.

My finish consisted of light wire brushing and an aerosol spray sealer (Krylon satin.)
The small size made it difficult to do in one heat, but you will improve when you make one about every 10 minutes for about eight hours!