Less than an hour away, in Willcox, Arizona, I went for 2 days to see the World Championship Blacksmith’s in action. They had about 40 iron hammering men from all over the USA competing at horseshoe making, and horse-shoeing. They had 10 semi-portable coal (or coke) burning forges running hot and the guys got the iron cherry red and hammered and hammered. Powerful biceps muscles were the norm. Are you listening single ladies?
I might add, my husband is a Blacksmith hobbyist. I bought him 2 bags of coke ( a processed coal product, not cocaine) - how romantic, huh?
One thing about handmade iron products. They don’t break, rip, tear, spoil, or rot. If kept in damp conditions they might rust away in couple or ten generations. Who cares by then?
The champion blacksmiths were judged by a panel of 4 or 5 men, one from Europe. I watched the British blacksmith demonstrating some forging techniques. But it was a man born in Alaska and now living in California who impressed me. He had iron bent into horse heads, birds, and flowers, as well as fine utility hammers and many other ornamental and useful items. What a master craftsman!
In the end, I think it was another California guy won the competition.
Strike while the iron is hot, has a solid foundational meaning.