I sought out the smith who worked for the Historic Northampton Museum in Massachusetts. Several days a week for the summer, I spent hours in his workshop learning the essential skills of the craft. I came out with a better intuition for the plastic manipulation of materials, the ability to forge weld steel in a coal-fed fire, and the fundamentals of tool design and manufacturing.
Some of the fruits of my labor that summer are pictured here.
My blacksmithing has continued afterwards, including some pieces pictured below.