Finally!!!! After over 15 years!! I, Christina Serra, have begun to work the metal! I always thought the set-up had to be more than what we had, that I had to find an anvil/rail to even start, to build a mini forge for coal or propane---etcetc...but we had everything we need to start simply right in our back yard! My 'better half' decided that his contribution to gifts this year should, on a whim, involve metal (details AFTER Christmas, just in-case!). I have a suspicion that a large part was because he's known the fire I have for iron-working for years, and he knew it would please me if we made a project together. SO, to make the 'mini forge', he filled with charcoal (the kind you put in your grill) a charcoal starter (the cylindrical thing you put newspaper and charcoal in to get the charcoal started before you put it in the grill). He did buy metal rod today for the project- this we did not have. We have an amazingly useful heavy steel worktable in our backyard which works for now in leiu of an anvil, and we also have a small sledge hammer whos head creeps off the handle...occasionally, but works ok for now. I filled one of the buckets on the yard with water (for drenching), we put on leather gloves, and stuck the metal in the coals. It (surprisingly to me!) turned red-hot, and we took turns beating the rod into a shape. Oh my goodness! WHat fun! In my own back yard! WHat shall I do now, that I have opened this Pandora's box!?! ( I guess, technically HE did....since he started it) Now, metal bits do not look the same; I am already thinking on how to easily change our heating arrangement to be more efficient (without buying or seeking anything-yet), thinking of how to incorporate this new excitement into my needle feltings presentation.....oh, 2012, here I come!! Winter- time to make new.