On Wednesday 26th November 2014, myself and the other students working on the project were fortunate enough to visit chain bridge forge. Although it was only for a few hours it was an incredibly worthwhile experience, as it provided each of us a unique perspective on the heritage craft of blacksmithing.
While at the forge I got the opportunity to take in the sights, sounds and even smells of a working forge. This was an incredibly valuable experience, it allow me to grasp the physical scale of the forge something that had eluded me since the project began. Although it is true I did have access to the floor plans of the forge that can only take you so far. It provided me a feel for the atmosphere of the forge giving me an indication of what the simulator should attempt to replicate and also gave me insight into the relative “tightness” of the forge (in all honest it was a lot smaller than I expected) indicating that perhaps all my previous work was a little too “grand”, undoubtedly influenced by my excessive Game of Thrones watching.
I also got the opportunity to blacksmith a small “hook” this was an invaluable experience as informed of on the process of blacksmithing, providing me with a deeper understanding of how the system needs to function and how the virtual metal will change through interaction. This process also allowed me to see the techniques that I will need to replicate inside the simulator to ensure its accuracy.