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Metalsmithing is the crafting of metal objects and understanding of different metal properties. Unlike blacksmithing, the majority metalsmithing involves casting metal into a final shape by pouring the alloy. Blacksmithing, on the other hand involves heating up stock material and using a hammer and anvil to fold/shape the metal into the final product. Generally, the metalsmith focuses on one metal; like iron, and is called that by common folk; examples include Blacksmith, Goldsmith, Tinsmith, and so forth. However, even the poorest of smiths will have some knowledge of metalsmithing. The skill is helpful in crafting molds and smelting ores. Ancient texts are also said to contain the proper ratios of forgotten alloys, and in Sultros groups of adventurers are sent out to find old magecrafted forge tools for advanced alloys that have been lost since the Valterrian. If someone is looking to learn metalsmithing and already knows some tradecraft from blacksmithing or the like, books can be found with notes. Otherwise it’s easier to find someone to teach you the proper ratios and ingredients of common alloys.

Generally the items a metalsmith will create come from casting a mold. They will make a wax piece of what they wish to create, figure out if air pockets will deform it, and then add channels for escaping air and pouring metal. Once their pattern is done, they will form a mold, and pour their desired metal in. After the casting has cooled off, the metalsmith can file off the casting line and provide a finish to the metal. Metalsmiths have also been called to create springs, wire, and leafing or provide embossing and soldering of metal.



When civilization was young the first men found that by placing certain types of rocks near a blazing wood fire, a hot liquid would poor out and form into a hard shiny object. The rocks were copper ore and men quickly learned to cut shapes into stone to pour this metal into them. As time went on, some men found that adding tin turned the metal into something harder, bronze. However, since tin was found in only a few places, zinc was used instead to create brass. Slowly knowledge of combining different ores and new molds created craftsmen called metalsmiths. Different texts speak on how Izurdin gave the knowledge to mankind, but since metalsmithing was created before letters, no one really knows who were the first to receive the craft.

Prerequisites and Maintenance

Metalsmithing is generally learned when the smith of a specific metal wishes to progress further into their craft. However, it is not absolutely necessary to learn this skill. Metalsmithing governs alloys that combine two or more ores and the creation casting molds for the smiths metal. So while iron and common steel can be created without metalsmithing, the more exotic alloys like maraging steels that are high strength steels, but cannot hold a cutting edge, remain out of reach.

While most metalsmiths understand smelting and the molding processes, they will not be able to create weapons or forge items using the techniques described in blacksmithing. Taking a specific smithing metal like gold, will allow the smith to achieve the pinnacle of crafting and possibly use rare alloys; some which have not been seen prior to the Valterrian. Philtering and reimancy are often quoted in books about advanced metallurgy. While carving is used in mold creation, the smith can choose to pay someone else in the creation of pattern. The smith should find someone of higher or comparable skill to carve the pattern of his/her design into the mold

Melting Metal

At the core of metalsmithing, is the understanding how much heat one needs to have for the metal and alloys they create. The time required to melt the metal is dependent on two factors, the size of the bar/ore and the type of metal. Ore is usually broken into pebble size bits, so that as it travels down the blast furnace, the heat can quickly penetrate/melt out the metal. Bars are castings from large metalsmithing shops, and tend to take two hours to melt fully. If the metalsmith is trying to metal something thicker than a two inches max, double the time for every two inches width above the first. Cooling the metal in a mold requires at least one bell of time to have a hard outer surface form. However, if the metal is as thicker than two inches width, the metalsmith should break it out of the mold and place it into cool water and wait until the water has returned to room temperature. There are three types of fires that will melt metal; wood, coal, and molten magma. The metalsmith will need to know which type of fire is required for their metals to melt.


The fire is assumed to be blazing red hot and consuming wood at a large rate. Only aluminum, tin, zinc, and lead can be melted on a fire that you could use to cook with. The other metals are just at upper range of heat for wood. To start a fire that could melt copper from nothing requires about five hours of feeding the fire. An apprentice or helper is required to keep placing wood on the fire while the metalsmith works with the hotter melting metals.

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Lead
  • Sliver
  • Tin
  • Zinc


Coal can be used for all wood melting metals; feeding the coal more slowly into the furnace will keep the fire at lower temperature ranges. Starting a coal fire requires an initial intense heat source. If the metalsmith chooses to start a coal forge from nothing, he/she will have to start an intense wood blaze and then add coal. The total time to start a coal furnace from cold is about 2 days.

  • Cobalt
  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Platinum
  • Steel
  • Titanium

Molten Magma

Currently only Wind Reach and Sultros have natural occurring magma forges, for the construction of one requires master reimanciers and critical planning on opening up a vein of magma to constantly use as a blasting furnace/forge. Metalsmiths are able to control the temperature of the smelting pot by lowering it closer to the magma. If the metalsmith is lucky enough to know Reimancy he/she might be able to spend enough Djed to heat the metal to melt, though if one is not an expert they are likely to over give in the process. However, a molten forge is less costly for the metalsmith and does not require anyone to fuel it.

  • Chromium
  • Isurian Iron
  • Molybdenum
  • Tungsten

Making Alloys

A metalsmith making alloys can either cast them into a mold or cast them into a bar mold, which a smith can use later to forge the bar into an object. In the case of forging, a smith is able to use a fire one section below the casting fire needed to create the alloy. An example of this is steel, though it takes the high temperatures of a coal fueled fire to create steel. A wood fire can heat up the steel enough for a blacksmith to forge the steel into something. Hence, the reason large foundries create bar stock and sell it to blacksmiths.

Depending on the metalsmith, he/she may have a book or teacher that shows them the proper ratios of ore, heat, and pressures to make certain alloys. Several books dated pre-Valterrian have been known to be found to contain thousands of different alloy recipes. However, none of the magecrafted smelting pots have survived to make use of the books. Sadly the metalsmith can only craft a few of the lost alloys from such books. Below are a list of examples of the more common alloys and ratios needed for crafting, and the bars weights are assumed to be all the same.

Novice Alloys

  • Brass contains 3 bars worth of copper and 2 bars worth of zinc
  • Bronze contains 9 bars worth of copper and 1 bar worth of tin
  • Solder can contain 9 and half bars worth of tin to half a bar worth of lead or 3 bars of tin to 7 bars lead, the more tin the higher the strength of the solder
  • Pewter can contain 9 and half bars worth of tin and half a bar worth of copper.[/list]

Competent Alloys

  • Steel contains 9 and half bars worth of iron and half a bars worth of weight in choke
  • Bell Bronze contains 3 bars worth of copper and 1 bar worth of tin
  • White Gold can contain 9 bars worth of gold and 1 bar worth of nickel.[/list]

Expert Alloys

  • Isurian Steel contains 9 and 19 twentieths of Isurian Iron and one twentieth of choke
  • Maraging Steel contains 4 bars worth of iron and 1 bars worth of nickel.
  • Rose Gold can contain 3 bars worth of gold and 1 bar worth of copper.
  • Billion Silver can contain 3 bars worth of copper and 2 bars worth of silver.[/list]

Note: Isurain Iron contains amounts of nickel, vanadium, chromium, and titanium in varying degrees that can only be mined from the Sultros Mountains. If one is able to possess a significant amount of ore, then they could be able to melt it. However, the actual smithing/forging of the metal requires the smith to be an Isur, for only their arm can provide the massive amount of brute force to actually temper the steel without injury to the smith.

Master Alloys

  • Watered Steel contains 8 and half bars worth of iron, 1 bar worth of chromium and half a bars worth of weight in choke
  • Electrum contains 4 bars worth of gold and 1 bar worth of silver
  • Purple Gold contains 4 bars worth of gold and 1 bar worth of aluminum.

Making Molds

When making molds the metalsmith will go through a process to get to his final piece. No matter the material of the piece the process remains the same, and each step should be well considered before going onto the next.

The Pattern

Whether the metalsmith is making a sand casting mold or iron one, he/she will need a pattern to follow. Usually the metalsmith will take a block of wax and carve out the final shape the piece will be in. Artists/Carvers can be brought in to help capture the metalsmith’s ideas and turn them into a pattern if he/she lacks the necessary skill. Remember the pattern ultimately reflects the finished piece, if the artist or carver has not rendered the metalsmith idea to perfect smoothness and contour, the final piece will not look right.

Simple Patterns

File: Simple_pattern.jpg

Simple symmetrical Patterns

File: Simple_sym_pattern.gif

Complex Patterns

File: Complex_pattern.jpg

The Gating System and Vents

File: Gating_system.png

With the pattern done, the metalsmith will start to consider the gating system and vents. A gating system is how the metal will be transferred into the piece. While vents allow air to escape, making sure air pockets do not form keeping the metal from flowing into every crevice.

The metalsmith should look at his piece and figure out where runners and vents need to be place to make sure the entire piece will be casted. Usually the smith will place wooden slivers into the wax pattern where he/she wants the vents and runners to be, asking the Artist/Carver to add wax to replace them.

The sprue is a main channel for the molten metal to travel down into the pattern. Runners carry the metal from the sprue to the pattern, runners should be tapered close to the piece so that they can be broken without damage to the final piece. If runners are used in flat molding system then the sprue will be connected to a sprue well to slow the over flow of metal into the piece. If the piece is not flat the sprue should be large enough for a rod to enter it and stir the pattern during cooling, this will make sure voids do not form and weaken the final piece. However, some goldsmiths don’t mind voids forming saving a great deal of material for later projects. If the metalsmith is worried about shrinkage on a sand or clay mold they can include a riser which is an extra void in the mold to act as another sprue well. Vents are the opposite of runners, they are needed to vent out air or wax that has been trapped in the mold putting pressure on the liquid and stopping it from filling the mold completely.

Casting Frame

The casting frame is the material that the actual mold will be made from. Below is a brief description of the steps a metalsmith might take when they have chosen the material of the mold. A better description can be found in the tools section under each type of mold material.

The metalsmith will determine what type of material is to be used for the mold. Sand will be contained in a wooden frame and then heated next to a stove, while some metalsmiths also have the wax mixed in with a philtering agent to harden and smooth the sand during the melting process of the wax. Clay molds are relatively easy since the metalsmith applies wet clay to the pattern and waits for about a day for it to dry hard enough to be placed inside a kiln. If the casting frame is to be stone, he/she will ask the carver to began work on the stone using the pattern as a reference; creating a cope, the top half, and a drag, the bottom half. Iron molds require a clay mold to be fashioned first and then molten iron to be poured on in the clay mold to form it.

The Pour

At this point the mold is ready for the metal, the metalsmith will pour his/her metal into the mold and wait for it to cool. If the smith was using an iron model they could place the mold into water to quickly lower the temperature, if they do not care about voids, otherwise the smith should periodically take a small rod and stir the mixture in the mold allowing the mold to cool where it sits. Stirring the metal during the first few hours will greatly reduce voids from the casting, this still should be done if the casting is a flat with an open top. However, if the “back” for the piece is exposed to open air the Metalsmith can add levels of metal over the course of hours instead of doing it all at once. The finish product with have different grain levels like limestone, but it will not usually have any voids.

Removal of Excess Material

Once the finished piece is removed from mold, the smith will use tools to break off or file lines left by the casting. He/she may use heated iron rods to melt off runners and the sprue, or they make take the metal to a grinding wheel or file. If the metalsmith is creating a permanent iron casting mold, they will skip this step and use the finished metal piece as the pattern. The metalsmith will usually then build two clay casting molds, one for each side, indent the pattern into the clay. Once fired the smith will pour molten iron into the casting molds, once the molds have cooled and broken apart the smith will have a new iron casting mold.

Cold Forging Techinques

The following is a brief list of techniques that the metalsmith can use after casting. Most of these techniques are used with soft metals, but with the application of a flame torch, see glassworking, can be used on harder metals to heat up and be worked as if they were soft. Some of these techniques are covered under blacksmithing.


Chasing or embossing is the technique to create an uplifted graphic on a piece of metal. The metalsmith will forge the graphic on a casting, this will serve has his/her negative. They will then take the piece of metal lay it on top of the casting and began to deform the metal with hammers, rods, and chisels till the image is risen on the metal. An example is a copper bracelet; a metalmsith wishes to emboss an oak leaf on his/her jewelry. The metalsmith makes a clay mold of an oak leaf the appropriate size and begins to tool the copper over the clay oak leaf. Once done, he/she bends the metal bracelet to form over a ladies wrist.


Soldering is the use of the flame torch, see glassworking, and a small metal rod to join a seam in metal. Soldering is used for low melting metals, where as welding is used for higher metal joining operations. The metalsmith will use an soldering metal and a flame torch to melt the solder over the joining two pieces of metal. The metal will temporary heat up and allow a small mixing to occur between itself and the metal. The drops of solder should come fast enough to join the previous drop so that the soldering line looks to be one even line. Metalsmith first new to this technique will have a line of solder that looks uneven and bubbly.


Piercing is taking a chisel or pointed rod and hammering a hole into the metal. Unlike forging a hole or casting it, piercing actually breaks open the cold metal and forces the surround metal to draw out. Piercing can be very useful in allow rivets to be placed, which allows the metal to rotate and flex around the joining. After piercing the metalsmith usually has to file the edges of the piercing or draw them into themselves.


Filing is used to deburr a casting or smooth a metal edge. Burrs are rough edges left by the use several molds; the casting line is considered a burr. The file will grind the metal down to a smooth edge. However, if etching is not used the finish on the metal will look to have scratches.


Finishing can come in several different forms, but it mainly deals with polishing and treatment of the metal. Philtering can create several substances that polish the metal to a bright glow, the substances usually remove the tarnish on the metal that forms from casting or time. The polishing substance also creates a small barrier on the metal to slow the progress of tarnish. Etching is also, lumped into finishing, if the metalsmith has knowledge of the skill they can create mirror finishes on their creations.

Making Wire

There are only a few times where a metalsmith will need to make metal wire, and for the most part it will come from low strength metals like copper, silver, or gold. Normally the smith will forge a small rod of the material, and once the bar is produced the metalsmith has two options.

The first option is rarely called upon for wire and for metalsmiths that don’t own a the press to make wire they default to this option. After pouring small rods of the metal, the smith will use a forge to heat the metal to a malleable state. He/she will began to strike the metal bar slowly thinning it out. The operation will take many hours till the smith has made wire of the appropriate thickness, which is around the size and thickness of a blade of grass. For a gold or silver smith this is how they are able to make gold or silver thread. Solder used in stain glass making can use this method as well. For any diameter smaller a press will be needed.

The Second option is the use of a press. Presses are very large and constructed to roll metal to a thinner sheet. The press will contain a plate with a tapered hole or holes of varying sizes. This plate is called the draw plate, and the size of the hole is the eventual diameter of the wire. The metalsmith pushes on the cold bar stock, while the cold metal slightly deforms smaller and smaller till it squeezes out a circular wire. These presses can allow a mechanical advantage for the metalsmith, gears can be added to a vise to multiply the smiths strength at the cost of time.

Making Springs

Springs are a recent metalsmith discovery, a spring is a coil of wire that has been hardened in a rotating shape. The smith starts with rod stock of his/her metal, if the metal is soft then it is likely they can just pull and push, deforming the metal into a spring around a thicker rod. If the metal is very strong like iron then the smith will have to heat up sections of it and slowly bend it. Whichever the case, the smith must have a rod that they will be bending the metal around. Wood can be fine for thin springs that can be bent by hand. Iron rods are often used for thick springs. The smith will make sure that the larger rod will have a hole at its base, so that he/she can feed the smaller metal rod through. The smith will heat the rod up as it leaves the hole. Once the metal starts to turn cherry red the smith can use brute force to slowly bend the metal around the larger rod. The smith will then place the rod back into the fire waiting for the next section to heat up. Once the smith has bent the spring, he/she will use a chisel to heat and cut the bottom piece out of the hole. Shears can be used if the metal is thin enough.

Making Leafing

Leafing is very easy to make and most novices make it in the shop, this is mainly due to the back breaking labor involved in its creation. The metal is usually placed between two iron plates, while the novice metalsmith takes a sledge hammer and strikes the plates over and over again. Slowly the metal becomes so thin that only the finest paper is as thick. To make a piece of leafing the size of a single page the metalsmith will strike it for seven hours, some smiths have been able to use a press to cut down on the time, but sadly no device exists that can make the paper thin metal in less than four hours of pounding.


A metalsmith has two major groups of tools that he/she will use. The first group deals with the blast furnace or smelting of ore, while the second group deals with molds. The blast furnace is used in the creation of alloys and can be a simple circular enclave where a blacksmith maintains the right heat to liquefy precast bars, or can be a several story creation in which several smelting pots are blasted under extreme heat. It is rumored that not only do the Isur possess such a furnace, but they use several magecrafted smelting pots to withstand the heat of it.

Molds can be made from stone, clay, or iron depending on the use and metal going into it. Some of the harder metals like maraging steel and nickel steel require thick molds to contain the heat without breaking apart. Also iron molds are often used for the mass production of objects. If a smith finds that a certain piece sells over and over again, they will create an iron mold to use again and again to save time. If the piece is very delicate, and has fine features the metalsmith will carve it out of wax with pouring lines/gating system and then cover it with clay. During the firing of the clay the wax will melt and pour out while the mold hardens. Once the pour is done the mold will be destroyed and the delicate piece will be crafted.

The cost of making a mold depends greatly on the materials at hand and the complexity of the pattern. Since sand and wood are usually very common, a sand mold is the least expensive mold to make, costing around 10 to 50 miza’s. The primary cost comes from the construction of the frame, the wax pattern, and the carver/woodworker to do the labor. If the metalsmith knows enough carving and woodworking to negate the services for his piece, he/she can produce a sand casting for 5 to 15 miza’s depending on size and how much wax is purchased.

Clay molds are often a bit more expensive, but if sand isn’t readily found or complexity is an issue, then it is the better choice. The metalsmith can expect to pay around 30 to 80 miza’s for the clay, carver, and firing of the mold. Once again if the metalsmith has the necessary skills and equipment, the price falls to 15 to 50 miza’s depending on how much clay is used and the time to fire the mold.

Stone molds require a great deal of time and a competent or expert carver to make, they generally cost around 60 to 120 miza’s based solely on the skill and complexity of the pattern. If the metalsmith knows reimancy of competent skill then he/she may be able to “carve” their own mold for the price of the stone.

Iron molds generally cost around 150 to 500 miza’s, the cost is based on the time required to make them and the iron used in the process. If the metalsmith is also a blacksmith then they should figure out the cost of the iron and the clay mold needed for the crafting.

The Blast Furnace

Large Blast Furnace
Small Forge Blast Furnace

Though perhaps the largest piece of equipment a forge might have, the blast furnace is essential in separating the metal ore from the stone that surrounds it. The ore is fed into the top of the blast furnace, while fires burning, usually from coal, are fed to the sides of the furnace. These fires heat up the furnace while not actually being in contact with ore. As the ore falls down the furnace’s heat begins to turn the ore into molten metal, the rock will sink to the bottom of the furnace while impurities will rise to the top of the liquid. The molten metal is usually drained off into a pot to be carried to molds. Larger furnaces will have a separate slag run off channel which will get rid of the impurities of the ore. However, if the smith is using a smaller furnace or smelting pot then he/she will have to watch to make sure during the pour, that they don’t drain the slag into their pot or mold.

Smelting Pot

Smelting Pot

For smiths the smelting pot is a much more common sight then a blast furnace. The pot is often made of iron and has hinges or holes for long poles and hooks to pick them up. Smelting pots will have tapered edge so that the pouring of molten metal is more accurate. Though most smiths will place bars of his/her metal into the pot and place it over a fire, if used in small ore extractions the smith will also place his ore in the pot to do the job of a blast furnace on a small scale. If the smith chooses to use the smelting pot instead of a blast furnace, then he/she will first have to pour the slag into a pit and then move quickly to pour the metal before it cures.

The Slag Pit

Perhaps the worst part of the smelting process is the refuse. Slag or bits of rock, metal, and other impurities are often discarded into a dug pit. This pit can be another pot for the smith if they don’t have a place for their refuse dug, or can be molten lava like the slag pits of Wind Reach. Different societies have come up with creative ways to get rid of this refuse. Whatever the method a smith must be careful not to place his slag back into the water supply; ancient hamlets have died because lead and other metals were placed in rivers used for drinking water.

Sand Casting Molds

Sand Casting Mold

Sand casting is perhaps one of the easiest and fastest molds to make. The smith will make a wooden frame; he/she will place a wax or clay pattern with the desired shape down in the frame and then pour sand into the frame while it is flush with a flat stone. They will apply pressure to the sand till it is tightly compact. The smith can either, place a tight cover over the frame and turn it upside down removing the object from the sand or if he/she was using wax the smith could place several venting channels for the wax to escape during the pour. At this point he/she can use philtering treatment on the sand to make the finish of the object a better quality. Some philters had been know to add the treatment to the wax pattern, so that metalsmith can set the sand casting mold close to an oven, and the heat will melt the wax letting the treatment soak into the sand. The down side to this type of casting is that the mold is only used once.

Stone Casting Molds

File: Stone_mold.jpg

Stone Castings can either have two sides that fit together or just lay flat while the Metalsmith pours metal into the gating system. What is nice about stone is that the casting mold can be used over and over again. However, even with the use of reimancy the cost of stone Casting Molds are very expensive. A further drawback to stone castings is that the object must be easily withdrawn from the stone, so no curving arms or features that would not allow the stone to be pulled apart.

Clay Casting Molds

File: Clay_mold.jpg

Clay molds are a perhaps the best way to make a highly detailed piece without worrying about how to remove it from the mold. First a wax pattern of the object is made, once done clay is placed about the wax figure, over the course of a day the clay dries enough for the smith to have it fired and harden. During the firing and hardening of the clay the wax melts and vents out of the clay mold. At this time, the mold will have hardened enough to allow for the shape to remove during the firing. Once the mold is complete the smith pours the molten metal into the mold and waits for it to cool. Once done the clay mold is destroyed, and the object is retrieved. This offers the greatest finish on the object as well as the best artistic freedom, its one drawback is that it is time consuming and voids within the material are often found if the sprue is not large enough to stir.

Iron Casting Molds

File: Iron_mold.jpg

Iron molds are the longest lasting and hardest molds currently known to Mizahar. The iron mold allows for greater detail to its castings then the stone casting mold, unless reimancy is employed on the stone. Furthermore the iron mold can withstand greater heat then stone before it warps or cracks. Iron allows for a smooth finish where stone will usually leave small grain like dimples that need to be polished out.

Skill Progression

Novice (1-25)
The novice metalsmith has learned several low melting alloys from common materials. The metalsmith is not familiar enough with the blast furnace to accurately gauge the heat within causing impurities within the alloys they create. Though this does not ruin the final alloy, it will be have less strength in its defining characteristic; like color, hardness, or ease of tempering. The metalsmith is familiar with sand and stone casting molds. However, they are only able to create flat simple patterns with any kind of consistency. The reason is due to the lack of knowledge of the gating system and how to avoid air pockets. The finish piece will have many small voids or one large one in it.
Competent (26-50)
The competent metalsmith has learned several melting alloys from common materials and perhaps chosen a specific metal to master. The metalsmith is familiar enough with the blast furnace to accurately gauge the heat within causing fewer impurities within the alloys they create. The metalsmith is familiar with clay casting molds, and they are now able to create symmetrical simple patterns (spheres, candle sticks, pipes, ect) with consistency. Their knowledge on the gating system and how to avoid air pockets has improved enough that they can use a few vents and runners avoiding easily seen air pockets. The finish piece will likely have small voids.
Expert (51-75)
The expert metalsmith has learned several melting alloys from uncommon materials and knows one rare alloy for a specific metal. The metalsmith is familiar enough with the blast furnace to accurately gauge the heat within causing non-existing impurities within the alloys they create. The metalsmith is familiar with iron casting molds. They are now able to create complex patterns (a bust with several men and animals being chased about) with consistency. Their knowledge on the gating system and how to avoid air pockets has improved enough that they can use a vents and runners to avoid all air pockets. The finish piece will likely have small voids for complex patterns, simple patterns will be completely solid.
Master (76-100)
The master metalsmith has learned several melting alloys for rare materials and knows enough to try creating a lost alloy. They are now able to create complex patterns (a bust with several men and animals being chased about) with consistency and without voids. The finished piece will likely be amazing to view. The master’s workshop will likely have several iron molds that are used in vast castings of symmetrical simple patterns; creating easy wealth for him/her. The master metalsmith is likely to have several apprentices helping him, and magecrafters will seek him out to procure rare metal forge/pattern objects for their work.