Thank you for the scholarship! With the scholarship, I bought myself and my father a class at Desert Metal Craft, where we both got to make a pair of tongs.
My heritage is Native American, I’m Blackfoot and Apache. In Indian culture, family is extremely important. You are a part of a tribe, they are your family. Family sticks together, they learn together, they live together, and because of this, I decided to buy my father a class. We forged tongs together. This was a present for my father for Christmas and for his retirement. He retired on the sixth of January and the class was on the seventh, so it was a perfect gift for him!
This opportunity meant so much for both of us, in all of my life, this was the happiest I’ve ever seen him. He talked about how everyone was asking him what he was gonna do after retirement, and he bragged about this Tong making class to them, and he kept telling me how excited and how much he looked forward to the class. Then during the class, we both had a blast, we got to work together, help each other out, and bond as father and son. At one point we discovered the meaning of the saying “having several irons in the fire” since we each had three or four different irons in the literal fire!
This experience, and with my heritage of having a family as the highest importance, this experience meant alot. My father and I got to feel what it was like for my ancestors, where they would sit down as a family and craft together, perhaps make bows and arrows together. Even after the class, we talked for hours about the techniques, the mistakes we made, how we could do better, and blacksmithing as a whole.
The entire experience was really wonderful, I would totally recommend this class, or blacksmithing to anyone, especially as a father/son activity. Seeing how excited he was, working alongside him, in a craft that neither of us knew a lot about, and the entire experience as a whole has impacted me. It provided the perfect opportunity to strengthen our bond, and as I’m growing older there won’t be too many more opportunities like that in the future, so this experience has made a big impact on both of us, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the scholarship and this opportunity, it means a lot for me and my father, and also my heritage.