Forging is also referred to as sculpting because it is how the metal is shaped. Forging is different from machining in that material is not removed by these processes (with the exception of punching and cutting), rather the iron is hammered into shape.
There are five basic operations or techniques employed in forging: drawing, shrinking, bending, upsetting and punching.
These operations generally employ hammer and anvil at a minimum, but smiths will also make use of other tools and techniques to accommodate odd sized or repetitive jobs.
Forging is the working of metal by plastic deformation. It is distinguished from machining, the shaping of metal by removing material, such as by drilling, sawing, milling, turning or grinding, and from casting, wherein metal in its molten state is poured into a mold, whose form it retains on solidifying. The processes of raising, sinking, rolling, swaging, and drawing are essentially forging operations although they are not commonly so called because of the special techniques and tooling they require.
Forging results in metal that is stronger than cast or machined metal parts. This is because during forging the metal's grain flow changes, making it stronger and more ductile.