Good place to go is Troy Ohio end of this month American Blade Smith ***. Has event at fair grounds. Easy to get to Cheap Lots of info just for the asking Good demos Cheap less than 100.00 weekend event. Just North of Dayton Ohio. Look up their web site you won't be sorry. Would like to go if I can make it. These are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet and some big name bladesmiths. Look it up ThanksGoogle ABANA, and find your local blacksmith group. IIRC, they have an active bunch out there. They will give some guidance.
I build my own forges and they get hot enuff to make pattern weld steel. (2300+F) The t-rex type burners will do everything ya want. Check out Ron Reil's site , if it's still active.