Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2016
Montag, 9. Mai 2016
It would be a laughing matter if it happened to someone else, but as is, I am not quite sure about it. For I am the one making a dunce of himself again.
You might have seen it coming, and I did, myself. Now it is coming nearer fast. The owners of the smithy nearly begged me to come and forge at their place, and yap, okay, I still feel appreciated, and no harm done. But that smithy is just one step away from being a complete ruin. There are exactly two ways to deal with something like that: Either you decide you want to save it, or you don´t. We had the information -and get this all over again- that the people of the funding club want the smithy to be saved. To achieve even the securing measures necessary to prevent the roof from deteriorating even more, we need at least 20.000 - 50.000 €, to rebuild all of it at least 1.5 million Euro. Period.
To get money, a funding club relies on sponsoring and membership. That much seems to be obvious.
In the half of a year our group is member of the club, we motivated roundabout 25 people to join in. Beforehand, in four years, there were about ten people, and three of them got mobbed out.
We built a forum (www.retzgen.de/hammer). Each Friday, there are so many smiths of different skill levels that our capacity is running out. For me personally, it is hard to get in some forging time, and difficult to pursue the more challenging projects such as artisan blacksmithing, jewellery, and swordsmithing, for all the tutoring I have to do. Don´t get me wrong-it´s great to have so many young guns and rookies wanting to learn the tricks of the trade, and it feels dynamic, and nothing wrong with that. We were the ones to get a TV production about the ironforge, and the best swordsmiths of the planet know about us and some even partake in the process. We had the vision to create a hotbed, to recreate the hot spot of the craft that the ironforge once was in a modern way adequate to the situation.
We looked forward to open up the smithy once a month to the public, as was at the neighbouring industrial museum, and to stage an event including an oldtimer show, demos and workshops and food and drink. WE were the ones who would organize all this, and were enthusiastic about it. There was a decision made in a meeting of all the members to do this.
Enter the rest of the club. To them we are "that group of smiths". We get no support whatsoever for Sundays, in fact, the senior blacksmith came over last Sunday, when we lonely smiths were standing there toodling along (quote) why we were working on the "day of the Lord". Yeah, he might be right. Yeah. But the answer is: "Because we want to put a roof onto that ruin?", to wit, the question mark.
The other senior members just sat there in the sun looking at us as if we were some freak show going on. So no more open Sunday, no more open to the public, no more new potential members.
To make it all even more insane, then, in a recent meeting of the head chairmen, one of the head of board demanded that each new member had to apply formally for membership in an official session of all members, and there had to be an unanimous assent upon the approval of each new member from each of the members already approved. And while I acknowledge that not every freak should be admitted to a sports or, say, re-enactment or hunting or bushcraft club, we are talking about a funding club. So, let´s say there´s a sponsor wanting to contribute to saving the site by joining the club. He wants to contribute, but cannot make a donation. Let´s say it is January. He then has to wait until the middle of the year to join the session of all the members, and even then it would not be necessarily the case that he would be approved. So, the chance to get new members, or even financial potentates, is near zero.
In the very same meeting the second chairman (I already told you that I did not like him much), abdicated. And while I was not at all agreed with him, I have the strong suspicion that he got mobbed out. That is not at all okay. Even if I did not like him, I would have made it work. He might have been scheming to mob me out, but on the other hand, this is wrong.
All things added up, I just have to say, it makes me tired. It just sucks. Again I put a lot of work, time, energy and the visions and passion of my heart into a project that is doomed by the ignorance of some few. We are many, yap, but that does not help any. Ignorance is legion.
Sometimes I get the impression that you do not prosper by prowess and intelligence, but by ignorance, malice and greed. I know this will ultimately lead to the doom of our species, but why the f*** should it? There is no rational reason the dumb, malevolent and ignorant should be the leaders of mankind. But they are.
All these things in mind, I was feeling less than motivated to get to the smithy on Friday, but I still wanted to go. So I saddled my steed early and did what had never failed me, at least not the thing itself: I rode there by bike. I rode through my beloved woods. I tasted the wind in huge swallows. I laughed and danced on a sunray.
And we share the most dangerous armour we can possibly don: The laughter of a smith.
Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2016
It was a really cool experience, for it was at the checkroom where there was a young lady going like "Hey, nice cap you have, Naalbindning, is it?" I looked at her and was like "yeah, it´s my luck charm cap...Viking reenactress, are you?". It all ended in a half of an hour of chatting, discussion and sharing a laugh or two. I gave her my Email, and there might be some cooperation in the future. We´ll see...
Then I ventured into the room where I usually tardy a lot of time in a most agreeable manner. This year would be no different.
knifemaking supplies. He had this really cool display made for a top - quality watch. I am always amazed at the technically advanced and lovingly made display systems and art concept knives he makes, for they show an abnormal attention to detail. Maybe not my piece of cake most of the time, but my respect goes to the craftsmanship, which is meticulous.
Here Mel Gibson ...errr... Peter shows off his latest somewhat psychotic--- erm--- kitchen knife???:-D This was a huge beast with a proper spine thickness.
Then I was off to meet up with Peter. I am not quite sure if he is my master. What I can safely say, though, is, that he is a guy I personally feel obliged to thank for years of enlightening moments, and I mean it in a spiritual way. Peter is a very professional person, and hides his real personality well, but the ideas and the spirit that drives him are so violently strong that it simply shines through his very existence. I can´t put it another way than this: He once stated that he felt himself as a warrior of the mind (and spirit, I might add), and the light of wisdom and knowledge. This light shines through him in a very concrete manner.
A hilt of gold.
Five fingers are the hand upon the handle of the sword: Birth, life, love and death-the question where the thumb is- is the answer.
Peter has made this sword. But, as I suspect, this sword has made Peter, too. It has consumed a lot of his energy, or so I feel it, and it is a bit possessive... and I should say that it might be expected that his swordsmithing, at least for himself, might not be the same as before.
I must admit I was really taken by our conversation. Whenever I meet with Peter, I leave with a lot of very intense feelings and thoughts. This time it was far worse than usual, for this sword is the very essence of my path, the path I have been on for the last 24 years. It is a symbol that is searingly energetic, laden with meaning, and it sank deep into my heart and mind and soul. So I roamed somewhat engaged in thought through the aisles, and for a good measure of time I was unable to see anything. It did not quite help meeting Meinhard, who was doing a scythe demo in the atrium of the museum and who tried to exchange some superfluous jokes with me. I am meaning no offence by saying so, but after a genuine spiritual experience I was not quite in a mood of telling jokes.
On the other hand, it made me mad that so many people strive so much to remain ignorant (excluding Meinhard). I am not saying that everyone should fall into a frenzy just by looking at Peter Johnsson´s swords and talk a lot of philosophical gibberish. Many of you, my faithful readers, cannot relate to all that metaphysical talk. But most of you actually think for yourselves and come to your own conclusions. I see it in the comments you post and read it on your blogs. But in everyday society, there currently is a movement to become ever so much more ignorant of the real world, where you do not have two extra lives and you can´t swish a situation or a problem away by a flick of your fingers. Meinhard´s desperate joking fetched me back into that world, and it helped me root myself back into the position I am in. Peter´s sword is a part of an ideal world, in an idiomatic sense of the world. It is true, and it is the other side made steel. It is a piece of real magic. Magic is not permitted anymore. You shall circumscribe it by prosaic words. Everything has to be focused upon the psychotic personality of Mammon-Pluto. I call him a name. I call him by his real name. I name him by the name he bore in an ideal world: I name him the ursurper. I name him the grey maggot. I name him the spider that kills dreams. I name him venom and doom of the world.
Before the cauldron, the sword has risen - He of the Long Hand was permitted to it.
And slowly, "I came to my senses" again, but knew not which senses...if that makes any sense to you...:-)
I had another visit to do, and this was one of my favourite human beings on the expo, namely JT Pallikkö. He is a guy I really value, for I should think he is one of the mentally healthiest persons I have ever met, even if he often looks like a lunatic;-). JT ´s always good for exchanging some mad jokes, but his work and the little talk we had on more grave subjects shows he is a very complete and complex personality. He does not make much out of it. He just makes excellent knives and swords and lets his work speak for itself, and he is very down-to-earth.
But then he showed me this hunting sword. Not his fault that my metaphysical antennas were still chafed raw by the encounter with the piercing light. And hey, as he put it, just a rustic piece. Now I obviously have a liking for rustic,
Pekka Tuominen did not have that much on display,
Anssi Ruusuvuori. He was the one who held the lecture on the Finnish Puukko in historical times and gave valuable insight along the lines of his new book that only but recently has been translated into German. Having browsed through it I can say, it´s a good buy, if you can afford it, and is on my wish list right now.
Off to - whose? booth now:
...and his own personality;-) Maihkel is another great guy I always like to meet, even if I am constantly short of time when I meet him. To my liking, the expo should last a week or so, then I would be able to get in all the talk I would normally need!
I especially loved that seax.
Achim Wirtz and Norbert Bahls are friends of my old tutor, Matthias Zwissler, and it´s always a pleasure to meet. They are craftsmen through and through and offer legendary quality.
I took home a lot of inspiration and a new sense of purpose.
(Text by Fimbulmyrk, Photos by Nick Ilgenstein) On Thursday our next-to-second-maybe-favourite-human being;-) Martin from Ireland dro...
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