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Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2011

The works of Mielenko Bednacz

On a Sunday long ago:-) I dropped by the "Zeche Nachtigall", an ancient mine around these parts that´s a museum now under the patrony of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen Lippe (Regional association for social wellfare, culture and history). I came there to visit Mielenko and Eva, his smith´s apprentice.
 That´s Eva, working on another work of art. She made a sculpture with a lot of fine chiselling work that day. Seems it pays off to be apprentice to a real master!;-). Talking of which, I asked Mielenko if he´s care to feature him in this blog, and he did not want to. He said, he had done it all in his life and had no need of standing in the ramplight. He also said there were many people ranting about how good they were, and it were better to let the deed do the talking. Since I respect him very much and am really amazed by his work, I will not rant about how good he is. I will not go on ranting about his skills. But showing photos I can, and his work speaks his word better than I could.
 This, for example, is a detail of his forge.
 This flower is not "production run". Those you can buy were modelled after these.
 Remember: This is a detail of a forge.
 A portfolio of Mielenko´s work.
 This is "aunt Mary";-) as Mielenko called her...
 I love making knives like this one myself. I have yet to make one that is as comfortable to the hand as this one. This style normally works best for lighter kitchen tasks and the like, but having played this one in my hand, it´s a real worker. If you´d ask him for a price, you were astonished.
 This is a hatchet out of high carbon spring steel and mild steel. It´s razor sharp, frightening sharp to be exact.
 The total of the hatchet and a miner´s pick. Those were formerly part of a miner´s dress attire. This one is a real tool, too, not some flimsy souvenir. Made from high-carbon-spring steel, too.
 And this is just a simple nail;-).
 More nails. Check out the surface!
 A striker. I do notknow how he did it, but it´s made from spring steel, too - and throws sparks like mad.
 Ah yes, I nearly forgot... this is a simple forging tool. I heard it say that by a hammer you can tell a smith...
 The anvil´s block...
 The anvil´s mount.
 The anvil. He welded a hard plate onto the body the way you can see... this he did with the tools at hand.
 The ventilation system of the forge has two separate pipe systems, allowing for a very versatile airflow. One strong for welding, one lower intensity for delicate work and tempering. Plus you can adjust the airflow by two additional regulation systems. The forge can be completely taken down in. Each and every part of it can be replaced. Amazing. And, a detail often overlooked: This tool has seen some pretty hard work, but I could have my dinner from its surface.
 Mielenko and Eva working together. It was simply a joy to watch them work together.
 The master at work.
 Without words...
 "Tante Mary" up close;-).
This is a simple tool....;-)

Mielenko and Eva gave a lot to me that day. I have learned a lot and gained a lot of inspiration, too. For this, I am very grateful, and I hope, this little post does them justice the way they deserve. I want to epress my deepest respect for the master. He is of a kind that does not exist anymore. I hope, and I work with all my strength for his kind one day being existent again the way it deserves.

As the true creators of human civilisation.


  1. That guy is good! More than good in fact. Eva is a lucky woman to have him teach her his skills. I love to see work like that. All hand made. Marvellous.

  2. Oh, and I want that axe!! I know I probably couln't afford it, but I want one....

  3. beautiful work, I really love the striker for use with flint

  4. @joel: The hatchet sells at 80,00 €, the knife at 50,00 € with no sheath, and the striker at a similar price (no flint included). If you want one, I daresay I could mail you Eva´s adress and they might send you one.

    @Gorges: He is another idol and tutor of mine, too, and I am always amazed at his knowledge, too. Also, he is a very nice and laidback man and has wisdom to spare, too.

    @buzzard: I like that, too, has a decent size and you can really work it! He also makes his own amadou. Has not yet told me anything about his recipe, but I can be very patient:-).


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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