Samstag, 10. Dezember 2011

Tribal knifemaking with four-year old kids;-)- the works of Kai Bernhardt

 Now some of you might be vaguely familiar with this weird brute*ggg*. I use him as a ram when I forgot my keys... head first, that is*ggg*. Kidding aside, this is Kai, arguably one of my best mates, and he really got the blacksmithing bug. On Friday he worked for the Kindergarten where his mother works. The institution is under threat of being clossed down for lack of rentability and needing some rapairing. So the staff set out to raise funds to rebuild the house and work against closure. They organized a spontaneous Chrismas fair on the street. For 10 € donation you could eat and drink as much as you wanted, and the kids could do some forging. Hats off to this guy. He came directly from work (repairing railroad wagons, in an 8 hour shift) to go on smithing. Not many people would do that or even be capable of it!!! I want to express my deep respect for that.
 The forge cracked when he put it in the car, but he made the best of it, repaired it, and, boy, did it roar!
 Forging with four-year-olds is not for everyone. Not every smith, even if he´s a good one, can achieve this. Kai did it with:

2 hammers
a block of D 2 steel for an anvil
a block of wood
3 tongs
and a forge consisting mainly of dirt and junk.
 The homemade mulled wine was delicious, and I have to admit I had quite a fill;-).
 Proper man food;-) delicious homemade salads, BRATWÜRST *ggg* and meat kebab sticks, plus bread, hot mulled wine, punch, hot cocoa and a load of great and friendly people. When Kai had his much-needed break, I took over and helped him out so he could eat something and have a chat.
 Kai brought some leather for me... perfect, thanks, bro!
 Many of those kids were a bit reluctant at first, but quickly warmed up to the work.
 Chatting beside the Chrismas tree...
 Giftware galore...
 To the left is Manuel, who currently is on a tutoring programme with the Kindergarten. Kai repairing the forge, which nearly fell apart. In my opinion that makes for even a greater achievement, making do with what is at hand and being able to work under the worst conditions imaginable.
 This is a knife Kai made. It has an ancient Martiini or Iisakki Järvenpaa  blade that has never quite seen production and was made by Rudolph Broch in Solingen. 1.4110 steel, 57-59 HRC, birchwood burl and is that beechwood? 
 Two "viking" style (better: Birka Vendel-age style) knives and a Leuku blade from spring and file steel.
 A ritual knife he made for his girlfriend (cruel gurrrrl*ggg*), Marie. 1.2842, has yet to be tempered. Below is an EDC / neck knife design, that supposedly is 1.2842, too.
And last but not least, a Seax blade I made from an old billhook and gave to him as a present some -is that four years?- ago. The handle is yew.

When I finally drank my last mulled wine and said goodbye, it was already quite late. It was a great evening with great people for a good cause. I sincerely hope that the Kindergarten will be saved by the effort.

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