Donnerstag, 12. Juli 2012

Highland Games in Wuppertal

 Jogi from Clan Mac Laren Friends Of Germany had invited, and many came to a beautiful site in Wuppertal, Traders, Clans, reenactors, highland sports athletes, visitors and friends alike. I was there with a blacksmithing booth for the Bethaus smithy. And, before the mayhem started, I had a quick walk around to take a look, and there I met Thomas  specializing in handforged quality knives at reasonable prices, made in the blade metropole Solingen completely by hand. We had a nice chat, and he showed me his knives. They are made from carbon steel in a museum in Solingen.
 Really nice Sgian Dubh knives... I really love the lines of these beauties!
A knife with his first "attempt" at scrimshaw;-) after the Lewis viking age chesspiece presumeably depicting a berserker.
 Cocobolo and bone...
 Some hunting knives.
 I really loved the knotwork carving on the handle of this dirk.
 A handle out of hoornbeam.
Makassar ebony.
 And a buttcap.... love that, too!
 Carving on a Sgian Dubh, ebony. is this one.

 Then I had to interrupt my drooling, for the first kids came by and I had quite a lot to do! I forged pendants, cahin links as in the pic, Thor´s hammers (a big hit on the days!), snakes, nails, pendant knives, and hearts for putting on house doors.
 The area.

And this is Jogi with his little ones. The kids were great, and felt quite familiar with all the noise going on and obviously had fun of their own.
 Leather bracelets on display, as were kilts and a load of fine art and whisky.
 I was fond of this sporran / belt pouch.
 Jogi was quite enthusiastic about the day... in the evening the band played, and with good food, music and drink...

...the first day drew to a close.

 I was all fatigued from little to no sleep since three weeks and hard working, so I made for the drive home with a car Thomas Kier lent us, thanks for that. I even managed to get some 5 hours of sleep for a change. I was sorry, though, for there was a clan party going on and Jogi had warmly invited me to come. But there are limits of my power, too.
On Sunday morning I arrived early.
 All was still quiet....
 And I set up forge.
 After doing so, I had a walk around to take another look. It was raining hard, Scottish sunshine;-).
 This is the booth of carrynette and highland outfitters.

 Really high-end sporrans and silverware...

 ...needles and pins and brooches. Sorry for the lousy pic, but I hope you get the gist. Really high-end quality!

 Belt buckles...

Quality dress jackets and even skirts.
 The booth of Saxo whisky bar Remscheid. Must I really explain this*ggg*?

Then I visited the booth of Clan macLeod. Friendly guys selling mead, whisky, brooches and clan merchandise.

Clan crest brooches...

Love that clan crest flask!
..tofill in these delicacies, yum!*ggg*
The clan crest of Clan MacLeod (or my El as they prefer to be called.

 This is the clan crest of Clan mac Laren.

 At the Schoenheit und Wunder booth I came across this dress Sgian Dubh:

 The heather gem on the pommel is actually made from heather. The material is cleansed, epoxied and force-compressed with more than 80to., then polished to a high lustre, as is the blade made from unspecified stainless steel. The handle is nickel silver.

 That´s the material. Fascinating, if you ask me
 Then it was back to Thomas´booth for more detail photos and more drooling...;-)

Have to make myself one soon. First , however, will be the one for Craig! I really like the lines of this type of knife, and the whole concept appeals to me.

Those are some hunting knives Thomas also makes. He loves to use regional woods such as plum, apple, and pear, but also uses cocobolo and ebony and bone.

The guys were coldforged from a solid block, if you ask me. It was raining hard, and they simply practised as if the sun was shining... Scots are made from a tough stamp, it seems;-).

Those two were my neighbours, really friendly people, providing myself with grilled sausage, just because they were fond of the stories I told the kids! Thanks a lot, it was fun to work with you!

Then the clans were marching in. Funny, with all the bagpipes and drums you get the urgent feeling you have to conquer a small country;-).
One cool Lochaber axe!;-)
I stood there in line with my ceremonial hammer and was quite impressed... but, as it seems, they were equally impressed by me;-). Feels good to be welcome...

Then the family of Markus came by, a bunch of unwashed heathens;-)... either adults and kids were forge-mad;-) and had a lot of fun.
This little girl has presumeably an ancient soul. I was quite impressed with little Marika. She forged several pieces and not only did extremely well at it, but also was very helpful. She shared very many tales with me (and I with her) about the ancient gods. Freya, the "savage grace" she liked best, and it showed. She helped many kids by binding the apron, lended a hand in handing over tools and shared her own food and drink with other kids. She was very open, but distinct about her opinion. You had to take time to discuss with her, but if it made sense, she followed advice. She was playful, but more competent socially than most adults.
 Karina, her friend(?) helped out a good deal also. They were taking pride in being my "apprentices", and, even if it was kinda strenuous telling hundreds of tales while forging extremely difficult pieces (Odhinn´s sign anyone? I can´t even draw it, but had to forge it ex tempore;-)... I failed, and they will visit the smithy and complete it with me...), I was very fond of them. I wonder, if their ability, agility and liveliness might be attributed to them being pagans... for I find most pagan and Steiner school educated kids being more competent both socially and intellectually, more creative and agile. It was a complete contrast to some Mammonist/Nihilist kids I forged with that day, and it got me thinking. Mammon makes zombies, that much I can say, at least compared with those two. They might have to live a tough life, but I wish them that they always find the strength that really matters.
 Many kids I forged with that day, and, no matter what belief they had, they all were fascinated and had fun playing with fire and steel. And that´s a great thing.

Reenactor´s idyll;-)...

 Two days passed in a rush, with a lot of impressions, nice people, strenuous work, good food and drink. Thanks to all of you, it was a great experience!

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