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Mittwoch, 29. August 2012

Hammer In in the Industriemuseum Ennepetal-Enter the Dothoppers;-)


 On the first Sunday of this month there was a hammer-In again in the Industriemuseum Ennepetal smithy. This time I did not much forging myself, and the reason was a most pleasant one. Willi was there, of course, and this was great in itself. Willi, it´s always a pleasure you are a difficult co - worker;-), and no irony intended. You make me a better smith and a better human.

Then Mark and Gesa with little Erik came by. Gesa has been a good friend for ages, and we shared a lot of laughs and tears and trail runs through the underbrush;-). Gesa is another great person, a mother with three children, and a victor over many blows of fate. Mark, her husband, once was my boss;-) as a master mason and always wanted to talk me into becoming a mason myself and to mess with the wrong kind of housewives, gah!*ggg* He is another beloved friend of mine. Unfortunately, they have moved to the utter North of Germany, and I have a flatland allergy;-). Little Erik was content to simply sit silently in the smithy and watch on. I went on with my forgework, for on the way to the smithy I had found an ancient piece of steel that wanted to become a knife. My plans were interrupted, for suddenly I looked up from my work and looked into the eyes of the most beloved person in my life.

Silently, smilingly, she stood there, accompagnied by the Dothoppers Erika and Hans-Jürgen - Drui. My gentle, intelligent, beautiful, skilled, tough, soft, hard, and always creative and productive Drui. I nearly fell arse over tit, I can tell you! So, I set aside my work and set to work on the Dothopper´s projects. Erika forged a bottle opener "for band use"*ggg*, and Hans - Jürgen made a scrollwork pendant. My Drui made a tiny fibula, so tiny in fact that you have to hold your breath not to inhale it*ggg* but insanities like that I am accustomed to when she is concerned*ggg*. My deep respect for a first try like that!

 It was a real joy to work together. This is something I value most in our relationship: That it does not end when the going gets tough. That we can have fun together, even when life´s a sucker encore un fois. It showed in the way we forged together, and it always gives me a lot of hope.
 Then it was a tour of the carpark, which was full of oldtimer automobiles. Erika especially enjoyed this ancient Volvo.

 Drui, in turn, was most fond of this tractor;-) how come?*ggg*
 Then we had a delicious cuppa coffee and a cake and a long chat. Then they had to go on the road again, for there was a journey to make for them... home to the South.
 And a journey for me to make, too, for it felt like a time travel to go back to the smithy. Willi had kept the fire burning and did his usual good job with kids.


But the steel was waiting also, patient, but roaring in the twilight, an ancient bar of crucible steel that had waited so long in the dark soil to become something; and so I continued with my work.


 A Birka style knife with a bushcraft pedigree. It is a style that seems very easy to make. But to make one that feels right is quite a different matter. To achieve balance and a comfortable handle design is very difficult. There is little room for correcting anything. It is all steel, and no compromise. It takes little energy to make one, but a lot of knowledge to get one right. Must I mention that I always have the impression that I do not quite succeed at it? The only Birka knives I have tested that really felt right were the ones by Thomas Hentsche or Mielenko Bednarcz. This one has a feel realively close to those, but there´s still a lot to learn for me. I was pleased by the outcome, but not content, if that makes any sense to you.
 Willi sold his mini axes like hotcakes that day. he also made a mouse and the pendant below.
 This knife is another example of one that "feels right". But it is not my style. Three-layer laminate, and Willi got it from a smith on a big Hammer-In.
It was kind of an unreal event. When we closed down the smithy, and I made for my  way home, I had a head full of thoughts, so I stopped in the woods to do some contemplation and stump - sitting.

And the green did what it always does.

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