Mittwoch, 7. November 2012

Last Hammer-In of the Season in the Industriemuseum Ennepetal

 On Sunday it was that time of year again, and Willi and I met in the museum to have the last hammer-In of the museum season. I rode my bike to tha smithy, and was I motivated...? Not at all. But as is, my appetite for blackmithing grew with the work again...;-)
 Willi forged a Nessmuk blade out of some magic Wolfram steel;-). I look forward to the finished knife, bro!
 Our products on display. Willi had quite the assortment at hand, axes, hatchets, sickle, knives and tools and BBQ fork and pendants...
 I forged this leaf handled knife. Spring steel, 1 % stock removal, 110 mm x 4 mm recurve, spring steel with a selective temper (see another post!)
 The folks had a crucible roaring and a children´s program. It was quite busy in the hall...
 This is the hall. I really like those columns dating back to 1890 or so!
 Rainhard, the crucible master, makes those foxes... I have to get myself one, for I love foxes...*ggg*
 This is Rainhard´s wife selling those little goodies and books alike.
 The kids apparently had fun!
...and Willi does a new economic version of his pendant hatchets. C 45.

When I wanted to ride home, the sister of the head of museum stopped me in my tracks. Then followed a conversation like this:

"er... hullo, I want a word..."
"-yes, ma ´am?"
" Must you always make knives and tools?"
"We are knifemakers and bladesmiths, ma ´am, and we want to show that trade so that it does not die out completely. The museum knows that well."
"...but, I mean, can´t you do other work? I mean, hearts or pendants or snails or the like? Must you always make knives and tools?"
" Ma´am, as I said, we are here as knifemakers. We can also make anything else, provided we can use the smithy."
"You are there on the first Sunday! Can´t you produce pendants in this time, to sell for the museum?"
"We are involved in a demo and children´s program then."
"But you always make knives and tools!"
"Yes, ma´am, we are here as bladesmiths."
[insert a quarter of an hour of that type of conversation]

The culprit was, I agreed to make pendants just to get out into the rain. I was not overly enthused, for I work there without pay, since four years. It´s our own tools and forges in use for the museum. We pay gas and coal and material from our own money. No, I do not want to complain, for it´s fun. We get coffee and cake and sausage for free (after we fought for it), and the atmosphere amongst the smiths is really great. And, yap, we are bladesmiths. I love making knives, for to understand steel and the "name of iron" in heat treating, in forging and annealing and grinding and working with steel, wood, horn and antler, with copper, bronze, tin and leather is very broad and gives a vast room for my creativity. But it´s always the case in society: Stand out, and you shall be levelled out. I was half-mad with anger, but I choked my words and made for the trails home. As is customary for me, I stopped in the woods and took a deep breath.

Boy, am I glad I have a spare smithy to work in!

Rant over and out. I do not want to belittle the museum. They do a great job with little money, and there are a lot of friendly people around. Even that woman is a very nice person to boot, and I am not exactly angry with her personally. But that mindset is one I encounter ever so frequently, and it makes my life even more difficult. Even doing something for free and with enthusiasm does not warrant even that you can be left alone doing your work.

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