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Donnerstag, 27. September 2012

Heidenspass - Party am 13.10.2012! Pagan fun party in the Bethaus Smithy

Oktoberfest im Bethaus der Bergleute am 13.10.2012 – Ein Heidenspass für die ganze Familie!

Das historische Bethaus der Bergleute, idyllisch gelegen im schönen Wittener Muttental, ist fast das ganze Jahr über ein herrliches Ausflugsziel für Jung und Alt. Dort finden Wanderer auf dem bergbaugeschichtlichen Rundwanderweg eine urige Gastronomie und ein vielschichtiges Mitmachangebot. Kinder und Erwachsene können unter Anleitung eines erfahrenen Schmiedeteams erste Erfahrungen im traditionellen Schmiedehandwerk machen, und das ganze Jahr über finden interessante Veranstaltungen statt.

Das traditionelle Oktoberfest, das am 13.10.2012 ab 13.00 Uhr stattfindet steht in diesem Jahr ganz unter dem Motto: Heidenspass für die ganze Familie!

Angesagt haben sich Clan Mc Laren Friends  Of Germany, ein Freundeskreis des schottischen Mc Laren – Clans ( ) , die Kräuterhexen von, Musiker und Geschichtenerzähler, Handwerker und Vertreter neuer Naturspiritualität. Als besonderes Highlight wird ein Schwert  geschmiedet. Tribal – Messermacher Fimbulmyrk wird gemeinsam mit dem Clan Mc Laren eine historische Klinge geschmiedet. Mitmachaktionen für Kinder und Erwachsene(Highland Games, Whisky Tasting, Stockbrot, Perlenamulette auffädeln, Kinderschmieden und zahlreiche weitere Angebote) und ein gutbürgerliches gastronomisches Programm von Deftigem bis zu Kaffee und Kuchen runden den Tag ab.

Informationen erteilt Volker Avermann unter 02302/31951. 

Oktoberfest and pagan fun party in the bethaus smithy on 13th October

Okay, so you all know the Bethaus smithy. On October, the 13th, a very special event will take place: Ab Oktoberfest and pagan fun party. Clan Mc Laren friends of Germany  
will provide Highland Game fun, whisky tasting, bagpipe mayhem and bodhrán fun, and they will forge a clan sword. Kids and adults alike will be well tended to with a lot of fun action, such as stick bread making, amulet making, herblore witchcraft, storytelling sessions by the campfire and musical sessions alike, potato printing and a load of other activities. Barbecue and cake and coffee will round up the event, and who knows when it might be closing! I really look forward to it, and anyone´s welcome.

Mittwoch, 26. September 2012

On the bench these days... the yew handle ritual;-).

Those are two knives I have got in the making. Topmost is a spring steel dragon head utility knife, a rugged bastard of a user with less than 1 % stock removal.

Below is a puuko with a yew handle and a prototype blade for either Puronvarsi or Iisaakki Järvenpää, which the master, Rudolf Broch, himself forged from 1.4110 steel. The blade had Rockwell markings from tip to tang, and it has a defined hardness from 55 HRC in the first cm of the tang, 57 in the middle and 58 near the tank, which suits me fine to know! As for the handle... I am not quite sure if I´ll ever make one yew handle again. It´s as if the Gods would require at least two handles as a sacrifice*ggg*. I go through at least two handles, and even this one had a crack near the butt. So I filed the questionable part off and fitted a copper buttcap to keep the mess together. It will work fine, but looks ugly. I´ll take this as another user, but it´s a bit unnerving. But, as always, I´ll work on it, and I keep learning still.

A men´s day in the smithy;-)

 On Saturday there was an event going on at the Bethaus. When I got there to have a chat with Volker, I was surprisedto learn I had to do a tutorial. But then it´s the best way to learn, by teaching, that is. There were three brothers there. Unfortunately, with all the tutoring going on, I forgot to ask their names, a cardinal mistake, of course, but then I came off my bike and Volker went away and left me quite irritated at first. I had about 5 seconds to find m. But funny chaps they were, and it was good fun working with them.
 For two of them it was their first forging experience. The one in the pink apron was there for his birthday. He is a gardener and was quite enthused about the work.
 This guy actually was a metal builder, and it showed in his work. He had fun playing with steel;-), though;-).
 The three of them forged a poking stick. Turns out Volker had a good hand choosing the steel - some 1,0 % carbon content tool steel really made for some interesting work... I had to constantly move to tell them at which temperature the steel had to be forged and to offer some encouragement, for hard work it was. But they did extremely well for the first time, and had very creative ideas.
 They all made some decorative scrollwork and a counterwise torsion on the handle of the poker.
 Those are their achievements. The most heavy-duty pokers I have seen in a while.
 Then I set out to do some work of my own... a viking style (Birka) pendant women´s knife. Zwissler damascus, tank cannon and 1.2842 steel.
 And my first ram´s head;-) my Czech knife already payed off!
It was, all in all, a very chaotic day, and I must confess, the chaos starts to get on my nerves, but it is always fun nonetheless. So I guess I´d rather take the chaotic style of Volker and the great working atmosphere instead of a professionally organized employer and no fun at all!

Donnerstag, 20. September 2012

Viking shopping goodies;-)-the family hoard*ggg*

 In Adventon Histotainment park, Erich, the magic troll and myself got on the loose again and bought a lot of stuff. I got myself a nice ram headed eating knife and a tankard. Erich got imself some birchbark from Yana Lefler, and some fittings and handles for his damascus blades (see below). He´s got the knifemaking bug bad, you see...*ggg*.

 The magic troll got herself this beautiful  needle case.

Oh, the loot.... now we just need a dragon to guard all this;-).

A visit to viking paradise - way down South, in Adventon;-)

Last weekend I as way down south in viking paradise. ... er... gone off his rocker, is he?*ggg* With my love ;-)we went to Erich´s place in Prichsenstadt. I was amazed that Erich, the viking, picked us up in Marburg, and then he drove us all the way down to Prichsenstadt, in a car that beeped when it was going at less than 80 km / h;-). Then he drove us all the way to Osterburken, site of Adventon Histotainment Park, where the viking reenactment fair took place.
The park is very interesting, for there a medieval city is built by reenactors, with historical methods and tools, and the process is well documented. Experimental archaeology at its best!
The atmosphere is very special, and you really get the notion that you are involved in a time travel.
Into the city we went, where many booths were set up.
That´s how it looks like there.
On the nearby fields, camp was set up, where people lived life the viking way. Here tablet weaving is demonstrated. People cooked historical meals, wore archaeologically correct attire, got drunk the experimentally archaelogical way*ggg* and had a good time with history work!
And believe me, even if I made fun out of it, it is hard work. Not everyone is made to sleep in a linen tent when the going gets tough, and no Goretex attire in sight!
Here kids could have their go at bowmaking from ash staves.
The camp. Tourists were quite fascinated, and righteously so. But at times I ask myself if they leave their brains at the admission point. I could not explain questions (by adults!!!) like "Are those stones that you eat?" / "Is that fire real?" / "´scuse me, where da friggin´viking camp?" in any other way. Also, it seems to be that it´s always the touries vomiting in front of the booth or camp, trespassing rules by stealing the food and showing otherwise rude behaviour. I mean, that we dress up like vikings does not mean it´s a permit to behave like a right arsehole!
A fav of mine, a replica of a viking - age toolbox, lovingly made.
We met with Dodo and Dirsit and had a nice chat and  a stroll. Both are reenactors, and we strolled the aisles. In this picture below you can see the combat attire of a viking "Huscarl" fighter. Huscarl is a modern reenactment martial art, and they really whack the shit out of each other, so armour is mandatory to prevent your body going to pieces. There were demos, too, but we were busy drooling over the great goodies at each and every booth!
The site looks over beautiful rolling hills.
Ferrets on display apparently enjoying themselves. We met with a Polish guy from Norway and had a very nice chat. Unfortunately I forgot his name, but, having his adress, no harm´s done. We really met some quality people there. The fact that I have no pictures to show from the meeting with Asrun and Alrik, tells a story of how great it was to meet them in person. We really enjoyed to share our drink with them*ggg*, and they welcomed us to the site of the Hrafnskari clan.
I was a bit dizzy when I staggered across to the Czech KOvex Ars booth, where I got me thingies;-).
The master smith himself...
... had lots of great stuff on display. I bought a knife from them years ago, and the fact that it´s still one of my fav reenactment blades tells a story! I was astonished then to see how it was made, and now, with more experience as a smith myself, I can even tell why. They are really great craftsmen, and they sell their work way too cheap.
Knives and fibula galore.
Swords and horns and shoes and belts and armour, and helmets alike, all in combat - ready quality, the blades blunted, of course, but the trade of the swordsmith is alive and well in Czechia. 
Then the sun was sinking, and two days of meetings with great people, of watching and enjoying good food, drew to a close.

It was a great weekend with viking shopping, viking drinking, meeting with viking people, and I daresay friends were made that I hope to make last.

Uncivilization and civilization in warfare - a survival post

This is something that I have been moving in my brain ever since I realized that we actually DO have a global conflict. Most do not want to accept it, but World War III is here. It is quite a different war to most any before, for it is a global guerrilla war. Ever since someone established the "Dschihad", the so - called "Holy War", that is so.

Then, since when is it so?

Since Hasan ibn-Sabah founded the Assassins, if you ask me. Or even earlier, who knows... maybe this war has its roots in the Alexandrine Reign period. All that, however, does not quite matter at all.

Crucial to our survival is to accept that this conflict is not locally bordered. It is a war that is fought by each and everyone against each and everyone. Noone is to be trusted, every human being is a potential enemy. The core of the conflict has at least five fronts. From a military strategic point of view, fighting this war with regular troops is frankly absurd. And believe me, it is not done. Since it cannot be estimated who is a terrorist and who not, institutions of warfare, secret services and the like fight just about everyone or regard each and every individual with distrust. To that end rules of conduct are modified until it is unintelligible where justice might be misconceived as legal crime. The mimickry of democracy is kept up, because systems of democracy are slow to react in a conflict, but on the other hand, peoples used to a democratic system would get ever so slightly nervous if their human rights are constricted and thusly be rendered indomitable. So, for instance, it might be supposed, that, hypothetically, acts of terrorism might be staged with press involvement.

Why that, one may ask?

Our civilization, and many civilizations before, always has centered around economics. And there are countries in the world whose economics are only stable in situations of warfare. Warfare is an economic factor, and the almighty money rules everywhere in the world. Weapons are bought and sold, and the same manufacturer might provide weapons for one party and the other. People in fear tend to buy more, consume more, be it just to keep storage supplies of food.

So big term economics are involved in this war, and even the so-called spiritual leaders of the "Dschihad" party are not so naive as not to obey Mammon. It is always the money.

Then, what is money?

Money is a symbolic substitute for the traded goods. Goods are estimated by their value, and originally, money served the purpose of symbolizing both the ideal value as well as the concrete value. This symbolizing process found its culprit in the establishment of deities of economy, such as the often quoted "Mammon" (Pluto), but also Slavonic, Celtic and Ancient German deities. What has to suffice, however, is that money is personified, indicating a psychological context. We still worship this god, we just do not call it worship.

If that is so, it is not at all about Yahweh, Allah, God, or whatever, but about money. If money is a substitute for the traded goods, this conflict is a conflict to gain dominion over the fellow humans for one´s own prosperity. It is a fight for habitat, for evolutionary predominance, and not different to the mating and breeding fights of raptors.

If that is so, it is permitted that our warfare be regarded as such: A mating and breeding ritual, and please take note I am not talking racial context here, for it is bullshit.

If, in turn, that is so, the cerebral region involved to execute the measures of warfare might be located in the cerebellum. Ratio has nothing to do with this impulse to kill, as we are led to believe. It is a mating / breeding reflex.

Now I have uttered the demand of a "civilized warfare" in a recent post. By that, I mean quite the contrary, and this oxymoron leads me to the question of uncivilization and civilization. Civilization in its literal translation means an organization "in civitate", which has different connotations, meaning "citizenship" and the location in a city at the same time. Organization needs rules, this is a fact. To establish rules in a sustainable manner needs a rational act. Rules established in a state of fanatism are not only prone to errors, but simply not sustainable. A state of mind that is obligatory in a mating reflex / territorial conflict is not capable of establishing sustainable rules.

This is one aspect that renders civilization in this case impossible. What is more grave, however, is a speciality of human disposition. Humans are the only raptor species in the mammal animal world lacking a biting constraint in case the opponent signals defeat. Even dogs have this constraint, naturally, that is. Humans will carry on until the opponent is utterly destroyed, with no regard to their own future prosperity, or even survival.

In psycho - analysis it is crucial that all parts of the psyche are at least taken as existent. Modern society, and not only western society in that, dismisses the mere possibility of a war undertaken out of irrational motives as impossible and rids itself of any possibility of working out the motive. This is undertaken out of the disregard of irrational values per se. Rules and codes of conduct do not allow us to accept the irrational as even given, and thusly civilization hinders our capability of coping with the irrational. Since this war is undertaken out of the most extremely irrational reasons and motives, but veiled by a thousand rationalistic claims, it is not possible to cope with the motives of this war at all. We tell ourselves more myths about rationality than we ever have about myth and fairy tale.

It is crucial for survival, then, to recognize this fact:

Civilization is dangerous. It renders us defenceless against the forces that motivate this war. To survive, we must look more clearly towards the motives, and to do that, we must, at least theoretically set aside the rules established, and the codes of conduct that we were told to cherish. That does not mean setting aside all of them. Uncivilization is not a lack of civilization, but literally a resetting of our perspectives. To me, it is necessary to question the current rules, and then, in a truly rational act, establish new ones more suited to the task. Some of them might be bitter to swallow, but we got no choice.

It´s about the survival of our species, not the individual.


Mittwoch, 19. September 2012

Erich´s new lovelies;-)

 When I was down South in Prichsenstadt at Erich´s place for the weekend, I had the privilege to peruse his new lovelies, a new damascus knife and some blades. Seems the Da´ s got the bug bad,*ggg* and is now into knifemaking. I plead innocent!;-). This is a blade from the Vikingr - Kontor, a shop in Northern Germany. The blade is made from 100Cr6 ball bearing steel and tank bearing steel, 100x3mm, PHEW!
 ...and I really like the scrimshaw on the handle, reindeer antler, of course!
 And two blades... and mind you, they are bargain. Prices start at 90 € each, and they are handmade!
I think I´ll take a closer look at that shop;-) myself...

Korpiklaani: Rauta - A video about the Kalevala episode on how the iron became so fierce;-)

I recently bought the new Korpiklaani album "Manala" (yonder / underworld), and was fond of the song "rauta" for it has a close connection to the Kalevala, a compendium of Finnish mythology collected and interpreted by Elias Lönnrot, a physicist and collector of oral poetry and folk - lore in Finnland. There Väinamöinen, the mythological archaic seer and sorcerer, is wounded by his opponent, Joukahainen by an iron crossbow bolt. To heal his wound, he must first get to know the nature of iron. And iron in itself was first forged by Ilmarinen, the archaic smith of the Sampo and skyforger. He promised iron to be tempered in honey, beeswax and seven or nine herbs. But Hiisi´s, a trickster goblin´s bird, the hornet, brings him poison instead. The iron, which swore to never wound the hand of man beforehand after Imarinen made his promise, broke its solemn oath, and therefore bites man and becomes tapporauta (song by Korpiklaani.)

I really like the atmosphere of the song and video, even if the mastering is a little off the mark;-), for it transports the spirit of the tale quite good.

Aqua Tec aqua shoes - mocassins pleeeeaaase!

Ever since I made some shoes for reenactment I was looking for something like that, and more durable, and at a reasonable price, that does not look like you stepped into a birthday cake;-).There seem to be no mocassins on the marketplace whatsoever!

I tried some cheapo aqua shoes, but as it turns out, they came apart after only four weeks use. Now I try some different designs.

The shoes are made from neoprene with soft and thin rubber soles. They are originally made for swimming, but the soft rubber compound and soft sole make them great to use in the woods. I often walk barefoot in the woods, but when it´s warm and moisty, you spend more time removing ticks than walking, so it´s better to wear shoes;-)... Those make you stealthy enough for stalking deer, and give you a lot of control for striding across fallen trees or up inclines. The soft rubber gives you tons of traction, even when wet. When soaking wet, they still keep your feet nice and warm.

The downside is, they do not last long. But then they are not costly, only about 10 €, and I am thinking about a method to repair them or modelling a mocassin after them. No winter shoes, certainly, but I´ll try that out, too. I´ll keep you informed exactly WHEN they fall apart.;-)

EKA Nordic W11 short review

I recently had an opportunity I could not resist;-). I was craving this knife for some 17 years or so, but did not want to spend that much money. Turns out the occasion arose to get it CHEAP;-). Steel is 12 C 27, tempered rather high. Carving mild steel rods was no problem. The blade is 10,4 mm long, 24,5 mm wide and 3,8 mm thick. The hollow grind was rather ...erm.. bulky?;-) so out came the diamond hone and the ruby strop. I reprofiled the edge to a 20 degree and gave it a mirror shine finish, which was a bit hard at first, for the steel has a rather coarse structure fabric, and I suspect, the acclaimed 59 degrees HRC might be a bit high for the potential of 12C27 and not a selective tempering method or cryogenic annealing. Also, this knife really could do with a scandi grind. Then it would be a great bushcraft design! Also, the tang could be longer and protruding out of the handle, which is made from beautiful Bubinga wood, as with the Fjällkniven F 1.

The handling is good, the balance point approximately on the first rivet. The tang is a hidden flat tang, which makes for a very comfortable feel. The finger dent on the handle to me feels a bit too far back, and the checkering could be a touch deeper. The sheath is made from top grain leather and keeps the the knife in even upside down. The single rivet at the tip might not do the greatest of jobs to keep the backside attached to the top, it´s already coming apart, and the rivets are set after stitching, cutting the seams apart. That could be done better! 

Do I recommend the knife?

It seems to me that it´s a great blade for hunting, and it works okay. For the price tag, there certainly are better designs. I got it very cheap, so I bought it. But for only 35 € more you get a Fjällkniven, and for 103 € less you get a Mora. EKA could make it easily a winner by keeping the temper at 57 degrees, doing some cryogenic annealing or tempering it selectively, doing a scandi grind on it and letting the tang protrude some 2-3 mm out of the handle. I guess that would make it a top seller with the bushcrafting lot without raising the manufacturing cost too high.

Fanatism and the reason why I am a pacifist - a very sorry occasion to post.


This post is a very difficult one to me. There is a blogger whose blog I follow. He has many valuable thoughts and has inspired me in a way, and I want to pay him due respect before I get to the point. He is a Christian, and a patriot, and both things are good.

I like to discuss matters of religion with other beliefs. It is my way of finding the name of the deity, which bears so many that the peoples of the world fight and quarrell about them. If it has to be defined, my belief leans - and always has leant- towards natural spirituality, of which even Christianity shares many things. I have a close affinity to the Norse and Celtic ancient religions, as far as they can be reconstructed. The runes have shown me the way I am on, and it was a hard one, but one that I can still relate to. The Hávamal to me is a valuable instruction to live, but not less than the Ten Commandments. So syncretism is a criticism I must confess to. I have never claimed to be perfect, and I am a seeker as so many people out there.

Now I read on this blog [quote]:

"Allah - not so much. His followers will burn in Hell soon enough, though I wouldn't be against speeding the journey of a few million."  

I have thoroughly thought about it, and even contemplated removing his blog from my reading list. As an educated German, that certainly hit a nerve with me and it made me quite aggressive, for this is an open invitation to genocide, which I can not at all tolerate. Plus, since I am to be made responsible for the content of my links, too, I HAVE to do something about it.

Now I hold this blogger in high esteem otherwise. He sometimes is a wise man, and a real man speaking his word. He wants to be loved, he is often sad, and he does a load of good for people in need. So there is a real person behind this expression of hate. And it is utter hatred that speaks out of these words, from a disciple of a religion of mercy. Pagan prejudice has it that this might be the rule with Christians, but I do not book into prejudices. 

In Pagan belief, Death and War are not put under taboo; they are a part of life. The ancient Gods of War demanded a sacrifice, and they do in these times we live in. When the call arises, I will make my stand. If it´s time, and no other solution of diplomacy, of talking and of common sense left, I will fight, with no limit and no stopping until the enemy is extinguished or I am dead. And we, other than many other beliefs, do not have the prospect of another world, but the certainity.

The ancestors had an even more rigorous stance towards war (picture from:, and a valuable article, too) ; not only were the enemies hunted to kill, but their heads were severed. They believed the head to be the seat of the soul. The heads were used as a trophy and often as a drinking vessel. This was made to enslave the soul of the opponent. It is also said the ancient Irish tribes used the brain of their enemies to create the "tathlúm", a missile for the slingshot. It was mixed with mortar and calcium carbonate and painted black.
 A viking sacrificial custom dedicated to the thundergod Thor was the "Blood Eagle" custom. The victim was hit with an axe from behind and the ribcage was severed from the spine, the lungs pulled out and the victim sent as a blood eagle to Thor, the pulsing lungs mimicking bloodied wings.

This is war. There is no such thing as a humanitarian warfare. It can never be. And, believe me, a global conflict is no laughing matter, and it would be better to get on even terms, before the entire habitat is destroyed. War therefore is not an alternative to me. Not at all. Education is.

Hatred leads to more hatred, and is just prone to destroy the world our children should inherit.

Respect is the key to coming close to something, if that can ever be, like a civilized warfare, for there can never be peace with mankind. Man is a creature of war and relishes in gore. Man is the Evil many fear as the Devil. Mankind CAN be good, but in its natural state it is barbarous and violent and evil.

No respect leads to barbary compared to which the aforementioned violent acts of war and sacrifice are sweetmeats. It is hard to learn respect. It means sometimes you have to fight down your own reflexes of hatred and aggression. But I believe that will pay off, for I have experienced that to be so. I am not special in any way. So, if I can write this post calmly and give the author a chance of discussion, anybody could.

I will not remove this blog from my reading list, and I will continue respecting him. For there is a real person behind this expression of fanatism.

Everyone should have his saying. I had mine, and I will not be made responsible for the saying of others.

But I sincerely hope he would read the New Testament a bit more than the old one. 

Mittwoch, 12. September 2012

Charcoal Fest 2012 "Meilerfest Ennepetal 2012"- weird and funny people and catastrophes

 On Saturday and Sunday I was forging at the really great event "Meilerfest" in Ennepetal. I was there for the Bethaus smithy. It turned out Volker had no truck at hand, so we packed his car instead, humming the "Tetris" melody*ggg*. Turns out his car was a bit-erm- seasoned*ggg*. So it made some funny noises, and when I arrived, it refused to work. So I unpacked the car, humming the "Tetris" melody and laid plans to go home by bike, should the car fail completely. The location was at a beautiful forest site, and I was placed directly beside the charcoal kiln. The sun was shining, and I lit the forge. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, for there was a bunch of great people around, and the atmosphere was great.
(picture by Benjamin Grigo)
 Then the first kids arrived, and I had a lot to do. The kids were righteously proud of their achievements. we forged little projects, such as mini horseshoes (for dwarfpirateponies;-)), hearts, pendants, snakes, Thor´s hammers, crosses, letters, wardrobe hangers, meat hooks and the like. It was fun, but the sun was beating hard, and I had no time for eating anything until dusk! I drank like 6 l of water that day, it was that hot, and had not to go for one leak!

(picture by Benjamin Grigo)
It was good fun to work with those kids. They were creative enough, and did a great job, and many of them did not forge for the first time. It is good to see a traditional craft not dying out, for sure, and it gives me the feeling to achieve something useful. This, in turn, is good fun.
(picture by Benjamin Grigo)
 A view of the charcoal kiln from the forge. The kiln was built in a circular manner, with a half - step and partly submerged into the soil. The coalers were around and will be for a week.
 Near the kiln they built a coaler´s hut out of spruce twigs, but noone actaully slept there... turned out it was just a fake for the crowd;-).
 The kiln.
Even if I was in a survival situation, I would not sleep in this hut for fear of the main beams falling down;-)...
 Rainer, the carpenter was there, too, and I was quite enthused to meet him, for he is a nice guy to boot!
 He had a lot of great carvings at his booth on display, all carved by chainsaw.
 I was especially fond of the craftsmanship that shows in the carving of this dog!
 The artist. He made a kingfisher out of oakwood on Saturday.
 Beside the kiln there was a camfire, and kids and adults alike went there to make stickbread.
 There also was this booth of Marion, offering quality pottery. She makes those all by hand in the region.
 Oh, and this is Olaf, a knifemaker... Olaf is a pagan and screams that on top of his lungs. He is what I´d call an amulet heathen.... I would walk doubly bent over had I to wear that load of amulets! We had a chat, and, apart from his naughty appearance, he was a gentle guy. A weirdo, for certain,. but it´s often the weirdos being valuable people to meet! I am always aware of the fact that the deity scrutinizes us through the encounters we make. To me, it is a gift, meeting unusual people. Life would be boring if not for those encounters. Olaf had some really great and beautiful knives on display.
 Blunt training daggers,
 Mini axes and hatchets and tiny neckknives
 As well as those beautiful mountainman - style users.
 I was particularily fond of this hatchet. A bit too much runes for my liking, and too many inscriptions... Bindrunes would have done finely, too, but a great axe it was no less!
 And I could have bought all of those. Olaf does not forge to date, but our chat is likely to have changed that!
 I really like this damascus hunting knife!

 A backup knife he made from a big - term corporation knife, modifying the grind and adding some filework.
 He also makes leather pouches, sheaths, and bags, and all in a great quality.

 A detail of a lanyard mojo. Silver.
 An antelope drinking horn-sweet!
 I then went to the next booth. There was an altogether different guy, a very modest man making works of art with a simple whittling knife. He carved roosters out of hazel wood as a Christian symbol. He is a practising Christian, and Olaf and he had a nice chat from time to time and got along fine. It works, see?;-) I know, I am starting to get on your nerves, but look around you. Everywhere the goofbrains whack each other with nuclear weapons because some party or the other made fun of their respective opponent´s God. I do not care if you try to make fun of the Goddess, and she loves a healthy laugh, too. And if you make fun of the law of the universe, it´s your own fault and not my business if you burn yourself to ashes, even if I get burned in the process. I tried that, it tickles.*ggg* So I have a different perspective upon that, and I really enjoy the beauty of an utter heathen and a dedicated Christian getting along with each other nicely. Rant over and out.;-)
 And Mr. Rosenberger really had works of art on display, see?;-)
 ...okay, ambitious, and not my liking, but the crowd loved those.
 ...and those.
 Mrs. Rosenberger was weaving baskets and other beautiful items. She worked all day long, too, and still was smiling. In fact, there were so many people smiling, even when at hard work, I could not help but smile myself.
 The works of art of Mrs. Rosenberger.

 This, in turn, was Siggi´s smithy. He had built a smelting furnace and explained to the crowd how iron ore was made in the times of Yore;-).
 And that I met this woman and her man was a right privilege, and quite certainly it was no coincidence. Alexandra is a herbalist tutoring her students about herbs and their fascinating life, of natural spirituality, of incense and healing with crystals, of runes and that simple thing called inspiration that is yet so complex most people confuse it with force and might and magic, and she follows a very similar path to mine. We had a lot of intensive talk, or so it seemed, but in retrospective it were just some 15 min of talk all in all. It felt like hours, in the positive sense of the word. More was said than just words, and I hope to get to know both her and her man better.
 Then I was off to Olaf´s booth. He cellars mead and keeps bees, and he had a lot of related products at hand. he just loves what he does and does it his way, and his love shows when he talks about the products he has on display. I work in the marketing, and I can tell a lie from real passion for a product. His is the latter. He keeps bees, and it´s great that more and more people dicover how important those little creatures are even for the survival of mankind. No bees, no life, it´s that simple. Olaf certainly does not talk much about that, but his bees he keeps with love, and his passion keeps the fire burning. Hats off, mate!
 This is a wood spirit Rainer carved. Oak wood, burned and oiled.
 It took a while until I realized there was a green man at the entrance of the coaler´s hut...
 ..but there he was. Rainer made him. That place was full of details like this.
 A vulture. In Germany we have a saying that goes "Weiß der Geier" (That may know the vulture, literally) indicating that someone has no clue about something. The baker at whose booth the vulture sculpture;-) stood, had a paper bag of miscelaneous bread and cake for sale, the "Weiß-der-Geier"-bag... funny;-).
 They gave away one bread wrapped in a quality towel to every one at work for the fest! Thanks a lot, the bread was delicious!
 I also had a lot of fun with the coalers.
 And that´s the best reward for my work. A smiling, happy kid that discovers smithing.
 This was the smelting furnace Siggi built. Now Siggi certainly is another strange guy with sometimes wild theories concerning archaeology. But that´s because he tends to think more with his heart than with his cerebellum, as most bankers do (EATDRINKSLEEPGAINREPEAT), and in his passion he tends to forget that not everybody thinks along these lines. That is not to say he is not a most intelligent guy. But he thinks along unusual lines, and that makes him not always a friend to everyone, carefully spoken. I like that very much, for it is a challenge, and if you like challenges of the mind, Siggi might be the right guy to talk to. He is weird and funny, but I get along with him pretty well. 
 And, mind you, building a furnace like this is certainly nothing you do wthout a huge portion of knowledge! What was made abundantly clear by the setup was how synergetic people had to think and work in times not so long gone by. The woods were used in a crop change agriculture. There hardwood was cultivated for charcoaling. The charcoal kiln was set up in the immediate surrounding of the furnace. The ore was extracted in the hills where the woods were planted also, where the kiln and the furnace were, and where the smithy was built. We in our overspecialized society have forgotten to think like this, and it has gotten us into the mess we´re in.
 The furnace was stocked with a big fire up to 3 / 4 up the channel. Then three parts ore and one part calcium carbonate was added. Charcoal was added, and so forth. With about 8 to. of charcoal around 1 to. of iron could be smelted!
 This is Siggi, explaining the synergetics.
 The product of the furnace.
 The ore.
 More fine products at Andrea´s booth!

 And there was a troop of falconer´s, too. I was especially fond of this goshawk...
 ... and this fellow here: an eagle owl.... I had a conversation with him and he allowed me to stroke him. It´s kinda funny how much they enjoy being stroked, "vicious" bird of prey, hunter of the night and all;-).
 There also was this demo of moving timber with horses, a Haflinger horse. I really love this breed of horse, good-natured and strong as they are.
 ...and to my eyes, beautiful, too!
 Not all was roses, though. On Sunday morning, after Saturday´s hard work, the pedal of my forge broke. I made a makeshift substitute, but on Sunday afternoon, that broke, too. My hammer came loose by the constant bashing, the nailforging hardy device broke, and the car got still on my nerves.
 The broken pedal winch and the makeshift I made.
 I strolled the aisles a bit, and had a good chat with Alex, another good guy I met. Alex stood nearby the forge on Saturday morning, and before we could trade as much as ten words, he was already helping with the kids, and doing a good job with that. Since it was a right mad craze on Saturday, I was right grateful for his help, and I hope I made that clear enough! Thanks, Alex, you are welcome!
Then, sooner as i anticipated, evening came. It was but time for a goodbye tour that turned out not too brief;-). I daresay new acquaintances and maybe even friends were made, and I will be back for sure!

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