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Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2013

Some smithing tutorial with Pam and René at the Bethaus

 On Saturday, I had an appointment with Pamela and her boyfriend, René. René is one of my oldest friends, and Pamela, his girlfriend, is a goldsmith. On a recent party, she addressed me if I could teach her how to forge some real material;-). Now it is somewhat funny - I always shunned her a bit, for when we met each other for the first time, she sneered at me. But when we got to actually talk, it happened, that thing that always happens when two smiths meet, may they forge iron, steel, or gold and and silver. The others on the party did not understand much anymore, and we had a great time. And she wanted to make a knife bad;-), and we even talked about making some damascus. When the two came by, she even brought some Borax! When she had her first go at pounding steel, however we consulted again and came to the clue, that plain spring steel woulöd suit her fine;-). I am kidding, of course, for she did extremely well. Volker had a children´s birthday party going on at the time, and we arranged ourselves.
 We used the manual forge. I normally am very fond of it, but it proved less than ideal that time. The transmission belt had shortened due to the cold, and the fan did not work properly, so we took Viktor´s forge instead.
 René looking on and commenting on Pamela´s work. It´s funny that couples who really love each other tend to get mad at each other all the time;-)... but they are both friendly people, and so it was no problem at all... just interesting to see.
 The kids apparently had a lot of fun, too, forging snails and hearts and snakes and mini horseshoes...
 When my psychotic clients*ggg* got too mad with each other, I gave René the sledge to remove some excess energy*ggg*. Just kidding again, that guy does not look the part, but he is a brute. We went felling trees at one time a lot, working in landscaping together. I remember him calling me one Friday evening and saying "Hey, bro, got anything to do on Saturday? Got an easy job, nothing really difficult, some ten trees no larger than 30 cm diameter, and they can all fall freely..." Having worked with him at that time for some time already, I was alert and packed ten times the food and water I would have normally had, and went to bed five hours earlier. The culprit is, it were one of those jobs I just so survived. There were 18 trees, most were rotten, one had a hornet´s nest in it, and none of them could fall freely, so we had to cut them off in tiny slices. We raced each other delimbing the fallen slices, him with a chainsaw, me with two Khukhuris, and, when they were too dull to work anymore (!), with two hatchets. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done - and one of the funnest things along the way. When I told another friend of mine, no stranger to hard work, too, and doing lumberjack work himself, he asked me about our tractor and what model it was, for he was fond of tractors. The face he made when I asked "What tractor?" was worth it;-). There are not many people with whom you can do that and still be friends afterwards. René is someone I trusted my life to and would do so again, and he does the same. We lost a bit of a contact, and I am really glad that seems to change again, with a bit of negotiation by Pamela. I really look forward to what will happen and to learn from each other. René is a industrial design engineer, Pamela with her goldsmithing background, and myself as the ironpounding brute might influence each other, and that´s a good thing I hope for.
 Also, I have to thank Volker once again, for providing a smithy, which is not self-evident. He also provided us with a constant flow of coffee, and had his own work going on all the while.

 René having his own go at Pamela´s knife.
 Here he forges the blade already. Note how he stands at an angle, looking towards the horn of the anvil. That way he does not interfere with his own tongs and can quite easily access the piece he is forging with controlled hammer blows.
Pamela, however, making a mistake. See how she cramps using the tongs in front of her? To be fair, it was a tong not quite suited for the task, and we had no time to make another, so it is obvious she could encounter some difficulties;-). She made a leaf-handled kitchen knife with a Nessmuk-shape blade. Since you know the type, I spare you another photo. I really look forward to see how it will look when finished! René announced he wanted a knife, too, and we will make damascus, and the next project will be a knife with a horn handle. Both had fun forging, and will return to the smithy sometime soon after their holiday. I look forward to it!

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