Mittwoch, 13. März 2013

The quest goes on.... for the "Brackerfelder Knopmetz" and other treasures;-)

 When I came home on Thursday, I went for an afterwork bimble in my neighbouring woods. These woods originally were property of a smithing corporation that produced saws, spades, scythes, and other tools in the 1930´s, and they filled up the trails with their scrap metal and other junk. This practice was quite common in these days. I also set out to get a clue how the Breckersfelder bog iron ore might have been processed, for you find a lot of smelting leftovers there, and Breckerfeld is situated quite close to the place where I live. In any case, this is a treasury of industrial history. One thing has to be added, sadly, and that is that this is also a documentation of human hubris, for the woods will be polluted for aeons to come. You even find chunks of sulphur lying on the surface! Heavy metals pollute the water, and many trees show signs of pollution. But, it is somewhat strange. I even found pseudovolcanic haematite, and those smelting remnants that had rested in the soil for so long now, have withered to an almost beautiful appearance. 
 I found a piece of wrought iron, an old stamp, a rod of tool steel, and a sheet bar of very strange tool steel. It appeared untempered, and yet I used it to pry and dig and smash slag and ore lumps... have to check the carbon content....:-)
 On the road to the hills, I found a piece of spring steel. I did not say no to that, either.;-)
 The sun was sinking fast, and in the fading light I came across these smelting slags.
 They were covered with volcanic glass, which hints of glass powder being used as a flux medium.
 I simply revelled in the beauty of those structures and the surfaces formed by heat and time and the rage of the forest´s roots.


 Several steps farther ahead I came across this looong (1,2 m) rod of tool steel, presumeably, that is, judging from the rust buildup.
 An allen hey key bolt, an something that seems to be a piece of an old sickle or scythe... it will become a knife blade, and I think I´ll complete it exclusively from material from these woods.

More slag, ore remnants and pseudovolcanic glass.

I also took home some ingot remnants to practice processing of the ingot I found in Breckerfeld. The region is thoroughly stamped by industry, and often polluted by it. We smiths have a responibility for the ecosystem, too, and we must do something good. Industrialization not only has enslaved the individual worker, but also ruined parts of the ecosystem for good. The fact that several smiths could work with the material found in just a tiny area of those woods hints of over-production and the messing about with resources. I certainly am no eco - angel, but tribal knifemaking and blacksmithing has taught me to use as much material and scrap material as I can without throwing away, reusing instead of recycling. By this hike I realized how urgent this is, and I learned something concerning the quest for the Breckerfelder knopmetz... but it still goes on!;-) Watch this space.

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