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Donnerstag, 18. April 2013

Children´s birthday party at the smithy - and an elven knife that wanted to be a seax;-)

On Sunday we had a children´s birthday party scheduled, and Volker had called the other day if I could help out. Turns out I could, and so I saddled my steed and rode out. Of course, there were not many surprises, business as usual, and I find I get more and more routine in that. Not that each and every time it would not be a new experience. It feels great to work with the kids, if they are willing and their parents let them be creative! Those kids were great to work with, minor quarrells are always part of the trade, but all in all, they were willing and enjoyed it well.
I wonder what will matter in their life more-the things they learned to make by hand or those abstract mathematic noone except a rocket scientist will ever need? And I simply hope to start the feeling they can actually make things by hand, and being capable of actually shaping their own world by hand and skill and will. If we could achieve but a tiny bit of that notion, even if it were in but one out of hundred, our work would not be for nope. We always welcome them back to the smithy, whenever they want to come, and not only for the reason they pay Volker for it!
You can always tell when kids are creative and eager to learn when the parents give them a backing. Those kids were socially educated, not yelling at each other, quarrelling some, but that´s normal, but not beating each other to pulp (and mind you, we had that, too, on more occasions than we´d like to mention). Mum and Daddy did not panic when the kids were playing in the nearby creek, building dams and coming back looking like swamp monsters;-), and in turn, it showed in the work of the kids. So simple!
The kids had a display to choose from this time, and we forged mini horsehoes with their names stamped into, knives, musical notation signs, snails, snakes, pendants and the like.
Here Volker stamps horsehoes with the name letters of the kids...
Nick came by, too, to have his first try of working with the kids, and he did a great job with the kids. His smithing skills still give us something to work on, but that was quite a feat; for he simply made clear that he was learning still and wanted to do it together with the kids! Really good, mate. The kids liked him and he got the right kind of control. 
"Hammer high!!!" was his command, and the kids had fun with it!
The kids always have to wear safety glasses, goggles, gloves and aprons for protection.
Some of the things we made. Celtic Kopis and utility knives, a seax and a skinner blade made from coldforged (work-hardened) steel. We offer a tutorial for a knife out of spring steel, but that takes way longer and costs 50 - 70 €, and most parents are reluctant to pay THIS! MUCH! FOR! A! KNIFE! DOH! *ggg*, so mild steel is what they get. It is surprising, though, that you can get ´em to cut, albeit not very good, by coldforging!
More of the stuff.
Then, suddenly, all was over, and I tutored Nick some more on blacksmithing, and then I worked for a project we are about to start. The idea was developed after the "Forging against racism" - event at the TFH in Bochum city. Petr mailed along and asked if he could contribute, and the magic troll, Volker and myself decided to start it for ourselves and blacksmiths and craftsmen all over the world, if at all possible. So, if you want, forge a chain link or even a chain, carve it, weave it, knit it, felt it, do whatever you want. keep it in your country, call all your friends to contribute, call anyone who would want to contribute, be it a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, Taoist, Shintoist, Shamanist, Animist, Philosopher, Atheist or whatever. We will start a blog and a facebook account and will offer anyone who coordinates the activities in her / his country admin / author rights on that blog. If you have already made something, send a photo smaller than 1 MB to an email adress I will establish soon, when the blog and accounts are on (I will post in two - three weeks time with all info!). And then, in a future yet to come, I hope we can all meet and link that chain together as a sign to all the warmonging arseholes around the world that we, the people of the earth don´t want nuclear threats and wars for petty reasons. If we had an argument, fine, that can be discussed. But we are fed up with the economists ruling out our life and death. With our work, we could fight without violence, not against something, but for a process of forging unity. That is not to say all will be grand. But tell us our story, and people all over the world will get to know your people. You can, of course, write in any language you´d want, but it makes more sense if you could do it in English, for it is understood in most any part of the world.

So, come on, get to the forge, the spinning wheel or the carving bench. Wood will be linked to wood, cloth to cloth, and iron to iron, and work to work and deed to deed!
Then I rummaged through my backpack and, deep down in the depths I found the elven hunting knife that broke recently for it got too hot. I realized it had a monstrous spine thickness and decided to give it a try to draw it out further, and made this seax blade from it. Wrought iron and 1.2842 three-layer - laminate, and it worked out well. Due to the additional pounding, and some annealing, annealing (and when I was done annealing I did some annealing and annealed, and annealed some more, just for  a change, before I did some annealing;-)) I managed to achieve a finer grain structure. Then I tempered it and tested it, and it works! Seems that the iron does not want me to forge fantasy knives, and I will keep that to heart!
The sun was setting when I said goodbye to Nick and Volker and made for the trail home.


  1. Kids learn better when they have a lot of fun and that lot look like they are having fun!

  2. You have won a blog award. Please go to:
    Regards, Keith.

    1. Thank you, Keith, for nominating me, and I am currently thinking about that blog award... smells a bit like a mass email thing... no offence meant. Anyway, I am amazed that you folks like this read... guess I´ll do a post next week, if that´ll be okay. Thanks!


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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