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Donnerstag, 26. September 2013

A positive example of a Turkish Reforestation program

I only but recently had the privilege to talk to Mr. Ömer Adigüzel from Gömürgen help organization. The organization primarily raises funds to help with reforestation of a Turkish savannah region which formerly was green, but by land exploitation suffered ecological crisis. Check out their homepage for more info:

http://www.goemuergen.de/?lang=en

Take a look, and if you feel so inclined, support them...

Donnerstag, 12. September 2013

Poems anybody;-) - Three thorns of Blackthorn song (in German and English)

Drei Dornen Schwarzdorn

Sie haben Dich beobachtet,
Sie haben Dich geseh´n...
Auf dem Hügel alt,
Wo kalte Winde weh´n.

Die Haare offen,
Die Füße bloß,
So tanztest Du
Auf der Erde warmem Schoß.

Sie haben Dich beobachtet,
Sie haben Dich geseh´n,
Auf dem Hügel alt,
Wo kalt die Winde weh ´n.

Die Erde leidet
Unter ihrem Schritt,
Sie gehen unter
Und reißen alles mit.

In ihren Garten säen sie
Eine Saat aus Blei,
Und sie töten alles,
Was noch wild und frei.

Sie haben Dich beobachtet,
Sie haben Dich geseh´n...
Auf dem Hügel alt, wo kalte Winde weh´n.

Ich singe eine Dornenhecke
Um dieses kleine Lied,
Um diese Saat, und Eisenkette
Füg ich Glied an Glied.

Ich singe eine Eiche,
Bewacher des Portals,
Drei Dornen Schwarzdorn,
Und ein Lied aus Stahl,
Drei Dornen Schwarzdorn,
Und Klinge kalten Stahls.

Ich singe Dir ein Schild,
Ich singe Felsgebein,
Tanze frei und wild
Unter dem Mondlichtschein.

Sie haben Dich beobachtet,
Sie haben Dich geseh´n,
Auf dem Hügel alt
Unter den Sternen steh´n.

Die Haare offen,
Die Füße bloß,
Deine Augen blickten
In Sternenweiten fern;
Und auf Deiner Stirne
Und in Deinem Schoß,
Dort leuchtet hell ein Stern.

Three thorns of blackthorn (word by word-translation, might be a song will follow)

They observed you,
They have seen you
On an ancient hill
Where cold winds blow.

Your locks were free,
Your feet were bare,
As you danced
On the Earth´s warm bosom.

They observed you,
They have seen you,
On an ancient hill
Where cold winds blow.

The Earth it suffers
Under their pounding step
They are falling,
With them they tear down all.

In their garden
They sow a leaden seed,
And they kill
All things wild and free.

They have observed you,
They have seen you,
On an ancient hill,
Where cold winds blow.

I sing a hedge of blackthorn
Around this little song,
Around this seed, and iron chain
I mend link to link.

I sing an oak, 
The guardian of the door,
Three thorns of blackthorn,
And a song of steel,
Three thorns of blackthorn,
And a blade of steel.

I sing for thee a shield,
A rock to build upon,
Dance so free and wild
Under the ancient moon.

They have seen you,
They did observe
You standing under stars
And your look it wandered far away.

Your locks were free,
Your feet were bare,
And on your brow
And in your bosom
Brightly burns a star.

Mittwoch, 11. September 2013

On the bench these days... Wootz / Bulat-blades from steel I found in the woods

 I can tell you, I nearly fell on my south, when I learned the "crap steel" I found in the woods actually was refined Wootz! In the etch you can see the characteristical carbide distribution...Click here for a scientific article on Wootz / Bulat / Pulad steel.
 Even if it were not this kind of steel, there´s be no harm done, for it makes for a blade that wickedly sharp and holds an edge very well. Okay, so it got some dents, when I slammed it full bore into an iron rod, especially to the rear, where it did not hit the tempering concoction fast enough, but no harm done... when´s the last time you used a knife to chop through iron rods?;-)
 I fitted a stag antler handle that´s currently being tanned.
 The spine´s rather thick at 5mm, the blade´s 95 mm long. I love the Kopis design, for it makes for a smooth cutting motion!
 And my hadseax is there, finally, and talk of being snobbish, the damascus is of ancient file steel and Wootz steel... as I have learned now. It is wickedly sharp, flexible and boy, I simply love it.
 If you look closely you can see hints of the wootz structure in the layers.
 Okay, I have to remove that glue;-)!!!


The blade´s 105 mm long and 3,2 mm thick, has a high convex bevel with a very slight curve. The handle is bog oak from an old mine with a lovely burgundy colour. Fitting and bolster are brass, the white piece is reindeer antler that will see some carving. Watch this space, I am back...!(that a threat?);-)

Dienstag, 3. September 2013

News from the shop and the deep, deep woods...

 Long time, no post, and a load of things that have happened. Suffice to say, life´s not getting easier, but I refuse to give up;-). Something very great first, however: It was not a week after Willy and the magic troll learned my camera had gone the way of all earthly things that they both respectively gave me a camera they had to spare. No high-end pictures, but pictures you´ll get, first from projects going on. Topmost is the new Nessmuk I started some time ago, fitted with ramshorn scales. Spring steel, selective temper and scales I am a bit disappointed of, for they are looking a bit crappy still. Then a knife I am very fond of, a danascus from ancient file and crucible steel. Brass, reindeer antler, yew from the old garden of my old home, and a copper buttcap. You can see the quench line very distictively and the blade, even with a rather thick convex bevel, is hair-poppingly sharp.
 Then a fully integral compact bush knife proto with a tempered buttcap that can be used to hammer nails home (which I tested;-)) and a thick tang that even without scales can be used with no harm to your hands. The blade supports my weight;-). It´s made from spring steel with a selective temper. The tang is drilled out to achieve a better balance. Guess it will get some stag scales or something like that...

Next in line is an integral Kopis/En-Nep out of crucible steel I found in the woods. Not tempered yet, I am still about on the finish. By the way, I have, except for drilling, used no power tools.
 "Found in Myrk´s wood";-), another integral loosely modeled after a German hunting knife. I am really fond of it, crucible steel from the woods again, 90x4mm, burned stag antler, riveted against a brass buttcap. The handle will see a carving, maybe of an eagle owl, which is of some spiritual significance to me.
 Then I made a lanyard mojo for rún iarann, an EDC utility knife out of Zwissler damascus, tank cannon and tank bearing steel, and bog oak with a burgundy colour. Silver, agate, brass, and a merlin´s tail feather.
Talking of "Myrk´s wood", you asked for it, and here it comes: Another unlikely Fimbulmyrk tale:

Last week I was completely burned out from work, work and more hard work, deaths in my family, a distance relationship, no resources at all, and having no actual perspective in the so- called "real world", you know, the one that destroys nature for money, toodles and plays around with genetics, bionics and warfare and generally knows no god but the ego... coming to think of it, it in itself has no perspective, but you know what I mean.

So, what to do?

Off with me into the deepest woods I could find. Searching for counsil and comfort by the trees and the spirits. It wasn´t long into the hike that I realized buzzards were circling ahead, some five or so, crying madly as I have never heard before. Following them I ventuered ever deeper into the woods. There it was I found a buzzard´s skull, and paying my respect, I took it with me.

Now I am currently researching the local legends about the elven or dwarven king Goldemar / Volmar, the mythical builder of Volmarstein castle and counsellor of Neveling of Hardenberg, lord of Hardenstein castle, a trickster and a mythical figure presumeably dating back to an older local deity. At one point I had a strong vision, when I encountered a herd of roe deer, a HUGE one, in fact, with some twenty roe deer all in all, heading into my direction. I then imagined rather savagely looking dwarves with features more "trollish" than anything, led by one dwarf with an antlered crown of brambles, blackthorn, and ivy riding on their backs. Vivid imagination can do that to you, yap*ggg*, and it is a rather adventurous way to become a part of the myth yourself. Of course, it is difficult to keep your feet on the ground afterwards, but, to be honest, what would I win if I did so? Wading in the muck? So, I have decided long ago, I´d rather have an interesting and somewhat psychologically dangerous life than none at all wading through the swamp that others created for me to live in. When out now in the woods, where he might as well have been sighted, too, as a local legend of the "Hünenpforte" might hint to, I was in a pensive mood about all those stories and tales of old, and I thought about the wanderer, coming from Schwelm and meeting a dwarf (king?) there, providing him with a fox as a guide through the underground to the giant´s passageway in Hohenlimburg. This is another story which I have told here.But as I wandered in a mood of contemplation and fancy, there it lay, half submerged in the rotten leaves of an autumn gone by, autumn itself in its waning paleness: The skull of a fox. It was a shock, for the outside and the inside world melted into each other, and, I cannot tell it any other way, the otherworld opened for me. I therefore do not exactly know;-) if this was a vision, but the next shock was about to come: A giant boar, with bristles as hard and strong that "an apple might stay stuck upon them" passed along a ridge of the terrain, as real as it can be, but with something more about it. If I have to explain this, I will never succeed, if you understand this, I don´t have to explain anything. Okay, I said, laughing at myself, while I was staying where I was (you do not want to cross a boar in autumn, do you? Not with an at least adequate weapon at hand...;-)), and payed him my respect mentally. All the while the buzzards were still crying madly above. When Mr. boar had gone on his merry way, I went on mine, following the cries above. Even deeper in the woods I found another treasure; as I rounded a callused spruce tree and climbed over a fallen beech that had sprouted new trunks from the fallen stem, I came to a very peaceful place. There a spring rose from a meadow, and above there stood an ancient hazel tree. Into the trickling creek it threw its fruits, green and nourishing. And the water flowed on endlessly, for joy of being and for the fruits of the hazel of fine mast falling into it. It was a place of great peace and comfort. It felt like home, I cannot tell it any other way, and there I rested in meditation, and the hours just flowed, but I did not notice. I realized that I had somehow fallen out of time there, when I learned it was becoming quite late already. But I simply walked on afterwards, following the trail of deer and the trail of my myth within... the story that dwells and thrives in all of us, the dragon that we all could ride - if we dared. This dragon is wild and savage, too, it´s not all light, but sometimes very dark. It can bite our head off in a flash, but we are able still to make our peace with it. We the can thrive as a dragon, and the fire in our spines will carry us over the storm-ridden skies into a golden dawn, where we can find words to create ourselves, to invent our life. Thus was the path into the green, into the twilight wood, the realm, where the one with the antlered crown walks, hunter and prey at the same time, the goddess´ strong-horned consort... thinking this, I was actually not surprised to find a piece of a roe - deer´s skull with a piece of antler on it.

Oh yes, I returned to civilization. I took the bus, and bought a beer, and some junk food. But my imagination has run wild, and I´m aware and proud of it. It is hard to regain your composure afterwards. It is always an act of balance, and chance is, you can get mad by being as I am. Maybe I am mad, but I have not done harm to anyone, and won´t, if I do not have to at all.

But it´s better to be mad than a moron.;-)

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