Freitag, 17. Januar 2014

Of Chrismas fair mayhem, of breaking bonds and forging unity... impressions from a busy end of 2013

 Now, you have waited quite long for one of those posts, and for a reason. After the Chrismas fair mayhem I was simply feeling as if someone put me through a millstone, and did not quite feel like blogging. But here they come, impressions from a busy end of the year. We had one fair at Volmarstein Orthopaedic Institute, which was a most interesting opportunity to boot, for we forged with handicapped persons and kids alike.
 We arrived early and set up forge. It was going to be a very busy weekend with lots of creativity also in finding solutions for enabling people to have a go. We managed, and it was very rewarding seeing the twinkle in the eyes of a person condemned to lying flat on his belly for most of his life, and being able to master the violent fire and the hissing steam and the unforgiving iron! It was worth the ordeal of pre-Chrismas time just to see this spark in his eye, and I hope it was kindled to give him the strength to brave his everyday life. Think you got a hard life? Think again. And my utmost respect goes to those people. Not because they are "special", but because they - for the most part - are stronger than most just because they are mastering their life. Because they are not special, and don´t want to be.
 This guy, however... ;-)
 had some time to spare and some noise to make to attract the customers, and what did he do? Bushcraft whittler from wootz I found in the woods...
 We made this giveaway certificate for the kids and other customers.
 Quenching and tempering the blade. Then suddenly it was absolute chaos. When I looked up again, it was dark. People kept coming, we forged with kids and adults and had to find new solutions constantly. i could not take photos, but, hey, you have alreay seen people forging in this blog, don´t you?;-)
 This is far more important;-) at dinner time I had a break and got me a delicious dish, one of my favourite meals: Green cabbage with sausage and fried potatoes.Yum!
 And back to work again, kindling the flame and sparkling sparks...;-)

Next day we met with the good guys from the Insitute´s staff, can tell you, we had quite a laugh together!

 Then Peter dropped by. He´s an accomplished smith himself, as you can tell by his build;-). He provided visitors with mead and ale in his medieval tavern. We had a nice chat and a laugh together, and he is thinking of ordering some Oseberg lamps... get on with it, bro;-)!
 The kids dropped by and had some fun smithing.
 ...and were righteously proud of their accomplishments!
 I made this common cubicle-nosed Iroquois pig that tries to be a Celtic boar but still has room left to grow...;-) as a hiking staff headpiece. Willi´s currently making himself one which I am very fond of, with a ram´s head, but since wild pigs have some significance to me,  thought I´d go for one of these.
 And some fully-integral En-Nep knife with a tang drilled out for balance.

 Then suddenly, Volmarstein fair was over, and we were headed for Schwelm. This was a bit of a stressy actioon, for for my employer I helped organize the fair, we moved the office, I followed several projects at work that needed instant accomplishment, I had to organize three booths and do some forging at the same time. But when we met at Schwelm, all was forgotten. All the politics and the strategies and the hacking about in the office. At the office, I am but scum. But I know steel-and steel knows me. The fires were lit, Rolf, Nick, Willi, Volker and a load of groupies gathered around the booths. Rolf made some great leather tooling work with the kids, Nick offered some tin can play at skittles, and Volker, Willy and myself did some serious blacksmithing show;-) not at all.
 Brought some blades for some back-of-booth display, too. Lousy picture, apologies!

 Nick had a go at the forge himself.
 We met with Arthur, too. He´s a beeskeeper we frequently meet on events around these parts, and it´s always a pleasure!
 In Schwelm we also forged new links for a chain of unity we also did in Bochum at TFH (2,8 m) and Altenessen (3,05m). The idea behind the project is to let people from every social background have a go at forging an individual link, which is then linked to the great chain. We believe in unity amongst all races, ethnies and social caste and background. We believe that while we may not have peace in the world, at least people should pay each other the respect in allowing the thought that every individual human being is shaping the course of this mankind we value far too much. We believe that politicians, bankers and other warmongers have no power over the hearts of the people, and while they will not allow peace, because peace is not profitable, they cannot achieve total mind control.

And, quite personally, we believe, that, when we light the fire hot enough, the deity -or the Gods- will hear us and listen.

At least, iron does.
 Many of the kids we forged with, had alreay been there last year and waited eagerly for our booth to be set up on Saturday and Sunday. Felt good...;-) not being scum for once.;-)
 Rolf had a load of rare and beautiful pocket knives and craftsman´s cutters on display, together with his lovely leather work.
 Also some weekend project blades out of damascus and 440C.
 Nick suffering from the chills*ggg*.
 A dragon head link for the chain. The chain will be displayed at Schwelm Town Hall.
 Rolf suffering from the chills...*ggg*
 And tooling these leather wrist bands with kids and adults alike. He also made knife sheaths for knives we forged by the dozens!
 And this was the chain of Schwelm. 2,5 m of unity were forged in two days.
 And suddenly, the moon was out, and we were packing up.
We had some dinner, fish and chips without the vinegar, had a chat, and were all headed home. Folks, it´s simply good to have you around. You haven´t noticed much of what was going on beforehand, but you have certainly saved me from going mad that weekend.

Cheers to you weirdos and to those other weirdos out there!

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