Donnerstag, 25. September 2014
Montag, 22. September 2014
Unrest got the bug bad;-) and thus he sent me a SMS how it would be to do a hammer-In on Friday. We had planned it beforehand to do some barbecueing also. I had organized the event and asked Volker if it would be possible, and it turned out it even was REALLY okay, so we met at 2 pm and lit up forge. Nick was there, Kathrin, Michael, Nele, Volker and myself, and we set up the forge and anvils in a circle (thanks, Nick!). Nele and Michael wanted to make their first knives, and Nick wanted a maximal EDC, meaning a knife at maximum legal blade length out of spring steel. Unfortunately, things were not so good that day and he suffered from some mishaps. Bro, don´t be upset, it happens to all of us! Michael insisted upon forging his blade all by himself, and I was like "ouch, this might not turn out too well", but I was really impressed. He had to take his time, but this was also the key to his success. He really contemplated every step, and if he was not sure, he asked me. I also was impressed by his girlfriend. In her case, I helped a bit more, but let her do the crucial parts, filing the shape and the bevel and the tang part, and of course a lot of hammer work. We also came across a new technique and forged a hollow-to-convex bevel on the blade, in the case of her blade a bit wayward still, but it turned out so well that I might use this technique on more future knives for bushcraft knife. It certainly makes the knife very slicey without sacrificing lateral strength and edge stability. We did the bevel with what was to hand, but I guess I´ll make myself a tool for it in the future. Then Volker came by and asked me if I could do a children´s birthday party the next day. As usual he had forgotten he had an invitation to a marriage also and also forgot to notify me a bit earlier. We had beforehand appointed that he would notify me a week beforehand if there were any work on schedule, for I try to earn my money with several jobs and have to organize each and every work I do with much flexibility, but as usual he did not manage to keep this appointment. I told him again why this drives me mad, he of course was just one step short of crawling on his belly before me and licking my boots clean, I told him again that I did not want his remorse but a perspective and respect through a tiny bit of reliability. He is a good guy, but someone seems to have beaten him up throughout his entire life. Sometimes he reminds me - no offence meant - a lot of Gollum from LOTR. Nothing gained with getting furious, I simply returned to the good work and the great atmosphere.
But many mountainbikers buy in to a product subscription by starting their riding. You need at least four bikes to cater for all those generated needs you read about in fancy penny-dreadful high-gloss magazines, plus all the latest clothing and riding gear paraphernalia. You need to buy a freerider, an enduro, a CC-bike, a fun hardtail, a 29", a 27,5" and whatnot in both hardtail and full suspension configurations. You need to ride in the Alps, in the USA, all the bikeparks and trailparks and urbanparks and skateparks and where and when and whatnot, meaning you have to spend a lot of money to even get started.
But it is about life, and freedom isn´t free. Meaning you either join the ratrace to consume and throw away and therefore have a job that burns you out (every second person in Germany suffers from psychological problems and mostly burn-out depression), meaning no freedom whatsoever just to achieve what you believe is freedom, or you go for it and rewild yourself meaning a hard life with plenty enemies and some really strange friends foraging for your food, working hard making things and ride your bike out into the woods as a vehicle to get more roots, fruit and mushrooms in one turn making for less hard work. For fun, too, for noone says you can´t have fun even when working hard.
This is where blacksmithing and mountainbiking coincides. It is not just a "hobby" in my book, but a method to actually shape your life even in this strange world. Want to go bushcrafting but have no money to buy all the fancy goods? F***ing make them! Can´t afford a fancy car or even the train ticked, but there´s a bike in your cellar sitting behind those garbage bags? F***ing pump up the tyres and USE! IT! Is your drivtrain skipping? REPAIR! IT! You ain´t fit enough? RIDE! Go to the grocery store, ride foraging, practice stunt riding, have fun, but simply pull the plug of this insane society by using your brain more instead of storing it at Big Brother´s place in the almighty web.
The same goes for blacksmithing. Can´t afford a fancy forge? Oh, please, give me a break, in Nepal they forge with a hole in the ground and a grocery plastic bag for a bellows. Ron Hood showed long time ago that you can make a forge even in the wilderness, and I made my first damascus with a hole in the ground and a vacuum cleaner.
Michael is a guy who understands this, and he attacks the fetish of some goofbrains by wearing a T-shirt like it was just that: A T-shirt.;-) I like that very much.
Freilichtmuseum Hagen. This is also where I got to know Volker and him in the first place, Volker working as a hand drill smith and Viktor doing a lot of blackmithing demos for the public. This is also where I got to know some other blacksmith readers of my blog may be acquainted with, Harald, whom I regard as an important tutor. A lot of my humble skills I learned by listening to him and forging with him. Now Viktor had taken this custom of planting strawberries with him when he left, and also planted those at the Bethaus. They still prosper in the lousy weather we currently have.
Suddenly I was alone, and while it was still raining and hailing cats, dogs, aand dinosaurs, I took a deep breath. In a rain break I managed to go up, close the restaurant and the museum and get me another coffee and a non-alcoholic beer (which I like to drink when forging, because it´s isotonic and does not consist out of sugars I cannot even pronounce). When I was about to pack up, it started to rain hard again, and I sat there on a stool with a hot coffee, and laughed, and laughed so hard I nearly spilled my java. So, caught under the shed`s roof with the floor slowly floating away, I simply took some ancient spring steel and forged myself a knife while waiting for the rain to cease.
All the while the rain and hail pounded down on the roof, I packed up, for it was getting dark. It was only when I put the forge back into the garage and had all the tools and gear packed into my backpack, that I realized I had a flat in the rear tire again. So it was unpacking the pack, for of course the spare tube was well down below, as was the tire pump.
I sighed, fixed the flat, closed the shop, straddled my steed and rode home through the rain. But when I was in the vicinity of Wetter, things cleared up and the stars came out piercingly bright. I was feeling content and I take pride into the fact that I live where many others can only just so survive. Maybe that I often sit with my arse in the mud, but then the stars shine brighter to me than they do to others. I am not successful, but passionate, and sometimes I have the feeling that I would not want to trade.
I feel alive, and that´s the best thing every living thing can say.
Sonntag, 21. September 2014
Samstag, 20. September 2014
Have a good harvest, a lovely autumn, and good memories of a great summer gone by.
And never fear the grey god´s disciples.
Donnerstag, 18. September 2014
In Israel, there was the custom of sacrificing the "scapegoat", and the self - sacrifice of Jesus Christ was in the line of the sacrifice of the scapegoat. Jesus is said to be the lamb of God.
What does a goat have on its head? There are theories, one of the older ones being that of Frazer ("The Golden Bough") that this custom was used throughout prehistorical Celtic communities also. The horned God, the companion of the Goddess, was sacrificed after the communion with the Goddess to return to the earth and give fertility to the tribe and the land. He was "king for a day", the "jester king", the "king of the bean". He was the older twin sacrificed at Midwinter festival to change place with the child of light which was born in Midwinter. The "Joulupukki" was a character closely related to the horned god, and there are myths throughout the world dating back to prehistoric times, and there is no reason to emphasize the differences between the mythologies. The world is round, and we have to finally work on the babylonic confusion that has befallen all of us. The alternative is a war that will never end and ultimately will destroy us as species and will be the rout of mankind.
I like the fact that I can talk to Nick on those topics. Nick is a practicing "Jesus Freak" and very stern about his belief (and this is a good thing), and by discussing matters like this we both can prosper on our quest.
There´s a message hidden inside this statement. With a bit of luck you can find it;-).
Müller Corporation, Austria.
Smoked trout by the Kahlenbeckerquelle Fishing park.
Of course I did the awl and the horsehoe charm for free. Ms. Ostra´s daughter apparently is of alternative belief also, and has her feet firmly planted in the earth. I daresay the world would be a better place if there were more individuals like those, and I offered the little one the opportunity to visit the smithy whenever he wants.
Pitter, but wanted a different angle. So he asked me if I could anneal it and bend it and then temper it again, all with the handle still fitted. Since I did not know the steel quality, I said no, and instead offered him to forge one out of spring steel with some torsional work. Seems he loved it;-), and he offered me four handles like this turned out of aged Yew. I like deals like this;-).
Katrin smelling the roses.
Then suddenly the day was over. We had some snack provided by loving customers, packed up and left. I drove to Witten, and to make things not too easy, Volker called three times where I was. When I arrived, we unpacked in hectic and frenzy, brought back the car, and he even drove me home. When I arrived at home, I contemplated the event and concentrated on the warm feeling I still had for all the positive feedback.
Folks, we´ll be back!
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