Mittwoch, 4. November 2015

New project - Saving the Ahlhauser Hammer ironforge

 Let me introduce you to Ahlhauser Hammer ironforge. The smithy, which was mentioned first in the Ironforge Journal Ennepetal in 1592, is situated in the lovely green valley of Ennepetal. The region, which was famed for its farming implements, scythes, machetes tools and small iron wares, swords, rapiers and knives from Saxon times on (Saxon rock anvils have been found in the vicinity), is still going strong. The ironforge, however, was severely damaged by snow load breakage in 2011. We have the permission to forge there as we please. The other side of the deal, which is self-explanatory, is that we do some cleaning up and securing work, and that we do. Every Friday we meet at 3 pm to 6 to move gravel and rubbish. Nick, Kathrin, Michael, Nele, Seppel and Jandark have already joined one or more times to help with the work.
 As you can see, there´s a lot of it. The roof went in, and we have to clean up until we can even start the conservation work. Our bush bum tribal knifemaking mentality or habit  of scrap metal scavenging does not help to speed up the progress, for there´s a lot of forging material that can be saved. For instance, there are loads of old files lying around, deeply rust-pitted. We just can´t find it in us to throw them away... bummer, if winter is coming and a lot of snow expected...;-).
 We hope to secure what is left of the roof before wintertime and to at least cover the machines to do the conservation work in spring.

This is one power hammer that is even running still... did I mention I love Beché power hammers? They are rugged as rebar!

 Chaos reigns still, and the task is huge. I have to be realistic about that. Even oiling the hand-tools and removing the rust will take a week!

 Oil forge oven that can´t be saved, but maybe we can use parts of it.
 I must admit that part of me loves the atmosphere of the "lost" place.... with trees growing out of the machines and mushrooms prospering on the work benches.
 This is part of the "intact" part of the buildings. This is a 300kg-anvil.
 From another post you already know Ernest, our senior blacksmith, our tutor and "boss".
 Ewald is the owner. He is one of the nicest persons I know, and, even better than that, is not shy of controversial discussions of somewhat less than agreeable topics. I value him a lot because we had our controversies and we were able to sensibly work it out together. He is the reason that even after my experiences with people I decided to give it my best again at this place. I do not know, how it will turn out, certainly there is no profit to be gained for me, not even enough to compensate for the expenses, but that´s not the point. I have the impression that our vision coincides in many points.
 And this is the culprit. If anyone shares the vision, or has a vision which would fit in the concept, he is welcome to contribute along her or  his own designs. We want to build a sustainability centre on site, with many colourful people. We want to restore the smithy...
 ..and keep the tradition alive. We want to build gardens with wild herbs and traditional and wild vegetables. We want to inform about local wildlife and wild plants and ecosystems, about the kybernetics of  man and nature. We want barefoot parcours and a bushcraft site, we want swordsmithing of the highest possible level, we want martial arts like Bujinkan, Aikido, Iaido, Kendo, MMA, Skóggángr;-) and Systema and others. We want sustainable and self-sufficient energy and eco alternatives of transport like electromobility, cycling (on and sensibly off-road) and horseback riding. We want storytelling, acting, making music, juggling, painting, drawing, and all arts imagineable. We want carpentry, textile crafts like spinning, weaving and tailoring, traditional farming and old apple breeds, we want druids and priests and craftsmen and modern kinds of sensible education. We want Christians, Pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, Shamans and every human being that wants to talk it out on a friendly basis. We want to educate kids and adults, and learn from them.

We don´t want a modern mindset. We don´t want internet zombies, hipsters or veganists (while vegan and vegetarian concepts are welcome, hope my point is made).

We want warriors.

We want you.

If you want to contribute and can share the vision, please get in contact. Of course we need money, too, but if you are a carpenter, roof tiler or mason, machinist, electrician, energy provider, or locksmith or whatever, and if you are in the vicinity, join in. Build us walls, a roof, a shed. Give courses, tell stories, play the guitar at events, spin yarn or tale or both, show us how you naturally dye your garments, cook for events, hang around with us, swing a shovel, guide road or mountainbike rides or foraging hikes, or just talk about it.

Make it wild, make it free, make it uncivilized, make it viral-but make it work, and make it true!

If you want to contribute, or want to make a donation, please contact Ewald at kaetzler2250 (youknowwhattoinserthere) 

We currently prepare an own blog and a facebook account that will be available in two months time.

Oh: And save the date! On 21st of November the smithing fair at Ahlhauser Hammer will take place. You will find smithing demonstrations, traditional crafts, delicious traditional food with meat from the region, homemade cakes and wafers, good strong coffee and other beverages. meet with us, and spill out your ideas by the truckload... we can figure out how we can do it then!

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