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Donnerstag, 6. April 2017

A cool day at the smithy @#Ahlhauser Hammer

 Each Friday we open up the smithy for just about everyone who wants to come. It´s actual work most of the time, but sometimes just plain old fun. Last Friday was one of those days that were fun to have had. I arrived a bit late. By the way, Thanks to Nick, who is there every Friday, even when I have to work. He had already lit up the forge and was forging for himself for a change.

 Kathrin, our cash manager, arrived just a bit later. We all contribute voluntarily, for it´s our having a ball we pay for, if that makes sense... ;-). Kathrin quite certainly does a way better job than I did, and we are able to act flexibly now. This shows, for instance in the fact that one ton of coal just arrived, providing us with fuel for the months to come, at a right bargain price. Thanks, Kathrin!


The area is just cool and relaxing. And it breathes heritage. This oak was planted as a memorial by our senior blacksmith when he was young. It is a kind of symbol for us, for the responsibility, but also for the tradition, and a legitimation at the same time. The Ahlhauser Hammer is more than just some smithy, but goes back to medieval times. All of that time there have been smiths working there, and our humble efforts, as feeble as they might seem when compared even to the achievements of our senior blacksmith, are all that´s left. And the sorry truth is, since a guy like our senior blacksmith, who is a master in all but the title does not want to share his knowledge with us, we have to figure it out for ourselves. We ask iron itself, and iron answers.


The atmosphere is idyllic and peaceful. But there is something lurking, something I cannot yet figure out. Not a curse, exactly, but something that is waiting to be put right. Sorry if I am sounding like some esoteric tart, but I can´t put it any other way.


The place quite certainly has a rhythm of its own, and I still cannot figure out, that´s the thing. But I keep trying, and I try to blend in. Even the owner and master of the smithy did not figure this out, and even if he lives there, did not blend in to that rhythm... and there is something wrong there, something like one tiny gear that does not meet with others, a cog that is not that important for the functionality of the whole thing, but that continues to disturb the motion of it all. As I said, sorry, but I cannot but it into better words.


We all try to figure it out. And we all do it our way. And since spring is on its way, most came by bike. That was kind of a cool vibe.

I like how this picture tells a story. A story of a couple that does not have a life that is exactly easy. A story of two persons that are not the easiest persons. But that story has a happy ending that shows in the way they interact with one another.


I, however, mostly interact with fire and steel... ;-) and this came out. It was inspired by a product of jorgencraft:

Knife from Biskupin, Poland

http://jorgencraft.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=61_99&product_id=130

and was inspired by  the find of a knife found at Biskupin, Poland. Unfortunately I could not find a picture of the original...

Then Natalie arrived, daughter of my favourite misanthrope, Willy. She did a ride through the thicket and just dropped by to say hello and make some funny faces... ;-)
The knife quenched and tempered.
Also I made this all-steel camping hatchet. Leaf spring steel, not yet tempered, and forged to shape almost 100 % (no precutting the shape, mind you! ;-)). It will get a handle of reindeer or elk antler with carvings, or maybe yew or oak with carvings... we´ll see where it leads me.
Then suddenly the day was over and we made for the way home. I must admit...
...I missed riding in a pack...
...of funny people a lot. Even if the Belgian roundabout we tried did not quite work out for the folks where way too chaotic, it was cool to ride together... maybe a group ride in the future? We´ll see.

It was a cool day at the smithy, one we did not have for quite a long time, to be honest, and we feed on experiences like this, of course. I look forward to many more days like this!

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