News and Announcements

Interested in learning about blacksmithing? Read this!

--News & Announcements--
Upcoming projects:
Building a Frame Saw
Forging a Copper Kettle
Making a pair of leather work boots
Forging and Fletching a Bodkin
Flocking a drawer interior

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Brotherhood is, as I see it through the lens of the modern age, a word which has come close to losing its meaning. In the passing years, I have come to know a group of people who are unlike any others. Craftsmen. I do not mean to generalize people into two categories, but rather recognize a certain spirit and zealousness that can be found in people who, both professionally and for the pure satisfaction of it (and especially those who fit both of those categories), that is perhaps the most enlightening, invigorating, and joyous thing I have ever witnessed. When a group of common minded people gather together for the furthering of the craft (whichever it may be) and the ideology that surrounds it, something spectacular happens. In a word, I would call it brotherhood.

Set on the edge of a large farm, Nate's shop is an inspiration in itself. And of course, complete with their faithful steed, Leela.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going out to Nate Runals' beautiful home for a gathering of like minded and like spirited gentlefolk that I can honestly say left me overburdened with a sense of brotherhood and purpose that I have rarely known before. Many of the faces were friends met a year ago or more at Dave DelaGardelle's shop at a similar occasion, some new. However long we had known one another, the curious and fantastic bond of brothers and sisters felt as though it had been there a lifetime.

Throughout the weekend, various demonstrations captivated the wide range of craftsmen- bladesmiths and blacksmiths, leatherworkers and woodworkers, artists and artisans of every discipline. Anthony Wilder put on a lecture and demonstration on woodworking, Luke Shearer on welding a multibar sax which will become a collaboration between a few other craftsmen there that weekend. Nathanael Brandt demonstrated the welding of a wrapped axe, and Rusty Zylstra of Mercy Supply gave us a tour of his beautiful shop. Dave DelaGardelle of Cedarlore Forge brought a beautiful sword in progress and worked on the fittings as well as antiquing the blade.

Midway through the weekend, we all gathered for a forging competition with the theme being bottle openers. No other limitations restricted us other than the requirement that, at the end of 20 minutes, they had to open a bottle.

Three worked at a time, in two groups, turning the shop into utter chaos. Luke, Nathanael and I went first, Pete, Nate and Dave second.

In the heat of the forge, time seemed to slip past unnaturally fast, ending the competition in sweat and excitement to see what each other had made.

Judged by the masses, Dave's wolf bottle opener (on the bottom) won the competition, and with it a spectacular leather apron donated by Rusty.

But of course the weekend would not be complete without a little trial of our creations. In the wee hours of Thursday, we forged a collection of spear and arrow heads, hafted and ready for combat. Luke also brought a bow made from PVC and a sling, together making a fearsome arsenal that slew the mighty tin men of the cornfield.

On the night when the sun was long settled beneath the curtain of night, Dave brought out a piece of burning steel wool on a wire for our entranced eyes to behold.

Although those days have come and gone, they have set the stage for a new generation of brotherhood that will strengthen through the years. In the sharing of craft and fellowship, there is so much to be found that I can look to the future with a lighter heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment