Yesterday I forged an iron knive and a tool to help with spinning and sewing:
It was a one day workshop with a real black smith. A treat to my husband and me because we were so resilient with the court cases during the Summer months 🙂
INTERMEZZO just skip to the next picture
(Will you believe it: a mediator appeared on our doorstep on this Friday morning! Uninvited, unannounced. A bold woman who then stood in my living room and had a 30 minute conversation with me which felt very manipulative. It wrecked my whole day, the stress of being interrupted just as I was resting and then having to mind my words. It was awful. Ambushed in my own home!
It does emphasize that I do not often have to deal with bullies or aggressively extrovert people. I’m a lucky introvert in that regard. 🙂
She’s not court appointed, she’s a communication expert and official mediator hired by the manure plant people who had invited me to a mediation process but I had already answered that that was not appropriate at this stage. She just took her chances and came by anyway. I’d never imagined! I was so clear in my written “no”.
Well, in one go she used up all the politeness I have reserved for a new random encounter. Next time I’ll know to not only speak the extrovert way but act accordingly too: close the door in their face.)
END OF INTERMEZZO
Anyway. Knives and tools:
In a well equiped black smith forgery in Veghel. It’s situated in an old factory that’s repurposed to dozens of studios, skilled craft working places, food courts, cinema and the best chips/fries of the country. Phoenix Cultuur offers many courses and workshops there.
The smith is Niek Eikelenboom from Black Oak forgery in Schijndel:
He’s a big fan of wool because it doesn’t attract dirt, it keeps warm when it’s wet and you can wear it near blacksmithing and you won’t get harmed. In fact we were told to only wear natural fibres for the workshop. No plastics or fun furs that could melt in the heat.
For lunch we popped to the neighbours that serve the best chips/fries there are Pieperz:
pic by Stadskrant Veghel
Pieperz on google maps
The outside of Pieperz with the glass doors to the blacksmith forgery in the back ground:
In the Netherland you’re not allowed to carry a knive in the street. That’s why sewing a leather is part of the workshop. Again natural materials: leather, waxed thread, steel needles. Love it!
When we got home and had a shower I put on my pyama pants and settled into my knitting chair with cat, knive and sock and had a quiet Saturday night.
Blacksmithing is amazing! You can make your own tools, exactly to your own requirements! The knive is made to the width of your own hand which makes it ergonomic. The forgery was fool of tools that were customized. My hand got twitchy just thinking about the possibilities! Scissors, pliers, grabby tools, stabby tools, melting pots, cooking tools, poking tools. Useful things!
That’s why yesterday, for our extra project, I thought I’d love to blacksmith a shawl pin, a fibula:
Roman shawl pins in Museum Santa Trega in Galicia, by Galician National Heritage
Kinds of filbula shawl pins explained in German by Hiltibold
But I reckoned it would be too heavy for my woolen shawls, even the ones from bulky handspun. And I’m not that good of a black smith either, it is so much about concentration and fine eye hand coordination. Not about force at all. My husband has a knack for it. Not I. Not yesterday. Frankly I had trouble keeping upright throughout the day. I had had a bad night, thanks to the mediator, and had to be propped up with coffee, cortisol, chocolate, salt and chips/fries. I had a little cry over lunch…
But all beginners were deemed good enough to make a bottle opener, with a round twisty bit in the middle. I just changed one part of the thing into a sharp and flat end and now I’ve got a new sewing tool:
It’s called a seam stiletto I believe. Akin to a seam ripper. It’s a good orifice hook too. And I can probably also open bottles with it.