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Christopher Price

Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

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Greg thanks.

 

I think you said it really well, there truly is something in this craft that is quite hard to say in words, you can feel it in so many levels and even in smallest things.

 

So you had simple forge, some tools for the trade and burning fire in your heart, what was the first thing you forge out back then and was it easy or hard, what you learned from first day you took the hammer in your hand and got that hot iron form forge to the anvil.

 

Did you felt that you had coal or plan to forge something specific…what was the path you took then, did you made any deal whit fire, iron and steel?

 

 

Niko

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Hi Niko

 

to add to the idea!

when i sit here calmly to think about it, the feeling i get is that both fire and iron are spiritually satisfying for me! Satisfying in the way that the soul is calm and able to focus on peace. Now you can be much more mindful of your two partners, holding hands with iron and fire, they occasionally are bent on mischief. Keep an eye on them, or both can put a humerus twist in your honest days work.

 

the first things i forged out were extremely difficult to do ! I can't even remember how long ago it was, but i know the feeling was frustrating, fatiguing, and the outcome was poor. At first, i had borrowed my brothers 30lbs cast iron anvil and forged out some leaves, and then it struck me " why not make a knife". Using a peace of mild iron i forged out a fish like object, and beveled it to look like a blade. It was not my dream knife, but it became a start for a series of odd shaped knives. I had to read more about process and hold back my eagerness, and fill the gaps of knowledge inorder to make a decent blade. As you know, this takes years !

 

In the first days of forging, i learned very little, except to be stubborn, patient, and better fire control ;)

With time and experience, I find that i have a much better ability to learn about forging, both while in the process of forging and from reading literature. I cannot say that the few times i've been at hammer'ins or Blacksmith meetings on the east coast, that i learned alot. Truly, i felt energized and excited being close to fellow brothers and sisters that cared about the craft, but my thoughts raced a mile a minute. Its due to being alone in the north, with very few that care about blacksmithing, maybe like a mad trapper that lives alone in the woods. Niko, i think of all people, you would know exactly what i mean by being in the north, how its difficult to find blacksmith friends. With the internet forums, i find there is hope to grow with the craft, it is like a candle burning. Without the candle, it would be dark here, and very hard to see the path under my feet!

 

What was the path i took?

 

For me, I believe that when you start iron work and get to a point where you make a decision, on what you will focus, " ornamental blacksmithing or weapons". It did not take long for me to see that i was alway looking to make a knife or an axe, and my desire was strong.

With my first pelletgun and pocket knife at 8yrs old, being a hunter since i was 15, it seemed only natural to look this way as i could see value in a decent hunting knife. I"m slowly changing my opinion and lately i do much more blacksmithing than knife and sword work. A series of previous projects have given me a case of " writers block" in which i cannot see how i should progress. So i moved to the next project, and next, and have gotten stuck in the mud each time ?

In an effort to move past this problem, i've turned to a more ornamental blacksmithing, making tools, and even some ideas for artwork! Oddly, it has worked, and i have moved onto making 2 swords, but in some strange twist, i've also put in motion a plan to do much more ornamental blacksmithing. I see the adventure in being a regular blacksmith, and for some reason my blind fold on solely making edged tools, has been lifted.

 

Sometimes you must go backwards, to go forwards.... and i have gone back to the beginning of my roots, to be able to now move forward, it feels good !!!

 

 

Greg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think you said it really well, there truly is something in this craft that is quite hard to say in words, you can feel it in so many levels and even in smallest things.

 

So you had simple forge, some tools for the trade and burning fire in your heart, what was the first thing you forge out back then and was it easy or hard, what you learned from first day you took the hammer in your hand and got that hot iron form forge to the anvil.

 

Did you felt that you had coal or plan to forge something specific…what was the path you took then, did you made any deal whit fire, iron and steel?

 

 

Niko

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Greg that is cool.

 

There is just that difference that makes this craft so vivid and full of energy. There is blacksmiths, bladesmiths, swordssmiths … and all of these are craft of its own if we go deeper in this. Mastering whole would be something else, all those techniques and way to work whit forge tools…that sure would teach.

 

Tell us what kind of artwork and ornamental blacksmithing was it and do you have any pictures.

 

From those times you have moved quite far ( at one perspective) from basic of modern forging, what was the cross road that pulled you in to making your own steel´s. Was there certain and special moment or happening that occurred and you were hooked for life.

 

Niko

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IMG_1109.jpg

 

 

 

well, as they say... Art is subjective ! Oddly it was a face on a pommel i was making, that put me into this downward writer's block spin... and it was faces that open up my enthusiasm. ( i was inspired by Sipola's site, ofcourse i have no impact tools just punches and a piece of 5/16 plate iron )

close up

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/dimenickel/Face%20the%20face/IMG_1110.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/dimenickel/Face%20the%20face/IMG_1111.jpg

 

as they are the beginning, i had planned to mount them to a base with a rod/tennon, then have a candle cup bellow... cast some interesting shadows ^_^

 

i might aswell show my nemesis !

IMG_1150.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/dimenickel/Face%20the%20face/IMG_1123.jpg

 

this pommel goes on the bottom of a pw seax i was doing. Where i stumbled is that i had planned to carve some swirls to go around the border, but i felt it looked too Celtic (for lack of better words) and it changed the flavour of the piece. Now i stepped back, and i have no ideas on the direction to go, my feelings are empty for this piece at the moment.

 

sorry, i'm short on time at the moment... will continue later and talk about the crossroads ! ;)

 

 

Greg

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Greg.

 

This trully is small world, I do know Jesse and his work,we where at same school some time, really interesting art work.

He sure has interesting ways to command iron and I mean command..whit those tools that he uses it looks so badass B)

 

I had ad now idea that you had interest forging

this kinda art. Thats really cool Greg

 

Faces are something else...lifelike, full of personality and spirit there own, not two of the kind.

 

Lets continue as we have time.

 

BR

Niko

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Hi Niko

 

i was a fan when i saw photo album of Rautasulka and his work with jackhammer ! I'll alway keep my eye open for an chipping air hammer, but for now i just use some fuller and hand punch. Today, i had two hours in the shop, and i come up with something i hope looks more viking like ;)

 

IMG_1178.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/dimenickel/Face%20the%20face/IMG_1180.jpg

 

i've been collecting picture of viking faces for years on my laptop. The beasts don't intrigue me so much, but the faces are something that give me joy.

 

 

The Road to steel:

 

I tried to think of what was the moment in time that i decided to turn my attention on steel, and truthfully i don't know. I do know i was struggling to find a research project for my undergrad, and i stumbled upon the word " damascus steel". Since i was a hobbying blacksmith, the word wasn't alien to me but not something i was previously interested in. After a broad search of literature, i understood that it was something that would be interesting to study. It is one thing to look at a picture, or read an ancient recipe, but to really know the material and to make it with your hands has been both difficult and a very rich experience. The people i've met with my connection to wootz are quite extraordinary. I will truly say that i enjoy the people now as much as i enjoy the actual steel. - what is it about the struggle that can bring out the best and worst of us...its so honest

 

The special moment that hooked me for life was two parts: I remember with great fondness the first time i used a pair of dark welding glasses to stair into the furnace. I saw the white hot crucible and the bubbling flux/steel, it grabbed me like i was looking at the actual surface of the Sun. It takes your breath away !

The other moment was one of toil. After spending the whole day breaking down an ingot, i'd lost track of time. I was so fatigued, like a hunting dog chasing a deer, but finally a bar came out as i'd wanted. So tired, i stood and stared at the bar for minutes. It was a personal achievement that gave me a real spiritual boost. The sword length bar, and a feeling of euphoria, fatigue, a state of mind, I felt that i'd done something good. ;)

 

Greg

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Greg that is so cool...something like death mask, Viking death mask.

 

If its possible the day I die I sure would love to go whit death mask on…I do think the respect of the ferryman would be quite hi. In all the time he has guided death trough the mist and haze it has been too long time he has seen one.

 

 

I do know what you mean… its hard to but in words.

So…

Was it just steels essential beauty or something else that rise your interest. Did you fell in to the pattern world and never came back, or was it more like challenge sense its been kept so hard to make

 

What gives you more now days, art and deco or steel making and forging edge weapons.

Do you have sort of plan for future and maybe how, these two work at same time and what is that mystical object that you still want to forge out of any material there is.

 

Niko

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Hi Niko

 

That is an intriguing thought about the ferryman, I hope in my case that he can wait a long time as there is no rush on my part! too much ironwork to do, maybe 1000 years is still to short ;)

 

 

I've thought about your questions for quite awhile and i have to say that in the beginning it was mostly the challenge to produce something rare and uncommon. The challenge to explore the unknown is a tasty carrot, it can bring you places that you would never have imagined going. I think it was after making several blades of wootz that i came upon a pattern that had produced an emotion in me. I'd finally seen a pattern that was wandering like many little ants on a trail in the sand, with a blueish background, this test blade/coupon was left as is and remains safe ! I don't know why i cling onto these blades, it becomes precious, an internal value, a work of art that i'll keep for my own selfish needs. Perhaps, it is the long journey you take to produce wootz that allows me to put such extraordinary worth on the steel, a truly love hate struggle. The random beauty of the steel can be very memorable, and its seldom any other type of steel does this for me. The steel never had amazing properties for me, i couldn't tell it apart from 1084 steel. Yet, i'll go through all the trouble of making it and spending days with an 8lb hammer to see if another beautiful pattern is waiting in the end.

It all goes right for me when i look at the etched blade and see something that gives me a connection to the pattern. Oddly, I have alot of trouble to explore all the facets of the steel, as writing words just does not do it justice. Making steel is just what i " do ", it seems to be a natural thing for me to somehow be involved with it, think about it when i 'm not making it, and plan for more of it in the future. If you think negatively, you'd probably call it an obsession, but i find all the aspects of it completely enjoyable and not negative.

 

lately, i've had the need to do more blacksmithing and ornamental work. It has been an interest of mine over the years to get into making gates and other sculptural forms. I'm not sure why but i do have the desire to do this, however my wootz making will always be a shining lite in my future. I'm currently focusing less on knives and much more on wootz shamshirs, its a sword that truly respect!

 

for the future, i will be doing much much more blacksmithing. Now that my Sonny Boy is in daycare, i have the time to pursue the dream and be much more creative with iron.

 

The mystical object that i desire in the long term is a large wootz pattern shamshir made of my own steel. However, I've truly had a deep desire for as long as i've been making blades to own a viking blade... a nice herringbone pattern without any Ni steel, type 3 Geibig, and sharp ... i'll have to see it happen, soon !

 

Ever since i saw that tutorial Kevin Cashen put on SFI on a twist core, it has haunted me for years. (even if i feel no love for the O1/L6 combo )

 

swords are alway on the mind, and in the heart, its a wonderful time to be enthusiast !

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Greg.

 

I do think that you may have one cross road ahead of you...smelting.

It would solve the moder steel issue for pattern welding totally, it will make big loop to your

journey but I do think that you dont mind taking it bit longer roads...after all we never know were

our feet will take us. ;)

 

It has been nice to get knowing you even better.

I cant think more questions so now its time you to choose next one if you have time.

 

Thanks Greg ones agane.

 

 

BR

Niko

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thank you Niko

 

this was a very nice interview ! At first i had reservations to the interview as when i started steel making, the setting was not as it is now a days. The field was unfriendly, with fear of lawsuits and ego's, and very little information to go around. The bulk of the burden was on your shoulders to do your own research, and figure out how to melt pure iron in your backyard. I'd say the environment is changed and fear is much less, its more about steel now a days ! ( at least looking through my rose colored glasses B)

 

I'll have to say, i did learn something about myself.. it is difficult for me to write about my connection to steel, i wish i were more expressive and able to inspire others

 

I do see what you mean about smelting, it has a very interesting foundation type feeling, and i'd like to go there. I feel very lucky, as there are alot of good people making and publishing information about bloom steel ( such as yourself ). I've been using wrought iron in some patternwelding for awhile and i like it alot ! The connection to the past with this iron is very interesting and worth exploring.

 

 

i have some ideas who to interview.. i'll email and see

 

thank you

Greg

 

ps.. i did add some tutorial steps in that photo album, if others want to put a face on iron

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Hello, i'm very excited to announce that the next person to be interviewed is Lee Sauder. It will be great to meet the man behind the blooms, and discuss his long interest in ironwork!

 

the questions will begin abit later in the week due to work .... i just had to share the news ahead of time ;)

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Hello Lee

 

I've read about your experiments a longtime ago in a blacksmith magazine, even later on the Rockbridge bloomery website, and found that both were very inspirational and yet fundamentally informative. The image of the Nyamakala fed to me the generous thought of bloom to iron bar, and it's magic stuck with me all these years ! Where did your iron journey begin ? If you can remember, what was the " Ahah! " moment made you think you could do this ? (turning point ) what is the " carrot at the end of the stick for you ? I'm not talking about the general rewards but more the more private, basic fundamental drive and the gift you get from it ? As a steel maker i truly feel an added component of completeness to my life, how do you see your connection to smelting/smithing ?

 

-please add as much as you feel to describe your humble beginnings and thoughts !

 

thank you

Greg

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Hi Greg and everyone-

 

Thanks for asking- I can guarantee I'm the worst bladesmith to ever be interviewed here, so it's a little freaky!

 

My "iron journey" began long, long ago. It's hard to say when it started, even. My hobby when I was a kid was riding around on my bike, digging in old farm dumps, and hauling rusty artifacts back to the clubhouse and museum that my buddy and I built in an old chicken coop. The coop was stuffed with old horseshoes, plowpoints, axe heads, it was a little kid's scrapyard. So I was always attracted to iron things.

 

There was still a traditional farm blacksmith and repair shop in the nearby town, run by an old fella named Manley Brown, who was at least the third generation of smith. This was back in the early seventies, when such things had mostly disappeared, I was lucky to even know what a blacksmith was, really. There was a young,artsy hippie type, Larry Mann, who had joined Manley to learn from and assist him.

 

By the time I was 12 years old, Larry had his own shop in the basement of Manley's shop, concentrating on artistic work while Manley did the farm work. I just kinda started hanging around, and sidled my way into an apprenticeship with Larry. I spent every day after school there, and most Saturdays, and most of the summer. So by the time I finished high school, I had pretty decent skills and work habits for a youngster. I journeyed around a bit in the early '80's, and then came back to my hometown and took over Larry's business in 1984. Since then, I've managed to scratch my entire living out of ironworking.

 

The "aha" moment about the smelting was in late '97. I was reading a history book "Bond of Iron", that was about the pretty extensive iron industry in my part of Virginia during the 19th century, and it was just dawning on me that I was surrounded by iron ore. I had never given much thought to where my iron came from; it was just stuff I bought and used.

 

Then a client, an African art collector that I did mounts and display work for, gave me a book about African bloomery smelting. I hadn't even heard of a bloomery before. So as soon as I saw a picture of a small furnace run by just a few men, I realized I had to make some iron myself.

 

I enlisted the help of my pal Skip Williams, whose agile and curious mind was at loose ends and needed something to do, and we just started. We thought it would be a fun way to spend a few winter weekends. Ha! My initial impulse for doing it was kind of an "eat what you kill, kill what you eat" thing-- I just thought I should learn the value of the material I earned my bread from. But once we found out how difficult it was, and that no one seemed to really know how to do it anymore, (or at least hadn't published anything, if they did), it was the challenge and the puzzle that really drove us.

 

I guess that brings me to " the carrot on the stick", doesn't it? It's quite a bundle out there, there's not just a carrot, I can see a juicy steak and a cold beer out there too,. ... oh look I think I see a beautiful woman just beyond that. ...

 

The challenges and the questions and the puzzles are still a huge part of it. It's like my little cozy corner of infinity, those questions will just never run out, no matter how many of us work on it. Every answer leads to another bundle of questions. I'm pretty certain this is the entire thing for my pal Skip. It's a pretty good partnership that way- he's out poking around in the dark, thinking his little brain raw, and doing the analytical stuff, and then I do the grunt work and the synthesis. He's like the theoretician, I'm the empiricist, not in terms of what we value, but what we're best at. .. so it's a pretty good team that way.

 

But for me, there's so much more beyond the intellectual curiosity. I guess the usual shorthand would be to say it's a spiritual experience for me, though that's too ethereal a word for what I mean. I get a very powerful, almost tangible feeling of energy and connection with the world when I work with bloom iron. I'm not talking woowoo stuff, it's a very visceral thing, like a low level electrical current, and it just plain gets me off.

 

Finally, there's the joy of the material itself. Bloom iron (and steel) has it's own character that will express itself no matter what. So you have to have a much more intimate dialogue with the material to make something out of it- you can't just approach it with a macho attitude and impose your will on it. And now, after all these years of working on bloom smelting, I'm actually being able to glimpse the possibilty of actually getting good at it, and not just producing material that's different than modern steels, but actually better for many purposes.

 

Oh yeah, this is an interview, so now I guess I shut up for a second and let you ask a question! Besides, the sun is coming up, and it's time to break fast and get out to the shop. ...

 

Lee

Edited by Lee Sauder

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Hi Lee

 

thank you for answering so thoroughly, that was a great read !

I can really relate to growing up on a farm, digging in the soil looking for the past.

 

Its very interesting to read that you have a partner in the Journey. Duality in the search for answers turned out to be a very successful way. I've noticed that you also have a duality in the way that you express yourself in iron. The functional iron and the sculptural art, can you tell us about the connection between the art and bloom iron?

I've read that renaissance painters would even create their own colors by using a mix of minerals and other elements, they had a heavy interest in the outcome of the picture. Do you feel a similar need with your iron expressions ? Tell us abit about art and Lee ?

 

(by the way, Orbicentricity just blows my mind, what a great piece that is !!! )

 

 

With all the information you were generating on smelting and bloom iron, why did you choose to write about it and disseminate the data ?

 

I've often felt that making steel, some how became a real "part" of me. ( I think you know this feeling with smelting ) Do you think there will be a point where you will no longer need to smelt iron and will be able to move forward to other distractions ?

 

what aspects are you currently focusing on with your smelting ? (what is intriguing? )

 

and last question for today...

 

can you describe that " perfect moment " ?

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Mornin', Greg-

 

Well, as to the duality in my work. Of course, lots of it is there just because that's just the basic nature of reality! But I do indeed make a conscious effort to express it in my work.

 

I think I began to make conscious riff out of it after I spent a couple of weeks in Italy, and basically spent the whole time trying to see everything Michelangelo did. After the Pieta and the David, he always left parts of the stone unworked, and parts of it only roughly worked. Those sculptures are usually referred to as "unfinished", but I don't buy it. Since the first bloom sculpture, I was fascinated with the raw edges of the worked bloom, but after experiencing Michelangelo I think I began to contrast those edges more with the highly worked parts of the bloom.

 

I think that sense of duality is also why my sculpture has tended more and more towards feminine forms. I love those soft womanly shapes expressed in the hard cold iron.

 

I do feel that making my own iron is vital to my expression. The renaissance painters ground their own paint because there was no other way, but it did affect the outcome of the work, and our experience of it now. I truly believe that every action you take remains embedded in what you do, and that energy remains accessible forever. I think that's what's actually at the root of the artistic impulse, from caveman times forward. I know it sounds like I'm going woowoo again, but let me try to explain. ...

 

We experience time sequentially, but modern physics tells us it's all here always. We're limited in the way we can perceive that fourth dimension, but it's there. and I think we can glimpse it out of the corner of our eye. I think the entire history of the making of an object stays with it, and we can feel it.

 

Go to the hardware store, buy a cheap knife. Go back to your shop and make as exact a copy of it as you possibly can. Put them both on a table and show them to a stranger. I'll bet you good money he picks up your knife first.

 

OK, on to another question! Jeez, what a blowhard I can be!

 

 

 

As to sharing information, it never really occurred to me to do otherwise, I guess. My father was a scientist, and that's how science works- you add your bit, and let others test it and build on it. And when I started blacksmithing in the early '70's there was just a handful of people in the US trying to gather any scrap of information they could about a craft that had almost disappeared in this country. All the basic knowledge that folks now take for granted is only here because about 50 people worked hard and shared every bit of knowledge they gained. It's just how I was brought up.

 

That's what culture is, an accumulation of knowledge, and that's what makes us different from other critters.

 

Besides, you don't have to be very old or very wise to figure out that you get just what you give. If I want to learn more, I have to share more. Simple.

 

 

 

I don't expect I'll ever finish with this stuff. Believe you me, I already have plenty of other distractions, but I still manage to find the time.

 

We've got several new angles we're working on in the smelting. We've spent a lot of time over the past couple of years on understanding the role of phosphorus in bloom iron. We've made some pretty decent progress in getting some degree of control over how much P we get in the bloom. We've made a small start on ways to reduce the P after smelting. And maybe most important, we've been working on how to exploit the benefits of phosphoric iron. I haven't really managed to write up much of this yet, though I actually just finished a little series of knife experiments that I plan to write up for this forum real soon.

 

We're also playing with magnetite ore, which is something we haven't done much of, and which we're finding acts a lot different than the limonites and hematites. And we're still poking around with different steelmaking methods. And we might be ready to make some more stabs into hearth smelting, as opposed to shaft smelting. So little time, so much charcoal to burn. ....

 

I think I'll skip the perfect moment question. Too many. And this is a family publication.

 

Cheers-

 

Lee

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Hi Lee

 

had a chuckle over that last remark ^_^

 

 

I read the whole post, twice, and decided to digest some of your words over the course of the day ! As an interviewer, i'd hoped that somehow the questions would be answered with a level of depth. I feel a healthy sense of reward after reading yesterdays post. Your observations about Michelangelo and the unfinished work, and how it tied in with your modern sculptures (female form, and abstract) was truly awesome. Working with the raw bloom and having it reflect your inspiration, I believe that its a rich and successful idea !

 

The immortal affect the smith has on iron, its record of interaction is a very intriguing thought! I believe your philosophy of physical energy is understood by some Smiths to a level, but your explanation brings the idea out into technicolor !

 

I'd like to ask a few last questions, then i'll hand over the torch, so you may continue on the tradition and become the interviewer!

 

I know that you are well known for your smelting, blooms and sculpture, but i'm curious about your dealings with modern materials and blacksmithing. I've noticed that there is little mention of it on the website and that makes me wonder if there is a divide between that aspect and smelting. ( like keeping the sand separate from the sugar ) Or perhaps that is not an interest of yours at all, and your direction/dedication is completly towards smelting ? (dichotomy?)

 

more of the future? Are there areas that smelting has brought you to that you'd could potentially see yourself heading/exploring that direction in the future? (areas beyond the material ) eg such as an artifact that you came in contact with, made of bloom iron that has the potential for you to explore that particular form.

 

I can see by your teaching schedule and the effort that you put forth to explain and document iron work, that you really care about what you do and passing it along. I'd like to conclude by giving you " the open mic " to pass along some wisdom, thoughts, or perhaps a key feature that is not covered by my questions.

 

thank you for the very honest answers, it was a pleasure to read

 

Greg

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Top of the morning, Greg-

 

As far as my relationship with modern steel materials and such-- I really am trying to see if I can scratch up my living just from bloom iron. I have to take a few other jobs- railings and tables and such- to make ends meet, but I'm trying to minimize it. Since I've been doing that stuff around here for 30 years, it's not hard to find the work when I need it, so there's no need to promote it. And I'm pretty good at living cheap.

 

I turned 50 last year, and all the sudden time began to feel kinda short. I learn something new every time I smelt iron, or forge with bloom iron. After all this time, I don't learn that much doing architectural and decorative iron, and what I do learn isn't that interesting to me. So I really feel the need to stick with the bloom iron, as much as possible.

 

I admit, though, that when I run out of money and start on a railing project or something, I feel a good bit of relief for awhile, things are so much more straightforward and productive. But that feeling of relief never seems to last quite as long as the job does, meanwhile I'm staring at unforged blooms and unfinished sculptures.

 

There's no problem finding new directions for the future. Every time I think I have some small aspect of this down to a nice reasonably predictable outcome, something crazy happens, and I'm left scratching my head again.

 

Which brings me around to a last point I'd like to make. You've offered me a soapbox, I'll jump right on up!

 

I just did my 138th smelt on Saturday. That's just the ones I have notes on; I've participated in dozens of others. And though I learn things that deepen my understanding with every smelt, my degree of certainty about what I've learned is much less than it was after I had smelted 30 times. The more I learn, the less I know.

 

Especially among the bladesmith community, which tends to be comprised of folks of a pretty precise and technical bent, there is a desire and temptation to expect more solid answers than are really there. But bloom smelting is an incredibly complex and slippery process, always dancing with chaos. Mastery will come from art and practice, not from science.

 

Because bloom smelting is so incredibly labor intensive, we tend to overestimate the degree of our experience and understanding.

But how many blades would we expect to have to make in order to achieve mastery of that craft? 100? 200? 500? 1000? Why would smelting be different? And as complex an achievement as a fine sword may be, I would contend that the variables in a blade are much more tangible, straightforward, and measurable than the variables happening in a bloomery.

 

So what I'm trying to say here is that if you want to smelt your own iron, you have to approach it with a questing and adventuring spirit, don't expect to conquer it. And if you think you've mastered it, you're wrong. It's too much for one lifetime, which is why we need to share and build on each other's work.

 

Thanks, Greg, for the opportunity to spout off, I hope it was useful for somebody. I am hitting a another crazy patch, but I will carry the interviews forward as soon as I can. ...

 

Lee

Edited by Lee Sauder

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Lee,

I think it is time to begin another interview.

Select your victim.

 

Ric

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Yikes! At first I didn't have a target, then I just plain forgot! But now I've got two good ideas, I'll get after it. Thanks for the shake, Ric. ...

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I'm so glad this is going again!

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