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I Forge Iron


jake pogrebinsky

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Just in case anyone is not familiar with the term these are simply buckles that held the cloak or similar garment.(Buttons,and button-holes in particular,are not very old;200-300 years or so).
A very crude,effective,and ageless buckle that you drag a swath of cloth through,and carefully fold over the pin.The cloth was precious,and was not pierced,i believe,so it's not a prototype of a safety pin(those exist from the ages past,and are WAY cool).
Any archeological dig worth it's salt is lousy with fibulas.They represent a healthy %-age by weight of all finds.
It was a perfect object to be mass-produced in cast bronze,so that the forged iron ones are not common,and the shape mimics the casting,usually.
The design for ones with the snake motif i've stolen from this Swedish lady,again,the name escapes me.However,the zoomorphic shapes were very much represented in every age/culture.
Some similar deal must hold the Highlander's kilt,or is it just a pin?
In any case,something else to practice forging...


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Hey!You guys should know better than to trust a crazy hermit out God knows where!I certainly TRY to be objective and accurate with my information,BUT:All that i may come up with is strictly meant to Provoke Thought! :)

There seem to be so many different fibulas,and some are so small,and definitely have pins on them very like the modern lapel pins-very thin and sharp.

In any case,i'm full of beans to leave some them sharp forged edges on the pins.In the interest of cloth conservation that would not be comme il faut(cool?) :P

I am so extremely interested in the forgings of,and by,the pepole at all these different times and places.
I've friends in the Anthropology Dept.at the U.(though it's 400 (roadless)miles east of here),and the Siberian ritual forged stuff that i became aware of through them...Man,the forgewelds on that stuff were amazing!

Also,a couple of years back i've seen a pot-chain forged by the gypsies,and that was some amazing welding as well...Quite similar,actually,in how EFFORTLESSLY they appeared to have been made!

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jake re the gypsy chains - its always really compelling how this stuff used to be done so "effortlessly" and without much kit - amazing things can be achieved.. like those buckles - how cool also to have a cloth so good that it is valued and cared for properly - makes the whole process far more enjoybable :) big foot nice buckle too - totally a time and a place for a sharp pin too i reckon! good gift.

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I've seen that style always referred to as a penannular and fibulas used for other types.

Note that the heyday of the penannular brooch was 500 to 1000 years before the kilt came along...even the great kilt is a fairly modern thing first solid documentation for it being around 1598. (One of the historical faults in "Braveheart": woad from centuries years earlier and kilts from centuries later...)

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Wow,thank you,guys,now the info is coming in!

Yes,Thomas,i've often come across them being called a penannular brooch.
I think that where i got the term fibula was from this young German fellow that i've corresponded a little some years ago.He was in an official trade-school training as a smith(loving it,but also chafing under the strictures of the way that it was being taught there).He had to do one as a term-project of sorts,and it was GOOD.The ends were beat into the neat cubes,and the pin was sharp,now that i think about it.
Maybe it was an assumption on my part,but i find any organised smithing education so awe-inspiring,German one to boot,that i've filed it as a gospel of sorts :) (it certainly had that authoritative anatomical/archaeological correctness about it!)

Very interesting about the kilt,thanks!

Thank you,Mark,for an anatomy lesson,too :rolleyes:

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That could very well be an artifact of translation; I had a book on finnish art that called them horseshoe pins... (and then there are the pseudo penannular brooches...)

I've made a good sized wild one out of Ti that if I can ever get it cleaned up, (Ti is not an easy metal to polish!), I'm going to anodize it and wear it when I'm being more obnoxious than usual in the SCA...

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Entirely possible,you know how it is with dem(us)furriners...Translation could easily have been it :unsure:

Thomas,and everyone else,in case you may've missed that,here's some pins by one of my very favorite smiths,Jiri Javourek,

(Starting at post # 57)

So,TiO(?)is a bear to scrub off?Didn't know that,never had the priviledge to forge any.Isn't it one of the white pigments used in oils?Probably an abrasive,too,but just a guess.

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Jacob,that would be fantastic,i thank you in advance.
Not to sound ungrateful,but my internet connection is very poor,i'd probably not be able to view anything higher than N resolution(much posted on this site remains a mystery to me because of format).But that's just me,not sure how many others have problems with that.
But,yea,sounds neat!

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Jake, Nice fibula's! I have made a few of them myself. I have made some out of forged bronze with a fine pin that did pierce the cloth like a big safety pin. It is one of my favorite ancient jewelry forms because of it's diversity and how wide spread it was, all over the Eurasian Continent and North Africa. I have even soldered up some out of sterling silver. :blink:

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