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I Forge Iron

Hello from the Lublin Upland, SE Poland

Raf H Wawer

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Hi guys,

In "normal life" I work as a senior researcher in a research institute, dealing with environmental aspects of agriculture, geographic information systems, remote sensing, simulation modelling, spatial data infrastructures, environmental systems for monitoring and reporting, open source software, decision ans policy support tools, implementation of European directives etc.....


Some years ago I became passionate for blacksmithing. Well I saw it as a perfect way of escaping the computer desk on one hand and a kind of following family tradition on the other. My grandfather was a well known craftsman and teacher, working for the Museum of Art in Kazimierz, while my grand-grand father was a blacksmith . When I turned 30... I quite suddenly realized that  I should be rather a craftsman, than a researcher,  who squeezes his bottom in front of computer desk, staring at a LCD screen of questionable quality. Blacksmithing seemed to be the best choice  for me - purifying fire, hot steel, the mysticism and the secrecy of the ancient craft, not mentioning my secular fascination with sharp things and overall weapons.  Well, I have to admit that watching certain movies about Japanese swordsmanship had something to do with it too... (-;  I decided to build myself a small smithy and a coal forge. I bought 2 pieces of very nice land.. and before I could even start building the workshop I was delegated for a scientific scholarship to Belgium.



Late summer 2004 the fate brought me to the a small loft office at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Surprisingly the "nasty" guy sitting at the neighbouring desk appeared to be a bladesmith. What an extraordinary fortune coincidence! Thanks to him, in a very short time I became "infected" with bladesmithing and going a bit further - knifemaking. That guy was Tim Wagendorp - the President of the Belgian Knife Society.


So since 2004 I am playing around with steel, wood and leather... but most of the time I actually build workshops. ;) I built my first one in years 2005-2008.. which is now being converted into a house. I am building the second one in afforested part of my plot - hope to finish it by June and finally do all the knifemaking and bladesmithing projects (especially wootz and iron melting) I have in mind plus some furniture for the "new" house and land.


I registered on this forum to find solutions for my DIY blacksmithing challenges. :)


If you'd like to take a look onto knife shows in Belgium and Holland you are very welcome to visit my blog: www.geostudio.pl/wordpress/. :rolleyes:

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