MAD MAX

So why Blacksmith at all??

Recommended Posts

I was showing a Tomahawk I had made to a couple of young men the other day. One of them seemed pretty intrigued, The other one stood by silent for quite a while. Finally the quiet one asked me "Why would someone Blacksmith at all"?. He said you could buy anything you want at most hardware stores or some specialty place. I said that he was indeed correct. Then I told him this: First of all I need something to do and not just anybody can make something out of steel or iron. Also why do woodworking, Leather craft, Pottery, Or a host of other things where we make things at home that could be easily purchased at some store some place. A hand made item has "personality" where as a mass produced item is just another one of its type.

 

I also like the small amount of independence Blacksmithing gives me. I mean if I need something I can usually find something to make it out of freeing me from having to buy it. The last thing is that Blacksmithing has become my drug of choice, I just cant quit because I have withdrawls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's fun. You get to play with fire and hit things with hammers. Plus there's the satisfaction of making something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess he's not into historical re-enactment---"Hi I want to buy a 6th century pattern welded sceax please!"

I guess he doesn't work with computers---"Hi I have just fought a system failure for 14 hours straight and now I'm going to go hit a piece of steel with a hammer a whole lot of times!"

I guess he doesn't have a drive to create with his hands---"Hi I am going to take this scrap metal and turn it into stuff that people will yell at me 'Shut up and take my money!' "

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a sad question. I would imagine that kid has never felt the satisfaction of building something with his own two hands. In my honest opinion, modern technology and its wide reach of availability has destroyed young folks understanding of a hard days work and the satisfaction you get from it. Nothing I have ever "bought at a hardware store" has given me any sense of accomplishment. Maybe I'm stoked on a new toy for a while but after a little bit, its just another thing. Things I (or someone else) have hand made on the other hand, have a lingering sense of soul to them. Everything that was hand made is or will be cherished by someone as long as they exist. We create airlooms which may be passed down generation to generation. There is a story behind them. Mass produced tools and trinkets (though some may be passed on because of some family/friend significance) will wither, rust and eventually be forgotten. That is why blacksmith at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could he have asked the question as "the devil's advocate?" I know I cherish good opposition in discussions, genuine or just because. I also recall this exact question being asked to generate discussion right here in River City.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let the kid make something at the forge and the bug will bite him. Or he will say it is too difficult, not his thing, etc. Either way he WILL remember doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" ...He said you could buy anything you want at most hardware stores or some specialty place... " Totally and emphatically wrong, the sort of statement made by an insular, unimaginative minded immature person.

I'm guessing he's never been anywhere, seen anything or done anything that wasn't computer generated or go with the crowd.

Buy far the best answer you could have offered him would be to suggest he go find out for himself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only correct answer, ... is because you want to.

I'm waaay past justifying what I do, to "Shallow Hal, and his silly Pals".

The World has ALWAYS been bung-full of idiots, ... so why expect otherwise ?

To me, they're about as troublesome, ... as a cloudy day .....

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why blacksmith?  Same reason you don't eat every meal out at a restaurant or from a can.  There is joy in creating.

Someone who doesn't recognize that is truly the mindless drone of science fiction lore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings all. 

I get quite a few visitors to my shops throughout the year . Some ask why do I blacksmith and have so much equipment and tooling . They chuckle and refer to my things as junk to them. Sure enough it's not long before they show up on my doorstep saying I have a problem and am told you are the only one in the area who can make or fix it. I love to look up over my glasses and mumble . " Yep I have the tool or I can make it"  Don't ya just love humble pie. 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why blacksmith at all? I could type forever but i think i will elaborate on Thomas' 6th Century Seax example.My current views on forging (which may change) is that it's a direct link to the past,which past?what era? ALL of them, it's about as close to "time travel" as we can get IMO.My forge may have an electric blower on it but once the iron leaves the fire i do the same things people have been doing to it for....A long darn time. That is why I blacksmith at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I make WAY COOLER!!! stuff than you can find in any store. I am made in the image of my Creator, and that means that I am creative...  There is a great deal of satisfaction in a job well done, when you get to hold something in your hands when your done. Because I haven't had my soul stolen from me by a mindless consumer mentality.  Years ago I taught a neighbor girl to blacksmith, her first project was an 18th Century serving spoon. Her sister reacted in much the same way, "who makes a spoon, you go to the store and buy a spoon, and then maybe use it to make something."  The next year I helped her make a LOVELY oak leaf candle sconce, her sister didn't have anything snide to say about that at least that got back to me...  I am amazed at the number of virtual creative outlets that simulate actual creativity, Minecraft, Farmville, ect..  How you arr brought up makes a big difference, if your family buys everything, and hires out all the heavy lifting, it doesn't even occur to you that you might be able to do these things, and you might even enjoy it.  If you grew up in a family with books and magazines on DIY type topics, and self-sufficiency, and you saw your parents study a topic, and then do something.  It becomes possible and even normal. If you don't know anyone who has sewn a garment, made a meal from scratch, built furniture, and remodeled a house or two, then its not possible... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they have to ask the question then they don't get it.  I try ant not let people rent space in my head, the times that I did I never got a rent check!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you ask why blacksmith ??

answer #1 why Love ?

answer #2 why do something that you Love

answer # 3 -- Go back answer #1& #2 :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last week, a colleague and I were talking about what we'd done to take advantage of the previous weekend's unseasonably warm weather; I had made a fuller set out of an old rail anchor. Another colleague pointed at me and said, "This guy is so lucky! He gets to MAKE stuff!"

Good a reason as any!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't progress your abilty to survive, then you will be held to ransom by the grabbers of society .become dependent and fade away.

Mans quest for basic knowledge be able to hunt  make fire, weapons and tools a creative mind enable you to walk in peace and tranquility where ever you are.

Once knowledge is gained it cannot be stolen from you unlike wealth and possessions.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can apply this further, why bother cooking at home, because you can just go out and buy food already made for you to eat.  The answer is because you can't always buy what you want to eat that day, you can not always afford to buy food out, and sometimes (most of the time) the food that you cook at home is just so yummy and better than food bought out and it is normally great fun to cook it yourself.

Me, I blacksmith because its my job, it sends my kids to school, pays my bills, and puts food on the table.  How many more reasons do you need?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but Smoothbore has the truth of it. The reasons for making things with your own skills and hands are plentiful and obvious. But you shouldn't feel defensive when a xxxxxxx shows his butt. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why play Golf?  They are never going to  be real good at it.  They  only make themselves mad.

Blacksmithing is a way  to relieve frustrations stick a bar of steel in a fire and then smack the daylights out of it, nobody shows up to arrest you. 

If they ask Why   as said above because you can and they can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Phrase there are doer's and there are talkers.... most people are talkers...... this is a heck of a topic that one could rant about for hours. We all smith for our own reasons.

But i think the young man is only stating what society (ours here in the US) sees.... why work so hard at making something when we can just go to a store and buy it? We live in a privileged nation. For how long that will be well there is lots of speculation about that...

Pride of ownership and worksmanship is my reason.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what one of my customer posted as a review, I think it says it all............ "This is the optimality of the blacksmith's craft and reflects the "old world" knowledge of heat, metal, and the timing of pressure to the combination. Just wonderful work in a time when time is often qualified and quantified by "how many?", not "how suburb!" These are timeless products forged with coal, quenched in sweat. Museum quality. Treat yourself, and own something with soul."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The kid sounded like a dweeb engrossed in the video game culture. Push a button and live vicariously through someone else.

I did it because of a thousand reasons which you all have made a nice summary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am old enough to remember playing anything we wanted to. Cowboys and Indians, Three Musketeers, Soldiers, etc. . We were blessed with imaginations, unlike today. We were not tied down with the need for batteries, if we had something that moved in some way it was wind up.  I feel sorry for the younger generations of today. If you have no imagination you have no future. I have never worried about tomorrow, as I know that some way I will handle it, sometimes better than others, but it will be handled. I have no fears, as I have done this for 72 years. God help some of the younger generation,  I say some because there are still some youngsters out there like us old farts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.