Blacksmith is the professional and trade designation for people who work metal by forging ( open- die or drop forging ). Blacksmiths can work in craft or industrial companies. A blacksmith's workshop is the forge .
Job description (Germany)
Training in this craft is still possible today . However, the name of the former blacksmith profession has changed. Today the apprenticeship is called metal worker , specializing in metal design . Nevertheless - based on their cultural self-image - the newly trained young “metal workers” often describe themselves as blacksmiths , art blacksmiths or metal designers .
Blacksmiths were valued and sought after primarily as manufacturers of weapons, tools and equipment. The territorial lords recruited good smiths from one another. In rural areas the blacksmith was still an indispensable craftsman with a broad spectrum in the late 20th century, for example as a blacksmith for wagons and farm implements, as a farrier , blacksmith , locksmith and tool manufacturer. There was specialization early on, especially in the cities with their guilds and in certain rural regions (e.g. Remscheid, Solingen, Schmalkalden, in the Sauerland, in the Siegerland and in the Lahn-Dill area). Specialists such as armourers , cutlers , nail smiths , harness makers and coppersmiths established themselves there . From this, important manufacturers soon developed .
The blacksmith's trade lives from good training and above all from its own practice; this has remained the case since the Hittites began to manufacture iron around 3800 years ago and in Central Europe since the Iron Age around 2800 years ago. The professional experience, which was shown by the quality of the workpieces, was of particular importance. In earlier times, the importance of durability and reliability was much greater than it is today when it comes to the use of everyday objects such as weapons and various tools . Difficulties such as fluctuating raw material quality and a lack of metallurgical expertise (which we have today) could mostly be compensated for by experience.
As the trade served ever larger areas, master blacksmiths specialized. With the establishment of manufactories, the specialization continued to refine. In many cases, a blacksmith only carried out a few movements there. The routine thus learned allowed a constant quality, but was at the expense of the technical breadth. The fact that master blacksmiths no longer work independently is a phenomenon of industrialization .
Individual regions obtained as a result of its forged products worldwide notoriety, so from the early Middle Ages in the Middle East with Damascus as a famous center or from the late Middle Ages in the German area of the city Solingen with edged weapons and knives. In France it was mainly Thiers and Nogent, in England Sheffield, which long competed with Solingen. Until well into the 19th century, cutlery made their cutlery in relatively small businesses. Solingen is a prime example of manufacture. In the 20th century there was still a separate craft with masters and journeymen for each individual work step . The specialization of the apprenticeships was reduced several times with the decreasing number of apprentices.
Nevertheless, there are still blacksmiths in the national and international area who, in addition to well-founded historical specialist knowledge such as driving , fire welding , splitting , punching or even stylistic knowledge , have mastered modern metalworking techniques . A good blacksmith is therefore almost a universal genius in relation to creative metal design today - as in the past .
|by material and type of property||according to production and type of object||according to environment|
Historical illustrations from the 16th century by Jost Amman
Myths and Legends
- Myth - Hephaestus , Ilmarinen , Vulcanus , Tubal-Cain , Teljawelik , Kothar , Reginn , Kaveh Ahangar
- Legends - Wieland the blacksmith , the blacksmith von Kochel
- Folk tales - The blacksmith from Jüterbog
- Legends - defensive blacksmith , Pythagoras in the forge
- Patron saint - Eligius
- Beckedorfer Schmiedemuseum - small forge museum with a fully functional forge with forge, bellows and historical tools in the "Wildhackschen Waldschmiede" founded in 1812
- German forge museum in the LWL open-air museum Hagen in Hagen , North Rhine-Westphalia
- Tobiashammer in Ohrdruf , Thuringia - historical hammer forge with five drop hammers as well as an exhibition of contemporary metal sculptures and an annual blacksmith symposium
- Toggenburg Blacksmithing and Tool Museum Bazenheid , Switzerland
- Helfštýn Castle in the Czech Republic - a unique museum of artistic blacksmithing of the 20th and 21st centuries and an exhibition of modern metal sculpture
- Blacksmith Museum in Warsaw
- Faber (family name)
- Blacksmith hammer , anvil
- Sponge iron (or rag )
- "Hefaiston" (the largest international meeting of contemporary blacksmiths in Europe, annually on the last weekend in August, in the Czech Republic)
- Ring of the European Blacksmith Cities
- Mountain blacksmith
- Schmidt (from profession to surname)
- Hermann Hundeshagen: The blacksmith at the anvil. A practical textbook for all blacksmiths . People and Knowledge, Berlin (GDR) 1957; Reprint: Manuela Kinzel, Göppingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-95544-120-3 .
- Hanno Trurnit: Ovary & Winkler or "... as long as it's hot". History (s) of Bavarian blacksmith families. Trurnit & Partner, Ottobrunn 2012, ISBN 978-3-9813382-1-8 .
- “Der Schmied” (1992), a film documentary about the old blacksmithing trade and Alfred Habermann, film can be borrowed from the media office.
- Forging forest tools with a spring hammer and a tail hammer . The blacksmith Johann Feiner producing slanted apple trees in 1976.
- "HEPHAISTOS" trade journal on forging and metal design
- Iron Library (Switzerland), available online
- Museum in the old forge in Groß Neuendorf
- Toggenburg forge and tool museum Bazenheid
- Hammerschmiede Burghausen (verifiable since 1465)
- Royal Naval Museum - Blacksmiths the Forge of the British Navy, with photographs (text in English)
- Museum Geiserschmiede Bühlertal with videos, pictures and texts about the blacksmith trade and the workshop facilities
- The European Center for Contemporary Metal Design eV