O&MM Fabricator - May/June 2016 - (Page 30)

SOURCE CREDIT: TOM ACCIARINI SHOPTALK The English Artist Keeping an Ancient Tradition Alive SOURCE CREDIT: DAVID FREEDMAN T 30 | May/June 2016 * O&MM Fabricator he unmistakable smell of the smithy, scorched coke, sweat and the metallic damp of the earth floor hit me before I could see through the dimness on first entering Mark Cross Forge in Sussex, England 20 years ago. Everything that should have repelled me, the noise and the grime, the fire, and the sparks only drew me in further. Giles Blakeley, the blacksmith, was only eight years my senior, but one of a dying breed of fully trained and apprenticed blacksmiths in the United Kingdom (UK). His creative brand of hand forged ironwork proved popular in the affluent counties surrounding London, but blacksmithing was at a turning point, poised between the age-old trade that made every hand tool, sharpened the scythe and the plough, and the new era that recognized its skills as an art and hailed the smith as an artisan to visit for something special. Something unique. Like many other enthusiasts since, I became inspired to set up my own forge and moved back to the Cheshire Village where I DAVID FREEDMAN grew up. A stroke of luck came in the form of a full set of forging tools, anvil and forge included, offered to me to take away from a school in London where an artistic project in the 1970s had been abandoned due to lack of funding, and the equipment had been left to gather dust ever since. Some form of blacksmith's shop has probably been a fixture in my village since the Iron Age began more than 2,000 years ago. The river bridge is an important crossing that would have been used by the Romans, and it seems likely that there would have been a smith at hand who could fix cart wheels and sharpen tools. Records from November 1824 show that numerous trades once existed in the village; blacksmith, wheelwright, weaver, tailor, gamekeeper, and victualler among others. These days, an artist potter and I are the only tradespeople left. The arrival of the car allowed others the relative freedom to skip the six miles into the nearest town for work, with many travelling the near 30 miles to the city.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of O&MM Fabricator - May/June 2016

PRESIDENT’S LETTER
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
NOMMA Network
NOMMA Education Foundation
TIME- AND MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR WELDING JIGS
THE COLLECTIVE MIND GATE SERIES — PART II
THE ENGLISH ARTIST BLACKSMITH — KEEPING AN ANCIENT TRADITION ALIVE
BE SMART WITH YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
SEO IS NOT DEAD
Supplier Members
New NOMMA Members, Iron Club Members & Rust Free Club Members
Industry News
Products
People
Nueva Castilla Co. – Celebrating 50 Years in Business!
Index of Advertisers

O&MM Fabricator - May/June 2016

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