Thursday, May 29, 2014


              The fist is a power, different for a fighter from an artist. It is overwhelming what a mind can conjure but it is even more exemplary a sight to see how the body executes. Out of the numerous times we go out on trips, we come across many areas of interest. Some we are appalled by, some we love curiously and some are worth telling about.

            On a such very recent trip, we thought of telling a story. The story of the finest craftsmanship. The story of possibilities. The story of a blacksmith.

           Very basic a setup. A shed made of  metal roofing material, probably out of scraps. A frame out of raw boughs and twines to hold them in place. This space occupied by a gleaming furnace fueled by a blower, designed traditionally and fashioned by painted leather. The whole mechanism utterly earthen and hand made but efficient. Efficient enough to create pieces functional and artistic, at least to our eyes. Here is a peek into a welcome blacksmith's workshop, most standard.

          Have a close look at how functional this place is. The furnace filled with charcoal, the blower blowing heat to it. A contraption maneuverable from afar for the blower. A hand's distance from the blacksmith's iron anvil mounted on wood. All the tongs to his left and the hammer to his right. Left to the anvil is a shallow stone hewn water holder to cool off the hot metal.

          The blower has a tiny hole in the floor which draws air once pumped with the help of a bamboo which gushes it into the furnace we were told and that is how the fire sustains.

          The soaring flames that will forge the metal to it's desired shape. Pay attention to the tongs here.

                 Once the metal is red hot, a suitable tong is used to hold the hot metal in place over the anvil and then it's time for the hammers to tango. It's fairly artistic how rhythmic the two hammers go blow after blow in perfect synchronization. It's as good as a symphony. Considered menial, yes, but what we saw was a splendid work of art. The way the iron is shaped into desired geometry is like a poetry with curves and edges.

         In a matter of moments the metal shapes up. A veteran blacksmith takes less time to shape up the metal. It's very ordinary for most to pass by these places without acknowledging the fact that it is a unique skill and at one point in history, was the only route to winning wars. Technology and machinery may have replaced a fair bit but nothing can replace the art form, achievable through this age old profession.

    The old hands made a chisel in a matter of minutes with no machinery, no electricity, no computers and no FACEBOOK or GOOGLE. Only a basic setup and pure artistic skill. The meaning of blacksmith itself says a 'skilled worker'. We saw possibilities in this shed in our own way. 'N' number of them. The things that could be shaped out with these tools and tradition. Here is a small sneak into what the happy blacksmith makes.

      We may have come a long way from manually made household, but art my dear people will never fall prey to technology, It will only serve one master i.e. SKILL. We hope you guys gauge what we envisaged.

No comments:

Post a Comment