by Jock Dempsey
This strange video was mostly shot in the soft focus of a dreamlike fairy tale --
which happens to be exactly what it is, a smithing lesson set amid a Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) fairy tale about going to the only smithy in an imaginary Kingdom that makes the Queen's Rose for her coronation.
The soft-focus of the video is reminiscent of those old-time portraits in which the photographer actually smeared the lens with Vaseline to give the photo the soft, gauzy look of fantasy.
There is some fair blacksmithing -- and some bad blacksmithing -- in this video,
with a good how-to for forging an iron rose shown amid the colorful blur of an SCA weekend event where everyone was practicing their crafts and wearing their Medieval attire.
The worst smithing comes when an over-height piece of work is put into a poor little 25 pound Little Giant.
The hammer could have easily been adjusted for the height of the work but it was not.
Instead the poor little hammer was choked and forced to run in destructive ways it was not designed to run.
I felt the poor abused machine needed to be rescued and taken away from the abusers.
The best smithing comes when, to forge the Coronation Rose, onscreen demonstrator Hans Schlosser continues without the power hammer,
starting with a 1.5" round, he makes a shoulder and draws out a shank that is to become the stem.
The shoulder creates a stop so that when the stem is dropped into a pritichel or punching hole in the anvil the big end can be upset.
Using a helper to strike, the smith upsets and flattens the end into a disk about 1/2" or more thick and about 4" in diameter.
The disk is then dressed to about 3" diameter and hot chiseled into two layers leaving about a 1/2" diameter connecting them at the center.
The petals are then hot cut from the face of the disk.
Schlosser had intended to follow the method described by Alex Bealer in The Art of Blacksmithing of cutting all the way through then offsetting the leaves by twisting.
However, he ran into trouble hot cutting through two layers where the bottom was cooling against the anvil face.
So, instead, he decided to bend the first layer up then cut the second set of petals offset.
This worked well and avoided the distinct possibility of tearing a layer off in the twisting process.
I think this was a good decision.
After roughly cutting the petal shapes they are bent out and worked to thin and shape them.
This requires a lot of bending of other part out of the way.
As the petals were finished from the center out they were twisted and bent into shape.
After the rose was finished separate leaves were hand forged and attached by forge welding.
There is some good blacksmithing in this video if you can stay focussed on it through the Medieval dream.
Menu with still photo background
Fullering to create clean shoulder|
Hot splitting with top and bottom cuts
Same as Art of Blacksmithing
Cutting outer offset petals|
Digital blue heat result from low light.
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Price $16.95 US