Subject: [EKSouth] Links: Smithing and Medieval Metalworking
necessarily the same thing)
Hallo all. I've discovered something amusing. Lately, all my searches turn
out to be the names of Rock Bands. How about Balckhouse? Viking Metal?
strange but true...... Perhaps it has to do with the similarities of "heavy
metal" and "Heavy Metal" (Music)?
At any rate, this week's Links list is focusing on Blacksmithing (with a
freebie of a Lego-built blacksmith's forge :), and Metalworking, which
apparently means three things: making iron or steel or bronze/similar items
for everyday use AND making jewelry or adornment/luxury items out of
precious metal AND also refers to the making of coins. I've included a
little of all of these in today's Links list.
As always, enjoy these in the spririt they are offered, and feel free
forward them where they will find a ready audience. Also feel free to update
your own Links pages with them. I do enjoy hearing where these links are
forwarded, so don't be shy in letting me know that this list os forwarded to
East Tanzania or outer Cleftland, for instance :)
Aoife, married to a part-time Smith and whose mother was born with that fine
Medieval Blacksmith Shop (Just for fun---it's made of Lego's)
Blacksmith's Medieval Art Finds a Market Through Modern Technology
by Jim Joyner ( newspaper article about the marriage of the Modern Web and
(Site Excerpt) Blacksmith Robb (a.k.a. Thak) Martin says the vast reach of
the Web connects him with the unusual people who are interested in his work.
The Elmira, Ontario, resident makes medieval armor for display and decor,
not something that will sell at every local gallery. While he does wholesale
some colonial-style hardware to shops in British Columbia, and wholesales
some of his other products to retailers throughout North America, the
Internet has been one of his main venues for selling armor.
Metalwork During the Anglo-saxon Period
Weapons were very important to the Anglo-Saxons as they were constantly
battling over property and rights. Their weapons had to be fashioned out of
a strong material that would endure strikes from an opponent's weapon. The
Anglo-Saxons produced weapons primarily out of cast iron, with some copper
and lead alloys. Steel was used for making armor, and even pewter was used
on ships and as a base material for some smaller weapons such as knives and
arrow tips. Blacksmiths were highly skilled and could create practically any
size or shape weapon desired.
Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Armor
(Site excerpt) The earliest Anglo-Saxon settelers, particularly those who
were serving in the shore forts or as foderati may have worn Roman style
ridge helmets. Several helmets (or parts of them) of this type are known
from Britain, including finds from the Saxon Shore Forts of Burgh Castle,
Norfolk and Richborough, Kent. This style of helmet was probably used both
by Germanic mercenaries and native British troops, and could well have
formed the model for later Anglo-Saxon helmets, such as the Pioneer helmet.
Many archaeologists and military historians believe that these helmets may
also have formed the models for the Scandinavian style of helmet found at
Vendel, Valsgärde and Sutton Hoo.
A British Archaeo-metallurgical Bibliography
(Site excerpt) Note: Links attached to the author's name indicate that there
are on-line abstracts for those papers Awty B., 1996. 'Early cast irons and
the impact of fuel availability on their production', J. Historical
Metallurgy Soc. 30 17-22
Barclay, A., Fell, V. and Wallis, J., 1995. 'An iron socketted axehead from
the River Thames, Buscot, Oxfordshire', Oxoniensia60 417-419
Blaylock S.R. 1996: 'Bell and cauldron Founding in Exeter', J. Historical
Metallurgy Soc. 30 72-82
Burnham B.C. 1997. 'Roman mining at Dolaucothi: The implications of the
1991-3 excavation near the Carreg Pumsaint', Britannia28 325-336
Metalwork in Islamic architecture
(Site Excerpt) Under the Timurids and their contemporaries, the arts in Iran
and Central Asia persisted in their excellence and intelligence. From the
shrine of Ahmed Yasavi in Turkestan, Iran, comes this uniquely designed
cauldron of bronze. The basin consists of an almost hemispherical bowl on a
slender foot. The top half of the exterior is decorated with two horizontal
bands of cursive and angular inscriptions punctuated by bosses and pendant
handles, write Blair and Bloom (1994). On the bottom half are pendant
triangular cartouches of arabesque tracery
Buckles Through the Ages
(Site excerpt) Part Three Saxon Sixth and Seventh century
The buckle was
an important dress accessory of the Anglo-Saxons and the numbers that have
been found buried with their owners proves this. The quality of metalwork
during this period was of an extremely high order attested by some of the
magnificent examples that have been found, either made in precious metal or
heavily gilded and inlaid with garnets, niello and other decorative
techniques. The most famous buckle found to date in this country is
undoubtedly the superbly crafted gold buckle from the Sutton Hoo ship burial
dated to 625AD and possibly belonging to King Raedwald of East Anglia.
Metalweb News Blacksmith Page
Primarily a lis tof links, this site covers everything from making your own
equipment, to using it to make stuff. Mostly moderns, but still somewhat
Medieval Sword Resource Site
(Site Excerpt) The swords of medieval Europe (approximately 500 to 1500 AD)
evolved from steel Celtic swords, which in turn arose from a tradition of
straight, double-edged swords which began with bronze swords as early as
1,500 BC. At the opening of the Middle Ages these swords tended to have
blades just under a yard in length with a grip designed to accommodate a
single hand; the other hand being concerned with the grip of a shield.
Essentially all of the earliest medieval swords and many throughout the
period were designed to cut, having surprisingly thin blades, especially
towards the tip, which was often rounded. By the close of the Middle Ages,
swords increasingly are stouter and more sharply pointed, being optimized
for the thrust, the cut having been rendered less effective by improvements
PastIron--part New Millenium, Part horse-and-cart
(A website selling antique-replica door hardware including medieval stle
hardware. Site excerpt) Medieval Large Smooth From an original at the Weald
& Downland Museum in Sussex. Makes a suitable alternative to the
Butterfly.Suitable for shutters, cupboards and furniture. Colour = Black
Approx Weight (each) = 2.25oz (65grms) Approx Dimensions (opened) = 4.25" x
2.5" (110mm x 65mm)Price Per Pair £6.00 (Excluding: VAT at 17.5%)
I am including this site for one reason only. It shows some medieval door
hardware in one of the photos.
Gallery of Handforged Blacksmith works: Medieval Castle Door Hinge
(Site Excerpt) This close-up view of the castle door hinge shows the
hand-forged detail given the sword. The blacksmith forging depicts the
ancient metal work known to that era.
Mastermyr Tool Chest (a blacksmith's tool chest find in Gotland)
(Site Excerpt: Photo) The tool chest is a treasure. It was discovered in
Mästermyr in 1936. It is 90 cm long and 24 cm high and more than 200 objects
were found in it and around it. (Article linked at
(Site Excerpt) This series of pages is designed to give basic information
about the process of blacksmithing. The Primer explains general terms and
methods used. The page on a Simple Forge provides a forge design that can be
constructed for under $50 USD. The page on Pump Bellows demonstrates how a
multi-chamber bellows operates.
Blacksmith Advanced Technique
(Site Excerpt) This series of pages is designed to provide information about
advanced techniques employed in primitive blacksmithing.
This site currently has two projects: A Spanish Pike and a Fork.
How to make charcoal at home
by Dan Gill
(Site Excerpt) Why would anyone want to make their own charcoal? For one
thing, good hardwood lump burns hotter and cleaner (but faster) than
briquettes and is much easier to light. You also know where it came from,
what it contains and what was done to it en route. There are endeavors other
than barbecue which require high quality natural charcoal: It is still the
preferred fuel for forges and blacksmithing. Folks who make their own
fireworks and black powder need specialty charcoals with specific burning
properties such as that made from willow or grapevine.
Forge and Anvil Online (a television series about smithing)
(Site excerpt) FORGE & ANVIL is the first television series dedicated to
blacksmithing and metal work, produced by the University of Georgia Center
for Continuing Education in Athens, Georgia.
FORGE & ANVIL is available to all public television stations in the United
States. Forge & Anvil Streaming Video Clips To view these files, you need
copy of the free RealPlayer software.
28.8k modem | 56k modem Order the FORGE & ANVIL book and videotapes
and Program Descriptions
Regia Anglorum: Charcoal
(Site excerpt) Firstly, why make charcoal? The simple answer is that no
other combustible substance generates the heat necessary for the forging of
metals ( by the definition above, 20th century coke is "coal charcoal'' ).
The process basically consists of Burning - or literally charring - wood at
a very slow, controlled rate so that the combustion is never allowed to
complete and thus turn the raw materials to ash. This is achieved by
controlling the amount of air involved in the reaction - basically, covering
the whole caboose in earth. The process takes about 24 - 30 hours for 3 - 4
tons of wood ( the amount we had available in the lakes ) and produces, in
ideal conditions, about a ton of charcoal.
(Site Excerpt) A new class of resource for blacksmiths and related metal
workers. Anvilfire is your on-line metalworking information source. If you
need answers now check anvilfire's FAQ's or ask our Guru. Anvilfire is
dedicated to advancing modern blacksmithing while retaining traditional
standards of craftsmanship. Additions are made on a daily basis.
(Site Excerpt) This is a forum where you can discuss all things that have to
do with forging metal...Horseshoeing or Forging Tips, anecdotes, new
websites...anything goes, as long as you keep it clean and friendly.
WINIKOFF'S KEEN-JUNK PAGE
Virtual Junkyard For Blacksmiths
(Site Excerpt) You have just discovered Blacksmiths Virtual Junkyard, the
only junkyard where you won't tear your clothes, trip over a pile of pipe or
bang your shins.The idea here in Blacksmiths Virtual Junkyard is to carry on
the blacksmith tradition of sharing ideas, sources and information with
fellow blacksmiths. Visit the Blacksmiths Junkyard, -- look around --
up whatever blacksmithing materials you find useful. Next time you visit
Blacksmiths Virtual Junkyard bring along a piece of junk or two that you'd
like to share.
National Gallery of Art
(Site Excerpt) Each of the object types on this tour originally served
sacred purposes. The Chalice of Abbot Suger (1), the Spanish ciborium (7),
and the dove-shaped pyx (6) were each associated with the celebration of the
liturgy; the reliquary châsse (3) formed a miniature "tomb" for the relic of
a saint; the morse (8) was a fastener for ecclesiastical garb; and the
crucifix (2) served as an object of devotion that could be inserted into a
staff for processional use. The two aquamanile (4, 5), or pitchers in animal
or human forms, were used for either liturgical or secular handwashing.
Medieval Sword Virtual Museum
(Site Excerpt) Germanic Iron Age (Migration Period) ~ 400 to 700 AD
The swords of this time evolved from the Teutonic swords in evidence in the
later Roman Iron Age and average 33 to 37 inches in overall length including
a 4 to 5 inch long tang. These swords vary between 1.7 and 2.5 inches in
width and generally have parallel edges or edges slightly tapering towards
Jim's Medieval Coins
(Site Excerpt) I invite you to take a guided tour of my collection of
medieval French coins. Along the way you will see over twenty examples of
coins that are anywhere from 600 to 1000 years old. The tour should take
less than 10 minutes, depending upon the speed at which you read the short
descriptions. I've arranged it so that the images for the next page will
load into your computer's cache before you actually get there.
ROMAN & CELTIC ARTEFACTS (Photos from a resale Gallery)
(Site Excerpt)Roman ring with glass intaglio. Bronze ring with moulded glass
intaglio, depicting a seated Roma
Period: 2nd century AD. Diameter maximum: € 75...Celtic iron torc Very
preserved. Period: 300-100 BC
Diameter: 19 cm (7.48") € 295.....Roman iron flint with bronze handle With
decorations on the handle.Period: 2nd century AD Length: 7,5 cm (2.95")...
Roman bronze medical spoon Decorated with a wolfs head on the end of the
stem. Period: 2nd-3rd century AD Length: 16 cm (6.30") .....Roman bronze
spatula Green patination, for mixing and applying ointments. Period: 1st-3rd
century Length: 12 cm (4.72")
Medieval Metalwork in Birmingham City Museum and Gallery
(Note that there are no pictures, but it may be possible to contact the
museum to purchase a catalog or find a way to get pictures of some great
every day medieval items. Site Excerpt) Silver and Metal Works: Continental
Silver Spoons 547'35 - 302 "Acorn Knop" Spoon; 547'35 - 432 Hexagonal Knop
Spoon; 547'35 - 301 Diamond Point Spoon; 547'35 - 431 Diamond Point Spoon;
547'35 - 332 Slipped in the Stalk Spoon
Base Metal Spoons; 547'35 - 303 "Acorn Knop" Spoon; 547'35 - 304 "Acorn
Knop" Spoon ; 547'35 - 474 Spoon (?) French (?) 14th Century; 547'35 - 475
Spoon (?) French (?) 14th Century; 547'35 - 534 Spoon - French (?) 14th
Century; 547'35 - 535 Spoon - French (?) 14th Century
Studies in Medieval Irish Metalwork (a book review on chiefly gold-work in
Joslin Hall Medieval Bookshelf ( book merchant)
Ayres, Larry M., et al. A Medieval Miscellany -Romanesque and Early Gothic
Metalwork. Santa Barbara; The Art Galleries, University of California:1974.
Edition limited to 800 copies. An exhibition of twelve distinctive specimens
of Medieval metalwork, drawn from 7 institutions. The catalog entries are
extensive and well researched, and were compiled by a team of 9 graduate
students. 7"x10", 39 pages, 12 b&w plates, card covers; covers
Ephemer Arts---Auction Catalogs with Medieval Works of Art (mainly Sotheby's
(Site Excerpt--one sample)EURO-1.
SOTHEBY'S - London...July 6, 1995...$15.00
European Sculpture and Works of Art
Medieval Works of Art (16 lots) ~ Medieval Wood and Early Terracotta
Sculpture (21) ~ Renaissance and Later Bronzes (53) ~ Plaquettes (10) ~
Baroque and Later Wood Sculpture (34) ~ Ivories (22) ~ Baroque and Later
Marble, Alabaster and Terracotta Sculpture (16) ~ Metalwork (21) ~
Kunstkammer, Caskets and Stained Glass (20) ~ Renaisance and Later Jewelry
241 lots total, 104 pages.
illus: b/w, color
The Earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound.
Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book,
and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
--Assyrian stone tablet, c. 2800 B.C.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the
Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parent, gobble their food,
and tyrannize their teachers.
Socrates (470-399 B.C.)
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