Saturday April 6
Bricker Academic Building, Wilfrid Laurier University
I'll Huff and I'll Puff
Observations on Air Delivery in Bloomery Iron Furnaces
Given a good quality ore and a suitable furnace, the most critical factor in determining the size and quality of the iron bloom produced in a direct process iron smelting furnace is the air delivery. A decade of experiments with Early Medieval type furnaces has shown that to create blooms most like the archaeological samples, high volumes of air are required. How does this reflect back to the design of the bellows equipment itself? If specialized equipment is required, are their further cultural implications?
This is a first draft presentation of a formal paper - with additional materials (A test run of my ICMS submission, see below.)
The Cutting Edge : Considering Blades
Cutting tools have been with us as long as we have been human. Stone, copper, bronze, iron - all these materials have determined the possibilities and influenced the shapes of blades. The bladesmith has long cloaked his craft in mystery, often to the confusion of the end user. This session will be a free wheeling look at both historic artifacts and a peek at techniques of the bladesmith. As well as attempting to suggest the correct common types for specific historical periods, consideration will be given on how to select and care for knives and other bladed tools.