Sunday, July 30, 2017

C-3's view of L'Anse aux Meadows (and DARC)

At DARC's recent presentation at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC, the group from C-3 was on site Sunday July 16 - Iron Smelt Day.
This is the short video coverage they shot and have posted:

You may not be able to view this without going into Facebook? 
I will attempt to sort this out later!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Iron Smelt at Vinland - 2017

This is a fast report on the bloomery iron smelt undertaken by a Parks Canada team, with some assistance from DARC, on Sunday July 16, 2017 - at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC.
This was in conjunction with 'Historic Sites Day' - and in turn part of the ongoing Canada 150 events.

This is only the second time in the modern era that iron has been smelted at LAM, since Leif Eirikson and his crew undertook the process some time about 1000 AD.

This iron smelt was a very long one.

The 'smelt master' was Mark Pilgrim ('Little Ragnar'). He and I started at 7:00 am with the organization and pre-heat.
Main sequence start with ungraded charcoal at 10:45
(from here on constant bellows work by Ian / Kevin / 'Thorstien')
First ore (DD2 Analog) at 12:00
A bit of mix up there, poor communications / instruction (?) resulted
in the first charge being a full 2 kg , followed by a more normal 1 kg
Burn times ran an average of about 20 minutes each (fastest = 17 /
slowest = 29)
Total of 29 kg ore was charged, last addition at 5:36

Although the normal burn down to ready for extraction was finished at
6:45, the extraction was delayed to about 7:30 to allow the visiting
group from C-3 to assemble.
The end result of this was that the furnace interior had cooled, the
normally white hot bloom had shifted down to at best a bright orange.
This in turn resulted in great difficulty separating the bloom from
the slag bowl - and the slag bowl becoming completely frozen to the
furnace walls.
Mark undertook the extraction process, but in the end had to break the
furnace apart to free the mass.

Top of Bloom - showing 'scoop' from air blast.

The end result was a 5.5 kg bloom. Yield = 19 %

This is still a bit lacy on the outside, due to initial compaction
being undertaken well below the normal welding heat. Still the bloom
looks and feels quite solid under the hammer. This a marked contrast
to the crumbly texture of the 2010 results.

Cut (and broken) along the mid line. Top 'half' is to left.

Impressive work by all involved!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Adrian Legge - Master Blacksmithing classes in September

I just had this passed to me by Sandra Dunn.
Highly Recommended!

In case any of your past students are interested, here’s some information about two courses Adrian Legge will be teaching in my shop in September.

Adrian Legge, Master Blacksmith from the U.K.  and instructor at Hereford College, is coming to Ontario to teach two blacksmithing Masterclasses.  Adrian is a dynamic teacher:  funny, insightful and guaranteed to challenge you to learn as much as possible in a short period of time.   
Adrian is a long standing member of staff at the National School of Blacksmithing where he’s been teaching since 1987. The BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing course was initially his vision after he identified that the blacksmith students he was teaching needed to be designers as well as blacksmiths and so he approached the Art College and an exciting collaboration between the two institutions began.

I find that the way that metal moves when it has been forged is fascinating. It has the ability to be structural and at the same time appear to be delicate. I have been a blacksmith for over 30 years and in that time have been involved in work as diverse as the restoration of 17th century gates and railings, the design and making of contemporary garden sculpture and the teaching of my craft to others.
— Legge

Courses will take place at the new teaching facility at Two Smiths in Kitchener.  This space is equipped with eight forging stations and  a design/ drawing studio.  

September:   Friday 8 / Saturday 9 / Sunday 10    9:00-5:00

Cost: 600.00 + hst and registration fee

Over the course of three days there will be a series of lectures, workshops and demonstrations exploring the following:
  • Drawing methods
  • Design briefs
  • Critical thinking
  • The research process
  • Analysis and evaluation of designs as they progress
  • The creation of samples, models and maquettes
This course is ideal for blacksmiths looking to develop their capacity to express ideas through the medium of forged metal with clarity, imagination and confidence.
All materials, safety equipment, coffee and tea will be provided.

September:  Friday 15 /. Saturday 16 ? Sunday 17   9:00-5:00
Cost: 600.00 + hst and registration fee
This three day intensive workshop will enable individuals to not only improve their skills and understanding of fundamental traditional joinery, it will also challenge them to do that within the context of designing and making a functional object.  
Joinery will include a branched forge weld, an offset tenon, a rivet and collar joint plus making all of the tooling for the above: punches, collar mandrel, top and bottom snap and a rivet bolster.   Adrian will be more than happy to also demonstrate additional joinery techniques requested by students registering before August 15th.
All materials, safety equipment, coffee and tea are included.

If anyone has any questions or wants more information feel free to contact me:m Sandra Dunn.


Two Smiths
8 Grand Ave. Unit B
Kitchener, ON
N2K 1B3

February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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