Forging

Our profession forging is very important and without it things are not good. That's why before creating the world God made our craft for He knew each house needs nails to be build. We need shovels and hoes to dig and plow the soil. We need axes to collect wood. We need adze... Knifes are needed for all things. Forging is a gift for man. Thought it everything is possible.

For some people this is truth and for some is not. Forging exists because its needed in our lifes and on the field. Forging has brought to people a big push toward modernizing providing us with instruments and machines. It has helped the industrialization of our world. Forging boosts all other sectors in our economy.

Since forging is most ancient craft then craftsmen’s job must be most ancient profession. The main materials smiths use are iron, steel, as well as bronze, copper and precious metals. In the past smiths made and repaired all tools of iron necessary for holding, also other crafts for construction of houses, various objects from peoples’ every day life- fireplace utensils, candlesticks, padlocks, farriery (shoeing), etc.

Forging is the main technical action blacksmith does on the material. Manual forging includes actions such as flattening, drawing, drilling, hardening, hacking ornaments on metal, piling, forging and welding. But besides forging metals and treating them with heat and cooling, which actually causes the tempering, blacksmiths can cast metals in forms/molds, they can also stamp etc. The long tradition of blacksmiths kept the old practices and methods of decoration. The masterpieces are stylized and inspired by the harmony between man and his surroundings. With the advent of industrialization and opportunities of the industry to meet these needs, blacksmiths do mainly manual decorative forging and repair agricultural implements and tools.

Certainly, to be good at what you do needs a lot of knowledge. For some people might look that blacksmiths only pound with a hammer on iron in their workplace. But the main subtlety in smithing craft’s is knowledge of metal. True masters know when color is in the proper shade and they should begin forging of iron, they know when to throw sand to get a good weld, they know when steel is tempered well. The seemingly tough work actually takes much precision, skill, love, imagination. Many factors make blacksmiths’ work turned into a delicate art which leads to creating masterpieces of iron and metal.

By any means forging doesn’t detract from other professions and crafts. Each has its subtlety, its beauty, its charm. But to process iron, to know it to the smallest atom, to obey your will to it and produce the final product it is a complex process. In this process two hard characters are in a clash – blacksmith and material. On one hand, the persistence of the master, on other hand- the sustainability of iron. But over the years, trough much work and attempts, having successes and failures, masters have found the exact formula of how raw metal for example to be turned into a gentle and beautiful rose.

It is believed that one of the most complex for production works is anvil or stithy. The creation of new anvil is considered as an event once in a lifetime for blacksmiths. The forging of an anvil lasts almost a week and involves 12-16 masters gathered from near and distant villages. To the masters are sent special invitations, official as official it is a wedding invitation. Their participation in crafting the anvil is for free. Traditionally smiths should always be in an even number, and usually the work involves simultaneously four people on each shift.

In making products out of wrought iron are combined several processes – from the initial treatment to the final works. But without doubt one of the most complex parts of the process is welding itself, which is mentioned in a legend of Madan. Legend tells about the failures of old masters who did not know how to weld axes, hoes, which was like a crippling factor affecting the development of main processing activities on local farming. Only one master knew how to do it because “he had sold his soul to the devil.” But he kept the key for itself and didn’t grant anyone in knowledge how to make welds. His house was near the place where the imam gathered children to sing for them.

One day in his house entered a child and watched him how he works. “The devil- blacksmith” asked the child if his father knows how to weld, and the boy replied that he doesn’t know how to do it. When the little boy returned home, he shared with his father about the talk with the “devil”. He told him next time if the master/devil asked him the same question the boy should answer that the father already knows how to weld axes, and asked him to remember the exact words the master will say at that moment.

The child strictly followed the words of his father and then “the devil” began to wonder: “Must had put a little sand.” The boy told his father what master/devil spoke. Since then smiths began to make welds in that way and earn much money. According to the masters the sand serves as a “shutdown” of iron, as it stifles and allows it to boil inside itself, but where the metal is close to the fire causes it to begin extinguishing.

Blacksmith is among the 20 most respected professions in our country, which was established by the Ministry for Labour. Unfortunately the market is not enough and smiths can become very rare. Blacksmith’s art can’t be learned from a book or on the Internet, one must carry it inside himself. The relationship between man and metal is so tight and it is like between a child and a parent. You can’t become a smith master in one day. It takes practice, it needs strong will and perseverance.