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Tag: craft

The Truth About Power Tools

The Truth About Power Tools

You have done it. You have made your decision to pick up a craft as a hobby. You are attracted to the old-timey romance of blacksmithing and the challenges of making knives. You want to start forging. Now what? You have seen photos of a proper professional workshop full of large, intimidating and expensive machinery. You might have seen a video of someone squishing large blocks of damascus steel with a hydraulic press. When you take a look at the…

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Why ‘Amateur’ Is NOT a Bad Word

Why ‘Amateur’ Is NOT a Bad Word

Amateur. You have heard the word before. Usually in a demeaning and derogatory manner. What a bunch of useless amateurs. Do not mind him. He is just an amateur… What if I told you that it also carries a very positive meaning? In last week’s post I urged you to to ‘Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Things’. If you decide to follow my advice, then you will be entering the world of craft as an amateur. Therefore I feel…

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Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Things!

Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Things!

We are now at that time of the year when people make all of those noble-sounding, predictable, New Year’s Resolutions. You know the drill: Stop Smoking, Drink Less, Eat Healthy, Get in Shape, etc. On average these last until about mid January and by springtime, they are reduced to nothing but a distant memory and the rare pang of guilt. Eventually they all morph into a resolution to try again next January. So the cycle continues. How about you do…

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The Ironworker’s Craft Goes Online!

The Ironworker’s Craft Goes Online!

The time has come. A year of intense studies is officially over. A few days ago I officially graduated from University College Dublin with an MSc in Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture. My thesis bore the simple title of ‘The Ironworker’s Craft’ and dealt early medieval ironworking in Ireland (400-1100 AD), beginning with iron smelting and ending with the forging of artefacts. There was even some space left to devote to metallography. What I was interested in was addressing 3 main research…

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7 Reasons for Buying Craft Products

7 Reasons for Buying Craft Products

Craft objects can be truly beautiful works of art. At the same time, it is a simple fact that handmade object will cost more than industrial mass production. This begs the question: What are the advantages offered by craft which off-set the price difference. Why should you spend so much on a knife, pot, piece of jewellery, furniture, clothing, leatherowork, etc.? Caleb Harris, writing for Broke Bladesmith, addressed some of this in a piece on handmade knives. I would like to add…

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Of Modern Man, Technology & Materiality

Of Modern Man, Technology & Materiality

“The available worlds looked pretty grim. They had little to offer him because he had little to offer them. He had been extremely chastened to realise that although he originally came from a world which had cars and computers and ballet and armagnac he didn’t, by himself, know how any of it worked. He couldn’t do it. Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it. There was…

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The Smelter’s Tale: Experimental Archaeology & Craft

The Smelter’s Tale: Experimental Archaeology & Craft

Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid — Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade. “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall, “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.” – Rudyard Kipling: ‘Cold Iron’ (1910) – In my Introduction to Experimental Archaeology, I have described experimental archaeology as the testing of archaeological hypotheses based on the excavated record by reproducing and using archaeological finds. In other words, testing our presumptions about…

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A Warm Welcome

A Warm Welcome

All grace goes to the givers. A guest has arrived, but where shall we sit him? Anxious is he who sits at the heart to test his mettle. A fire is the first thing a wanderer wants if frozen to the knee. Dry garb and grub are a must for whoever’s come over the mountains. Water is a want for someone who’s come for a meal, a towel and a warm welcome. Good nature, if they can get it, both…

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