Apprenticeship Session 5

Because Goose Prairie Forge turns into Swenson Greenery for the holiday wreath-making season we were unable to work on our bellows, so instead we started to work on a Viking-age candlestick. While these were an everyday item in the Viking-age, they weren’t something that everybody owned. Not necessarily a nobleman’s item, but probably not something peasants would have. There are several variations, including one that looks like a spoon, but we were going to create one that looks somewhat like what you think of when you say “candlestick”.

So we started with a pretty big piece of round stock in a soft steel – probably 1045 or so. And the first thing to do is what? Hammer round stock into square, of course. Be we also began to taper that down a bit. Thing really got interesting when we flipped the hammer over and began to use the cross peen side to make what I can only describe as a fishtail.

A candleholder at the “fishtail” stage.

The goal was to get the fishtail to the proper size to fit around a candle, so we were looking for something around 1-1/2 inches at the end. It took a lot of hammering to get it into shape! Once the fishtail was big enough it was time to start giving it a curve. Still using the cross peen side of the hammer, the fishtail gets place on the table portion of the anvil and you start to hit it into the corner to get it to start to bend.

The fishtail is starting to wrap around.

That’s actually about as far as we got today, which doesn’t seem like much progress but hammering out the fishtail is harder than it looks and takes time. But we should be able to wrap these up next session. Can’t wait to see them finished!