Apprenticeship Session 11

We did it! We finished our Måstermyr chain. Well, mostly. We spent 5-1/2 hours and finished the 23 links that we had created and joined them into one chain. The actual Måstermyr chain had 26 links and a ring at one end. We will probably add those at some point, but for now we are …

Apprenticeship Session 10

Today is the day when we turn from making links to making an actual chain. The thought of forging a link together while there are a couple of other links hanging off of it seems daunting. It’s often the case that we struggle to get the piece shoved into the fire as it gets hung …

Apprenticeship Session 9

We had some homework to finish before today’s session in anticipation of forge weldingwelding Welding is a process that joins metal by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing fusion. Welding is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base …

Notes: Scandinavian Blacksmithing in the Iron Age

I took a few notes as I was reading a master’s thesis written by Sverre Christoffer Guldberg, “The Smith on the Edge of Worlds: New Perspectives on Technology and Ideology in the Late Norwegian Iron Age” in 2014 at the University of Oslo. This is not meant to be a summary of the document, but …

Apprenticeship Session 8

So we continued our work with forge weldingwelding Welding is a process that joins metal by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing fusion. Welding is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal., or at least prepping for …

Apprenticeship Session 7

Forge weldingwelding Welding is a process that joins metal by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing fusion. Welding is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal.. Today we tackle forge welding. Okay, we dabbled in this once …

Apprenticeship Session 6

With wreath season over and the craziness of the holidays behind us and all that brought to everyone involved, it was time to get back to the forge. So we had some half-finished candleholders that we needed to complete. So we had left our candleholders in this state: So what remained was to taper the …

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 …

Apprenticeship Session 4

Since the forge is set up for wreath-making season, we chose to work on fire strikers rather than continue our bellows project. So we started with the pieces we had hammered out the last time and started to draw out one end to a taper. I guess it’s not a true taper since with a …

Apprenticeship Session 3

tine pounded into bar stock for the fire striker

So we had a bit of a break since our last session and expected to finish up the bellows today. However, we didn’t have the rivets we needed so we went through some safety reminders and decided to start working on fire strikers instead. So we started with a piece of 10851085 1085 steel is …

Apprenticeship Session 2

the finished bellows valve

So we started to build our Viking-age bellows tonight. Doug had the wood pieces all pre-cut and ready to assemble, which makes it sound quick and easy. However, three hours later we have one bellows only half assembled. There’s more to it than you’d think. Making the Valve Our previous session went over how the …

Apprenticeship Session 1

bellows design notes

So we started our apprenticeship with Doug Swenson as part of the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant that we received. The work plan was originally developed about six months ago and we’ve learned a lot since then. And we are about to leave on a trip and be away from the forge for several …

Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant FY20

The North Dakota Council on the Arts has a Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program that “is designed to honor and encourage the preservation of North Dakota’s diverse living traditions by providing grants that allow master traditional artists to pass their skills and knowledge to apprentices on a one-to-one basis over an extended period of …