Medieval blacksmith were amongst the most talented and skillful workers amongst the various tradesman that existed in those times. Despite working with heavy metals and powerful tools, medieval blacksmith were known for their fine work as well, especially when creating ornamental designs on tools, decorative items and even weapons made of various metals. Despite being known for hammering red-hot steel with big bulky hammers, medieval blacksmiths actually played an extremely important part in maintaining a healthy society.
When you decide to emulate a medieval blacksmith, as your hobby, you need to know that playing such a role requires a lot of time to learn the skill and ability to wield the tools like a blacksmith would. The first thing that you would need to do is understand the tools of the medieval blacksmith and learn how to use them properly and effectively. Usually, medieval blacksmiths would begin as apprentices when they hit their teens. That means if you are looking to take some time off your regular work and take up blacksmithing, chances are that you will take a while to learn the trade.
However, that definitely does not mean that you will never be any good at blacksmithing and once you get a hang of things, you are likely to move along quite rapidly towards becoming a medieval blacksmith-like metal worker.
In medieval times, blacksmiths were held in great esteem especially in villages where there were just a couple or so. Blacksmiths were required for everything, from making tools for use on farms to creating household utensils and daily use tools. Armies depended on blacksmiths for their weapons while horseshoes kept cavalries on the move. Without these medieval blacksmiths around, not only would there be no one to create those masterful weapons and tools, repairing and maintaining them would also be impossible.
While you might not be in the same state as a medieval blacksmith when you take up the hobby, there is a very strong chance that you will fall deeper in love with this fantastic hobby.
Medieval blacksmiths were not just known for smashing hot steel into shape. They were also known for some fine craftsmanship displayed through their ornate sword handles, some exceptional designs on metal as well as some fine, but sturdy, armour made with chains, sheet metal and other forms. Over time, the work and responsibility of the medieval blacksmith may have gone down with the introduction of technology, but what remains is a legacy that is equally exciting for us to live up to.
While we may have more comfortable lives than those hard medieval times, there is no stopping us from converting our barn, garage or shed into our very own forage or workshop.
Medieval Blacksmith's Tools
The medieval blacksmith's tools have always generated interest amongst hobbyists today and despite the advancements in technology, these tools have remained the same. At the heart of it all, the anvil remains the most common and recognizable symbol of a blacksmith, medieval or otherwise. Tongs to hold the hot steel as well as a variety of hammers were always part of his (they were almost always male) armoury. Bellows were used to increase the fire in times when there weren't gas-based furnaces.
The medieval blacksmiths' forge would be lined with sledgehammers, swages, fullers, punches, axes, chisels, bits as well as a number of moulds for making popular or in-demand objects. While most of these objects may have been replaced, it is easy to find many such items in flea markets or with collectors so that you can pursue your hobby in true medieval blacksmith style.
In medieval times, blacksmiths were a revered part of society and were also, at times, part of powerful guilds. From the lowly peasant to the mighty king, everyone owed a part of their lives to the blacksmith. While you may not attain a similar importance in society today with your blacksmith hobby, chances are that you can relive the magic woven by those crafty hammers in the forges of medieval blacksmiths.