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History of the blacksmithing

The history of artistic metalwork

This section is a kind of curiosity. It is a story from the time of forging the Slavs. We hope that it will meet its mission and bring you closer, perhaps even captured a beautiful craft, which is wrought.
Slavs smelting of iron from bog iron ores in primitive furnaces - dymarkach where archaeologists face remains mainly on the ground in Kielce, and in Wielkopolska, in the vicinity of Suwalki, Krakow and Opole. During the excavations throughout the Polish found many household items (knives, hatchets, fittings, furniture, a variety of studs, and even not very complicated keys and locks), and most of all weapons: battle axes, swords, helmets and harnesses the elements. Blacksmithing was therefore have great significance in the everyday life of the Slavs.

In this period iron helmets, with an outer gilded copper sheets, which the Polish lands were found eight. There are also the earliest known monuments, architectural metalwork. Early example of a primitive yet apply artistic metalwork in the architecture of a simple iron hinges from the twelfth century, embedded in the bronze doors of the cathedral of Gniezno. The abbey can be viewed in Czerwińsk one of the few remaining in Poland Romanesque door fittings. Made probably in the second half of the twelfth century, have the form of two heads of the ornamental motifs, large sickle-like leaves and blades of spears, and are not connected with hinges (the latter are located inside the door). Strengthening the front side door fittings and is therefore also a decorative role. It appears that the composition of plant-based wheel is native character, because we do not find for her counterparts in France, where the Bishop of Plock Alexander brought to Czerwińska canons regular. Similar themes can be seen in the decoration done by the end of the twelfth century chest, hollowed from a single trunk, which is currently located in Wroclaw's city hall.

Processing technology of iron had a significant influence on the shape of artistic metalwork and ways of decorating. Raw material was obtained in the form of short dymarkach bars, hence the blacksmiths used the very long sections of iron, rarely combining fragments using chisel, in such places are always a significant increase in bars and stud. The home decorative motifs reminiscent of the spear blade or sickle - performed by blacksmiths everyday objects.

Valuable and relatively rarely used iron became the material is slowly becoming more widely used. In the thirteenth century in Poland to the primitive mechanisms used to move water drive. This invention enabled the production of iron at a far more significant scale. Establishments deposited near the river, now wyrabiały much larger dymarkach rough even for export to Prussia. Extremely important impact on the acquisition had wrought - with improved method of treatment - in the form of iron sheets and bars prismatic. Not less important were more intense contacts with Western Europe.

The architectural blacksmithing, a new type of monument: fitting door hinge in the form of decoration. Still alive were certain themes characteristic of the art of the previous period: nails, iron in the form of bars, although much has already worked longer and more accurately. Bars were sometimes shaped, prismatic rods twisted like a screw or interlaced. For the first time in Poland began to use steel decorative objects. Rooted in decorative hinges - placed on the surface of the door, not like before, inside - takes the shape of an elongated braid, although the doors of the churches in Żarnowie and Opatów Romanesque decoration reminds us of the central system. In these monuments can be seen taken from architectural decorations diamond theme. Braid in both cases was performed with a rather lengthy profile of a bar, with its top of the list grow symmetrically, the exterior of the crosses of lily arrangement, which resembles the former sickle motifs.

The original monument door fittings are one of the churches of Wroclaw, which resemble horizontally placed "the tree of life." The central composition of Romanesque refer the middle, nearly closed cyma as branches from leaves. Compared to the previous period floral motifs seem to be less stylized.

Along with urbanization in the fourteenth walked development of guild organizations, under which laws, privileges and regulations governed the work of craftsmen one industry. In addition to forging operating throughout the country, especially in densely populated areas, near rivers and ore deposits, developed urban workshops. At this time, you can wydatować beginnings of separation between the smiths urban centers and working in the provinces. From the beginning of the provincial establishments, not limited by the rules and simply buying a cheap raw material in steel mills, or even one of the latter part of it, ahead of the city in terms of output and its artistic value. In the first half of the fifteenth century, with increasing prosperity of cities has increased the importance of guild craftsmen who dominated the domestic market. In this century, grew up features artistic blacksmith, at the end of particular importance in the age of the captured locksmiths. Changes in the organization of production changed the nature of the products. Still, although in smaller quantities, door fittings were made in the composition of which was formed several schemes. First, clearly modeled on the decoration of facades of Gothic churches, composed of diamonds set horizontally, which tops the list grew (doors at St. Paul in Sandomierz). The second type of abstract geometric ornament combined with plant ornamentation (for example, in St. Cross in Krakow or in the church in Golub is a rhombus with stylized floral motifs. The successive transformations of this type appears purely decorative plant, "the tree of life". In Silesia (among others in the parish church in Henrykow) we find a third type of hardware in the form of hearts with generally symmetrically embedded, richly ulistnionymi branches.

More and more came into being while the iron door, which was related to the use by blacksmiths and the flat iron plates. Such doors - just like in Europe - were made from sheet metal, sometimes on wood, fastened with a reputation of flat or simple diamond lattice, which combined the plates with symmetrically spaced rivets or nails. This composition, enrichment with time of rosettes and other ornaments that filled the spaces between the strips, survived on Polish territory almost to the end of the seventeenth century. Particularly important for its development were especially two centers: artistic blacksmith workshops belonging to the Cistercian wąchockich (in which sixteenth postały main doors of the abbey in Wąchock) and blacksmiths workshops in Krakow. In the latter made about the middle of the fourteenth century the doors of the cathedral at Wawel, from which comes the famous "motif F with a crown - the monogram of King Casimir the Great.

Were a new phenomenon - since the fourteenth century - bars, to which the product was used prismatic rods (using a difficult technique for delay) or flat bars, which were riveted. Compositional scheme of these monuments remains the same and repeats well-known theme from the door of iron grating with diamonds or squares. During this period gratings primarily fulfill the practical and the decorative function of yet had a secondary importance.

Dictionary artistic metalwork:

Metal art - crafts made by a blacksmith using a blacksmith's tools. It involves the shaping of metals and manufacture of decorative items in wrought iron. Known since antiquity, flourished in the fifteenth and eighteenth-century workplace is called a blacksmith forge.

Metalwork - field work involving an artistic product decorative utility items made of metal. Commonly synonymous with artistic metalwork.

Smith - a craftsman engaged in blacksmith. This is a vanishing profession that involves the creation of (forging), metal objects such as horseshoes, nails, tools, and melee weapons. The most common blacksmith art products include: fencing and estate fencing, balcony railings, window bars, gates and gate inputs.

Locksmiths - crafts, fall in the scope of which metal working, mainly with hand tools and machines. The purpose of this craft is to obtain metal products, m.in locks, keys, fittings.

Blacksmith - a building dedicated to the work of artistic metalwork. Features include a blacksmith shop furnace, anvil, for shoeing horses, space and other support positions. Currently, mills are losing in importance due to the decreasing number of horses and because of the emergence of modern workshops.

Anvil - a large block of hard metal, specially shaped, used for the manual processing of metal or stone to support the work piece using tools such as chisel and hammer, especially when working blacksmith, usually central to the forge.

Hearth - part of the furnace, which allows for heating the metal to a temperature that enables its easier handling.

Hammer - usually there are several. Vary in size and weight. They are used to shape the piece of metal

Pliers - used to capture the hot metal, and hold it on the anvil with a hammer during processing.

Blacksmith's apron and gloves - are used to protect the body.

Punches - are used to make holes in metal. There are two types - punches stems and looping punches.

Trackpads - blacksmith's tools are used for finishing work, while smoothing the surface of wrought iron.

Cuts - are used to carry out the grooves in the forged material.

Gwoździownica - to hand-forging of nails, which are holes of different diameters.

ise - to immobilize the subject to be treated.

Toe - this is a nail-screw to attach a horseshoe to a horse's hooves.

Horseshoe - metal reinforcement in the U-shaped nails nailed (called podkowiakami) to the horse's feet in order to prevent abrasion of the hoof.

Balustrade - security (fence), staircases, terraces, balconies, roofs, etc., usually mounted on the edge of the hedged item and also served a decorative function. Otherwise known as the fence, railing.

Armourer - a craft performed by the armorer. It involves creating items, usually items of armor made of metal. Armourer's craft was very important during the Middle Ages.

Plastic processing - a method involving metal working tool for exerting pressure on the workpiece exceeds the limit of his strength, with a view to a permanent change of shape and dimensions of the workpiece. Always be obtained to improve the mechanical properties. The forming process can take place in conditions: hot, cold (classification depends on the recrystallization temperature forgings). Forming technology was known 3000 years BC. It is now considered one of the most important metal-working technology. Statistical car consists of 90% of the parts made with this technology. The body is embossed, while the landing gear (shafts, suspension, etc.) and engine components (connecting rods, crankshafts, pistons, etc.) are forged.

Forging - technological process, the type of metal forming, which is to deform the material by impact or pressure tools. Tools - or dies or beaters are placed on moving parts and tools. This process can also be implemented in the forging of special instruments. This process is suitable kutemu material suitable shape, structure and mechanical properties. Feedstock is a preform, while the product is a forging.

Forging signal - a technique involving the forging Manilow detail by two people, one of which (usually master) using only a small hammer, and the other a blacksmith hammer. The foreman puts a small hammer for a moment to show the detail assistant, in which the place has a hit. The application of a hammer (normal position of the side) and knocked to detail sounds (single shot, a quick double, the lack of impact) indicate where and how to strike a hammer blacksmith, and also signal the end of forging.