Last Sunday I made the long drive up north to Frisco. A friend of mine had told me about an open house at the Frisco Heritage Museum and Village. All the historical buildings would be open to the public. It sounded like a bit of fun, so I was there.
As I walked out of the Railroad Station I heard a series of loud metallic clangs. I turned toward the sound and there was a shower of orange sparks from a healthy flame sprouting up in the darkness of a metal shed. I recognized these as the telltale signs of a Blacksmith at work.
I walked down there and settled in, talking to the smithy at work. He was forging square nails by heating and pounding iron rods. He took special pride in his work, talking about how he had placed in some recent blacksmithing contests. Someone asked him about taking lessons and he said that Brookhaven college has a number of blacksmithing courses. After a couple of nails, he said he was done, and went over to sit down. A younger man came into the shop and began to set up his work.
“That’s one guy that learned at Brookhaven,” the original smithy said.
I walked out to see the rest of the buildings on display – the church was especially cool. Then I returned to see what the new guy was doing.
“I’m making decorative knots,” he said. He was heating rods, then bending them into a series of small loops. Finally he’d cut the knot off… and start on another. It was mostly practice in heating, forging, and bending metal – but it was pretty interesting.
He cooled one knot off in a wooden bucket of water and handed it to me. “Here’s a souvenir,” he said.
For some reason, I really like the thing.