Reflection: Smiths

I really like writing the Reflection Post for Saturday as it requires me to spend time thinking about the world around me. I try to concentrate on what seems important to me and others around me at the time. I try to think of the ordinary elements in our lives which give each of us the fabric of our lives, woven together by the significant.

I like looking at and being in nature - to enjoy using all my senses to take in the immediate environment. I know that I am especially drawn to colour and shape, and to patterns. The leaves, grasses, trees, clouds all provide plenty of opportunities for exploring new colours and shapes and to marvel at the beauty in nature.

I was thinking about the patterns in plants, especially creepers, when Julie told me she had written a post on Timothy Starling, who works in copper - a coppersmith. You saw the post two days ago and I am sure, like me, you marvelled at his intricate work.

I started to think about Smiths who work in metal:

Coppersmiths who work in copper and brass.
Silversmith - silver
Tinsmiths - tin and light metals

And have you heard of Redsmiths? This is the term used for tinsmiths that use tinsmithing tools and techniques to make copper items.

And we are all so familiar with Blacksmiths who work in wrought iron or steel.

Japanese Blacksmiths Forge On (1)

Today our reflection is to think about all the people who work in metal to make our lives easier and in many cases far more beautiful with works of art and jewellery.

Balinese Silversmith (2)
Coppersmith at work in the last workshop of brassware in Dinant (Belgium) (3)
Tinsmithing craft and trade at Sauder Village, Ohio (4)

A couple of days ago I was having coffee with a couple of our AnArt4Life blog subscribers who have been loyal supporters for the nearly three years we have been active. We were talking about sheds (as you do!) and John invited me to see his shed. Not only has he built a beautiful shed but inside he has, no not an easel, a metal lathe. Just perfect for today's reflection on the metal workers. Thank you John for agreeing to share your shed and lathe with us.

Here is John outside his shed and then explaining how the lathe works.

And to conclude today - the wonderful poem The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.