[NTLK] o/t blacksmithing

Lord Groundhog LordGroundhog at gmail.com
Sun May 1 10:44:30 EDT 2011

~~~ On 2011/05/01 00:18, Dale A. Raby at daleraby at gmail.com wrote ~~~

> Didn't know there were fans of smiths on the list.  I wonder if there is any
> signifigance to that?
I think I'd have liked the Smiths without Morissey.  He's so depressing.

But seriously, I suppose that the kind of attitude that recognizes that a a
gadget design can become "overcooked" and fall prey to a technological
parallel of the Peter Principle applies to both.  We're here because we
recognize that the Newton was a high-point in the development of handheld
computing, and the advances that came with devices like the Blackberry and
iPhone came at the cost of losing other great features and advantages.  And
for me at least, that's the same attitude I take to blacksmithing:  there
are easier and "more advanced" ways to produce metal goods, but you get
those advantages by giving up other features that come only with smithing.

Just my theory.  

> Mostly I make various kinds of hooks as the average attention span corresponds
> to the amount of time a modern child watches television before the
> commercial... ten to fifteen minutes... the time it takes me to make an S
> hook.  ...
Have you tried making fire irons?  A whole set of 5 is going to take a fair
amount of time, but I think you can work more or less within your 15 minute
limit by doing a single iron -- say, a poker.  We have the fire poker we got
for my father-in-law (and inherited when he died) and we got it because it
was part of a smith's demo.  He asked the crowd for a suggestion of a design
for a poker, and a child asked for a dragon.  He created a very simple,
stylized dragon:  a dragon's head and neck coiled around to form the handle
of the poker.  It was very quick.  He gave the child's mom first refusal on
it, and when she turned it down he put it over by the collection of demo
items he kept for sale, and we snagged it for Dad because we knew he'd like

Never in a million years could we have gotten such an attractive,
individual, suitably "quirky" yet functional gift at a price we could afford
except by getting it from a blacksmith.  He loved it.  As a bonus, when
someone else saw us buy it, they commissioned the smith to make a full set
for them in the same design.


~~~ ~~~ ~~~

³Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from a Newton.²
            -- ref.:  Arthur C. Clarke

(With thanks to Chod Lang)

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