Nice Finnish blacksmith film

Here is a really nice film of Finnish blacksmith Jesse Sipola, he has developed a system of using hand held air hammers for fine forging work, particularly faces, it’s a nicely shot and edited film too. Worth double clicking to get full screen.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/32786485 w=400&h=225]
Jesse Sipola, Seppä | Blacksmith (2011) from Eero Y on Vimeo.

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12 Responses to Nice Finnish blacksmith film

  1. paul atkin December 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    very interesting robin, don't think i fancy trying it though

  2. Robin Wood December 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    agreed Paul, not sure I can see a use for it in the sort of tool smithing we do, interesting to see though. I remember several years ago visiting Barcelona and being impressed by the craftsmanship in Gaudi's buildings, some of the ironwork had just this sort of organic feel.

  3. Kari Hultman December 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Neat video, Robin. Thanks for posting. He had an interesting point about the negative aspects of blacksmithing being viewed as a traditional craft.

  4. Robin Wood December 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Yes Kari I can talk about that for hours. Craftspeople have aspired to be artists because it has been higher status and prices for work are higher if customers recognise it as art rather than craft. Paradoxically art is valued for it's rarity yet today there are far more half decent artists than good skilled craftspeople. At the same time the subsidies which have supported the art world for the last 25 years are rapidly going. I believe we are about to see a big change with craft skill becoming recognised. The "negative aspects" of viewing skills as "traditional crafts" are purely down to the misconception that traditional crafts exist in a state of stasis, preserved in aspic, this is not and never has been the case. You can be a traditional craftsperson and evolve, innovate and develop new products for today's market, indeed this is the way all traditional crafts have always developed.

  5. micul mester December 8, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Meserias baiatul, face treaba buna.

  6. Russ Morin December 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Robin, the change you mention – do you feel it will be negative or positive? I have a feeling that craftsmen will become more appreciated as the world moves steadily towards white collar employment. As a former teacher, I was frequently reminding parents that college is NOT for everyone and that a future in the trades was not to be viewed as a failure.

  7. Robin Wood December 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Absolutely Russ, the change is happening right now and it is very positive. So many people are trapped in ostensibly "good" white collar jobs, which to be honest have been totally deskilled and dis-empowered. People want honest fulfilling work that uses all their capabilities as a human being and the crafts and trades can offer that.

  8. Jim December 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Brillant video, thanks for sharing Robin! I like the atmosphere of the workshop a lot, makes me want to learn blacksmithing!Let's hope that the change will happen at school too where (at least in France) trade and craft are still seen as "secondary stuff" and not really encouraged by teachers at college or high school, exept when the student is struggling to follow. Then they say, "maybe you should think about going and learn a trade job".But yes, I think it is slowly changing. I just ordered a french book called "l'âge d'or des artisans en 2020", golden age of craftsmen in 2020…I like the sound of that ;)

  9. Robin Wood December 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Jim We do have a long way to go, at the HCA skills forum Lucy Quinell (google her) referred to her son’s school prospectus for metalwork GCSE which said ‘good choice for the less able student’ and compared this to the skills development of a concert pianist or Olympic diver which must begin at a young age. To be a good craftsperson you need brains as well as manual dexterity, this is why so many folk come to the crafts and trades in their mid twenties or later, we need it to be seen as a viable choice for intelligent folk.

  10. Kari Hultman December 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Here in the states, craftspeople are held in high regard. If you can create something with your hands, people are impressed. However, craftspeople have a very hard time making a living because Americans are so cheap. They're impressed with handmade, but they won't pay for handmade.

  11. traditionalskills January 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    That is definitely a different approach to blacksmithing. Cool idea. I would not have thought to use air tools like that when blacksmithing. Good find.

  12. Graeme December 1, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    When I have learnt to make a solid door from Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis) I want one of these to go on it. (See Robins blog from Dec 5 for the video with Alpine Ash)
    what Jesse does there is Art in my book, although if he started churning out replicas of a few designs then it would become at best an artisan craft.
    Nothing wrong with using modern tools and novel techniques in a traditional trade/craft, it is only when the tools dictate the outcome that it becomes less. A traditional blacksmith with a sculptors eye could do this with the help of an assistant and a bunch of non-traditional hammers and punches but it would take a lot longer with many more reheats.
    As an example, I lack the tools to make a froe and I’ve approached a couple of ‘blacksmiths’ who have proposed welding a bar onto a tubular section then grinding the profile, just wouldn’t be the same, would it? that’s not smithing it’s mechanical engineering.

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