Friday, February 17, 2012

Public Outreach

(day three)
Although not specifically required as part of the Craft Projects grant, I personally consider communicating the work of Bloom to Bar an important part of the project.

The primary tool for this will remain the internet:

Iron Blooms to Working Bars
(Here!) This blog will specifically detail the work and topics directly related to the grant project. I'm going to try to post daily over the funding period (roughly three months)

Experimental Iron Smelting
Although seen from the stand point of archaeology, the existing Experimental Iron Smelting web site details the entire experimental series from 2001. It includes summaries of each smelt with images, experimental data and layout drawings. There are a number of formal papers and articles published, plus working guides to building and operating several different small furnace types.

Hammered Out Bits
This blog has been ongoing since March of 2006. To date there are over *600* individual postings. The primary topic areas are Iron Smelting, the Viking Age, and subjects related to general artistic blacksmithing. I will be doing my best to keep different materials posted there from commentaries seen on B 2 B.

Discussion Groups
I remain active (as topics arise) on at least four related open discussion boards:
EARLY IRON - a group specifically focused on experimental bloomery iron smelting
NORSEFOLK - a group focused on aspects of Viking Age history, and living history
Don Fogg's BLADESMITHING - a more general set of discussions on knifemaking
METAL ARTS GUILD - a more random discussion of artistic metalwork of all kinds

In addition, I had already committed to a number of lecture presentations that will fall inside the project period:

February 22 - Society for Creative Anachronism, Trent University, Peterborough Ontario
Lady Eaton College / Building 7, rm 208

'Medieval Iron - an Overview'
A fast look over Iron as a material, iron work as a process, and iron objects of the Middle Ages. A focus will be to take a look at the kinds of objects of special interest and utility to the re-enactor. There will be a simple overview of blacksmithing equipment from the period - and what you would need to get started *historic* forging. Illustrated with images and replicas.

March 31, Forward Into the Past, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo Ontario
Bricker Academic Building

'An Iron Smelt in Vinland - an experimental investigation'
Part of the session 'Experimental Vikings: Glass and Iron'
This will be a first test presentation of my formal paper for the ICMS (below). Expect more time to delve into the practical aspects of iron smelting methods.

April 14 & 15, Archaeology Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Ontario

Part of 'Experimental & Living History of the Viking Age'
Within this larger group presentation by the Dark Ages Re-creation Company, I will be mounting a table style display illustrating bloomery iron production as an example of experimental archaeology.

May 10, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
10 AM / Session 24 / Fetzer Hall rm 1045

'An Iron Smelt in Vinland - an experimental investigation
Part of the session 'Can these Bones Come to Life '
" Investigations of the archaeological site at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, indicate local bog iron ore was smelted into workable metal, at least once, by the Norse some time about 1000 AD. Just why the first iron smelt in North America was carried out remains open to interpretation. Starting in 2009, a team from Ontario, Canada, conducted a series of five experiments, culminating on a full re-creation of the original Norse iron smelt at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC in August of 2010.
This paper will detail how the archaeological evidence was combined with years of experience with Norse styled furnaces to produce a successful working system. What was learned about the physical process can now shed greater light on not only early iron smelting methods, but what happened in Vinland near the end of the Viking Age."
This is the formal delivery of this academic paper, which deals with various discoveries from an Experimental Archaeology viewpoint.

As well, there are some practical workshop sessions scheduled:

March 10, Ontario Artist Blacksmith Association, Guelph Ontario

'Building and Operating the Aristotle Furnace'
This will be a practical demonstration and participant workshop session held as part of the regular monthly meeting of OABA. The Aristotle Furnace was first introduced at Smeltfest 2008 and further refined during Smeltfest 2009 (see below). It is a small table top re-melting furnace which easily allows the production of a small cake of bloomery type metal - ideal for bladesmithing.

March 16 - 25 (tentative), Smeltfest 2012, the Rockbridge Bloomery, Lexington Virginia

Smeltfest is a closed workshop that has been held annually since 2005. It is hosted by Lee Sauder, and gathers together other artisan blacksmiths who are primary members of the North American 'Early Iron' movement : Skip Williams, Michael McCarthy, Jesus Herandez, Steve Mankowski and Sheldon Browder (plus others). I have been a key participant in these sessions since their inception. Every year, the group focuses attention on specific problems related to iron bloomery furnaces.
The grant application included specific funding to cover my participation in this two week long 'retreat' style workshop.

Many of these presentations are open to the general public.

No comments:

Post a Comment

February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

COPYRIGHT NOTICE - All posted text and images @ Darrell Markewitz.
No duplication, in whole or in part, is permitted without the author's expressed written permission.
For a detailed copyright statement : go HERE