Young smiths with fire and flame!

International meeting of young blacksmiths successfully concluded

The finished 2.5-D relief, which was created during the young blacksmiths´ meeting at the iron hammer in Hasloch.
The finished 2.5-D relief, which was created during the young blacksmiths´ meeting at the iron hammer in Hasloch.

Hasloch, 20. August 2018
Whoever entered the grounds of the iron hammer in Hasloch on the late morning of August 19 could already hear metallic clanking - the participants of the international young blacksmiths´ meeting were already in action again and were tirelessly letting the heavy hammers rush down on the glowing iron. Four labor-intensive, hot summer days lay behind the 14 budding metal designers and journeymen from France, Austria, Finland and Germany. Together with experienced old blacksmiths, a colorful troupe was invited by the International Association of Designing Blacksmiths (IFGS) to the Spessart, in order to produce a 2.5-D relief of the Hasloch upright hammer in only four days.

Teamwork is often required when forging.
Teamwork is often required when forging.

For four nights, the participants moved into their quarters in the time-honored, almost 240-year-old iron hammer - where generations of blacksmiths not only worked but also lived in former times. Ideal conditions for a labor-intensive project, for which three smiths´ lunches and anvils had been set up directly in front of the hammer mill and on which work was constantly being done in parallel. Some of the blacksmiths and metal designers knew each other before the event. After four intensive, long working days, a sworn team that had shared the anvil broke up. On Saturday, all participants once again mobilized all their energy reserves to successfully complete the joint work within the available time.

IFGS President Thomas-Maria Schmidt (2nd from right) hands over the finished 2.5-D relief to hammer-owner Walter Kurtz (right).
IFGS President Thomas-Maria Schmidt (2nd from right) hands over the finished 2.5-D relief to hammer-owner Walter Kurtz (right).

With combined forces, the 2.5-D relief - which hints at the third dimension, but does not fully execute it - was completed late in the evening. Just in time, because the following morning it was to be presented to the public and handed over to the hammer master Walter Kurtz during a matinee. "The handing over of the project, in which our young smiths put a lot of effort, sweat and energy, is the crowning of four intensive days, from which we will take many lasting memories and experiences back with us for future projects. We have worked together as colleagues and will part as friends. Many thanks to Walter Kurtz, who made this great event possible," said IFGS President Thomas-Maria Schmidt.

Hammer master Walter Kurtz thanks the young smiths for their great commitment.
Hammer master Walter Kurtz thanks the young smiths for their great commitment.

In his role as a shareholder and representative of the Anna Göbel and Otto Kurtz Foundation, Walter Kurtz replied that it was very important to him to do something for young people here and to introduce them to the blacksmith´s craft. "Within a very short time, the young blacksmiths together created a tangible blacksmith´s work from a paper draft, which was a complete success. I am thrilled to see how an energetic team was created here in such a short time, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your fantastic commitment - I would also like to thank all the old blacksmiths who contributed all their experience to this project, it was like a unified whole," said Walter Kurtz, who took the opportunity to present each future metal designer with his "starter package" of 100 euros plus certificate of participation. All participants agreed already today to be present again at the next forging project on the iron hammer.

The participants of the young blacksmith meeting with the finished 2.5-D relief of the Hasloch sledgehammer.
The participants of the young blacksmith meeting with the finished 2.5-D relief of the Hasloch sledgehammer.

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