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Around and About 
In Blacksmithing Circles

by Fred Holder

I received an invitation to the 5th  exhibition of the IFGS (Internationaler Fachverband Gestaltender Schmiede) from Ingolf Eschenbach. This exhibition  is open to all smiths worldwide. It will be held from June 1 to July 15, 2001, at the castle in Stolberg, near Aachen, Germany. The Association cordially invites American Smiths to the “Damascene” Steel exhibition and smithing symposium. Ingolf Eschenbach’s address is: A graphic file accompanied the e-mail invitation, which was the official invitation to attend and to participate in the 5th International Exhibition “Gratings: Gates and Doors” and a specialized exhibition of Damascus Steel. This is a Jury-free exhibition. There are no restrictions on the number of entries on the theme, for example knives, bowls, candelabras, etc are all acceptable. The exhibited work can be sold at the exhibition. If you want to be mentioned in their catalog, you must make application by April 5, 2001. For this they want a photo of the participant, a resume, including date of birth, activities, and exhibitions. Later registration is permitted, but participants registering after April 5 will not be mentioned in the catalog. All works entered will be insured during the exhibition. An administrative fee of DM 100 or 51.12 Euros will be charged to defray expenses. You may send an American Express check along with your works to:

IFGS Vice President Matthias Peters
Josef-von-Gorres-Str. 34-38
52222 Stolberg, Germany
TEL: 0049/2402/25841

All works being submitted must arrive in Stolberg Castle by Thursday, May 31, 2001. Works to be shown can also be brought directly to the exhibition. On the exhibition theme “Gratings, Gates and Doors,” to be staged parallel to the above showing, the jury selected 40 works. Along with the exhibitions at Stolberg Castle, a major demonstration of smithing with eight hearths and four power hammers  will be staged from June 1 to June 4, 2001. If you are interested in participating in this exhibition and demonstration of smithing, I suggest that you contact them for further details on costs.

The Upper Midwest Regional Blacksmithing Conference will be held on July 20 through 22, 2001 at the Steam Thresher Grounds in Pontiac, Illinois. This will be their third conference, which is held every other year. There are three very active chapters of ABANA sponsoring this event: the Illinois Valley blacksmithing Association, the Upper Midwest Blacksmithing Association, and the Indiana Blacksmithing Association. I received an invitation to attend and exhibit as a company supplying goods for blacksmiths. If you wish more information about this forthcoming conference, please contact:

John Biewer, Chairman
11722 W. 13th Street
Winthrop Harbor, IL 60096
Telephone: 847-746-2470.

At this time, I have no further information on this event, but we will report further on it as we receive additional information.

The period from June 19 to 21, 2000 saw a novelty in the history of technology: the first World Engineers’ Convention. The results of the professional discussions involving 76 speakers from 22 countries have now been compiled in the “Memorandum of Engineers,” which the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in now publishing in collaboration with VDI The Association of Engineers and the WFEO (World Federation of Engineering Organizations). The Memorandum represents the first issue of a continuing “World Engineering and Technology Report” series, according to UNESCO Director Koichiro Matsuura. The copy of the report, that I received shows an address of:

VDI Verein Deutscher Ingenieure
P. O. Box 10 11 39
D-40002 Duesseldorf, Germany
TEL: +49 (0) 211-6214-640
Web Site:

The February 2001 issue of Anvil Magazine has an excellent article by Donald J. Ferdinand on making an “S-Hook”. I was very impressed with this article and the approach used in making the hook. Over the years, I made a great many of these hooks for the muzzle loading sport  and re-enactors, but I never thought of doing it in the manner described in this article. The author begins making his hook by tapering one end of the rod and making a small curl (same way I did). He then bends this end to form a hook with the curl out. This step is repeated on the other end, but with that end curled up to form a “C”. The result is a shape very similar to the regular fire steel, that I also made a large number of when I was buckskinning and blacksmithing. I always struggled to remember how to shape things so that at this stage I had an “S” hook, instead of a “C”. I then heated the center and put in a full twist to decorate the hook.  It appears that the author puts in about 1-1/2 twists so that he converts his “C” to an “S”. Apparently, it makes an interesting demonstration according to the article.

Another article of interest in the issue of Anvil Magazine is a Chapter Excerpt from Samuel Yellin: Metalworker by Jack Andrews. They have reprinted  from Chapter 3 Craftsmanship. The book is an excellent addition to any blacksmith’s library, but if you don’t have the book, this article is worth reading.

A final article in the Febricula 2001 issue of Anvil Magazine is a How-To with Brazeal  on “Making a Horse Head Hook, Part 1.” This is basically a photo story with Rob Edwards of Anvil Magazine doing the photography and Brian doing the captions and the blacksmithing. The story is told with 22 full color pictures. The forging begins with a piece of
5/16” by 3/4” stock, the most common size stock for handmade horseshoes. All work is done over the anvil and the anvil horn. The end of the article says to look for Part 2 in the next issue. You should be able to order this issue from: Anvil Magazine, P. O. Box 1810, Georgetown, CA 95634-1810. TEL:  530-333-2142. E-Mail: Single issues cost $6.00. They accept MC and Visa.

Editor's Note: If you would like to be included in our Around and About Column, please let us know what you have done that is of interest to other smiths in the world. This column also is published in Blacksmith's Gazette.

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This Page Last Updated April 19, 2001.