This September 12 marked the first annual Smidets Dag (Blacksmithing Day) at Gränsfors Bruk. It was a gathering of blacksmiths and enthusiasts from around Sweden, with exhibitions and a forging competition. Other activities included axe throwing, folk music, and tasty food, all set against the backdrop of the presses making quality Gränsfors axes.
My uncle Ted drove up for the day from the Stockholm area, and documented his experience in a wonderful video. It is a fantastic view of the day and the place through his eyes. Thanks Ted!
The rules of the competition were simple: 2 hours to forge whatever you want, no machines allowed. And you could have one person helping you. I was recruited by Fredrik during his round, and we made a dragon candle holder. (The picture below is not the one we made during the competition — I didn’t get a picture of that one — but is one Fredrik just finished for a customer. Of course every piece is unique, but it is close enough to give an idea of what it looked like.) The second round I worked by myself, and made a ram’s head fire poker.
The competition was a fun time of working alongside smiths from all over, and there were eight competitors in total. In the next years hopefully there will be many more, and an international crowd is only a few years away. If you find yourself in Sweden the first weekend of September, it is a not to be missed event.
It is when we gather together and share our passions that we find the greatest fulfillment and joy. This was just such a day, with great camaraderie, beautiful work, lots of sweat, and big smiles. I hope to see you there next year!