Change is Constant

As the moments become days and pass into memory, I feel we continually add invisible pieces to our selves. It has been so with me. And yet sometimes we also have very visible proof of our progress through time. This is one of the reasons I love blacksmithing – at the end of the day, you have a tactile, solid measure of your work. And maybe, just maybe, you can say that there is a little more beauty in the world because of it.

I am about to leave Sweden, and step out on the next path. My destination is the UK, encouraged by my expired visa to head to a new country. Although I have spent a good deal of effort preparing, the here and now has been pulling me strongly. Fredrik and I have been in production mode, working on a duo of chandeliers (ljuskronor), among some other smaller projects.

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The candleholders, and the ring, are all held together with rivets.

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Our signatures in the iron.

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A similar design, but with notable differences from the other ljuskrona.

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The Master at work – it was photography time.

Working under the guidance of a professional smith is an incredible experience, and the collaboration tests my ability to match and uphold Fredrik’s style and standards. Yet he has also encouraged me to find my own design, to explore what makes my ironwork unique. Using this as a starting point, I forged a couple of candleholders from start to finish, creating a design and then fulfilling it, and facing the challenges along the way.

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A tabletop ljusstake for two candles. Maybe not the best example of designing and planning – for this one I used the “winging it” method.

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This ljusstake is in the sauna. Because of the heat, it is best to use tea lights. Besides the four visible, there is also a candle behind the “moon.”

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The sauna is just over a year old, and there is a considerable amount of sap from the wood. A nice backdrop, don’t you think?

The sauna is a frequent presence in our lives, sometimes more, sometimes less. But an important part of the experience is jumping in the water. Sometimes it takes a little work to get there though…

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…in places the ice was thicker than the 40cm blade of the chainsaw. But we prevailed!

The family has been doing lots of colouring lately, from colouring books to “freestyle” (without colouring books). It is a great creative compliment to working in the forge, as well as a calming evening activity together.

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The colour pencils arrived!

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A graphite doodle I thought I’d call “Learning Lines.”

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Thanks to the colouring book and my Waldorf education for this one.

This brings one chapter of my adventure to a close. As I leave for Britain, and the unknown beyond that, I know that this has been a powerful time in my life. I hope to keep my updates alive as I journey, to share a glimpse into my travels and encounters with British blacksmiths.

Greet each day with passion, surrounded by health, and with a good portion of laughter to feed you.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Change is Constant

  1. You continue to inspire and show what it means to live and enjoy life. Thanks!

    Love,
    Jacquie

    PS Today I made cottage cheese pancakes, which have become one of Grant’s favorites! We think of you every time we make them!

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  2. I look forward to the next chapter of your many, unknown adventures. The sconce for the sauna is exactly how I had pictured it from your description, even more stunning though. Lovely workmanship my dear. I carry you in my heart always….Love, Mom

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  3. Lele and I love it all, especially the chandelier in the sauna, so curvy and sensual. He said he only hopes the chandeliers with the sharp points never fall because they could kill someone…..
    You have no idea how much we enjoy your blog. Thanks, Sam, and give my love to Alison in London.

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    • Good to hear from you Thea! Yes, before we put the pieces on the chandelier, Fredrik remarked how some of them looked a bit like throwing knives…but we refrained from sharpening them! I will pass along your wishes to Alison, and all the best to you and Lele.

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  4. Wow, Sam. I am so impressed by your adventurousness, artistry and skill. The whole of it – going abroad and apprenticing, forging new relationships, new purpose, as well as beautiful items – is so wonderful. And to top it off, you create this captivating blog, with such telling photos and rich language – revealing your experience so effectively. Absolutely excellent!
    Guy

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    • It has been a pleasure to be able to share a small piece of my travels. In many ways an experience can be appreciated even more by sharing it with others, and I have felt that a bit with this blog. I am so glad you have reached out, and near or far, I value our exchange of ideas and thoughts. All the best to you and your family — and as Todd often quotes, “Go out and do good things.” Words to live by!

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  5. “It’s Impossible”, said Pride
    “It’s Risky”, said Experience
    ” It’s Pointless”, said Reason
    ” Give it a try”, whispered the Heart
    Anonymous

    So glad you hear your Heart speaking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful thought! I really appreciate your support, and it means a great deal to me to know that your thoughts are sometimes sent my way, just as I often think of you. I wish you and Joe the best of health and happiness!

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  6. Beautifully written Sam. Those chandeliers and that ice….wow. So excited to hear about the next phase of the adventure. All my love. M

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