As often happens, by leaving such a time gap in between blog posts, so much happens that it is difficult to tell of it all. Still, I see this as a good sign, for I always prefer to be utterly engrossed in what’s going on NOW. But now it is time for a little catch up…
We had a stunning success of a Smidesfestival in Gränsfors, with more than thirty smiths in attendance, and eight different countries represented. Building on the ideas from last year, this was the next step in a journey to create a unique and valuable event for the blacksmithing community. I hope to see you there next year!
About the same time as the Smidesfestival, I was working on finishing up a tvåflykig skäggyxa (two-lugged bearded axe). This is Fredrik’s favorite axe model to make, and I have been itching to try one. After about a month of working on it an evening here and there, in between other work and other projects in the forge, I was ready to finish. When it came to hardening, though, “PANG!” It cracked right through the blade. This is always a risk, especially with this model of axe. After five minutes of manic laughter and swearwords, I got over myself and went in for the evening…
As always happens with a setback, there was a certain amount of frustration and self-doubt. Yet I am convinced that this was a good lesson. By going back and looking at all the things I did wrong, I not only developed some new ideas for the next axe, but I developed a great urge to make that next axe. This is the key in my development as a blacksmith: to date I have never forged something that I think is perfect. This keeps the fire alive to continue the search for perfection, keep walking the path to increasing skill. In a way, I hope I never find perfect, unless it is the last axe I ever make.
The next step on my journey was to leave Sweden. It was once again time for my visa to rest and renew itself…much to my annoyance. So I headed back to the USA, not to end my travels, but to take a little sabbatical, visit family, and apply for a long-term work permit for Sweden. If all goes as I wish, my time in the USA will become less and less, and my life in Sweden will grow to becoming full-time.
The first stop on reaching american soil was to visit my sister in LA for a week. Molly is a driven actor, food blogger (check out Thyme for Honey), and overall creative genius, and I got to see her hard at work in the city she loves. There was also time to visit the beautiful Point Dume, a lovely retreat from the busyness of the big city.
From California, I made my way back to Colorado, where I jumped into work at my brother’s farm. It is a beautiful Indian Summer here in the front range, hotter than anywhere else in my travels. I am lucky enough to be living in a traditional Mongolian yurt, without electricity or running water. This has allowed me to deeply focus on the important pieces of living, and I am loving every moment of it. I am even in the process of setting up a small forge. More to follow on that, hopefully!
I wish the joys of this season of change on everyone, and may the coming winter bring its fullness of energy. As usual, Leia will get the final word: