We lost complete control when this forging thing grabbed Walter by the hand and said "Come On". It didn't take long to realize you can't plan when you don't know where you are going. Each day brings in its own time new friends, means to keep the lights on, head scratching and the most amazing stories. Walter attracts folks. Like a bug to a light. Characters with stories to tell and things to pass along. Thats the stepping stone part.
Last Christmas brought one of those really good days where a good time was had by all. A friend met a while back at a demonstration connected with Walter and became a part of one of those down the road stories. He aspired to learn to forge and began "the accumulation". Something dreaded by wives. After a while he realized his aspirations lay else where and generously gifted Walter a very COOL early 1900's lever forge made by Champion Co.
To add a little fanfare the delivery was made in conjunction with a ceremonial passing of a baton between members of a vintage Land Rover Club. Boys can make a club out of anything. So here come two totally cool vintage land rovers into the forge one with goodies just in time for Christmas and one being a stepping stone in a chain of kindred spirits.
Along with the vintage forge came an extra champion blower. JUST so happens... A few months back Walter met a young man who as he puts it is "Eat up with it". When you are 15 and you enjoy working you might be a blacksmith. If you want a blower for Christmas you are doomed to have dirty hands from now on. When someone struggles relentlessly with old and broken equipment to learn a skill its a joy to be able to pass along a tool. After some very minor tweaking and a good cleaning, a good as new, old blower is ready to produce some heat.
Forging equipment gets passed along from generation to generation just like the heirloom iron work it helps to produce. Thats the stitches in the quilt part. the big square is in process. The story of the forge and the blower have been unfolding a long time and in the right hands will have new chapters yet unwritten. The hands of each blacksmith will leave their mark and weave details of history into the story. But the foundation of the story is the quality of American craftsmanship at the time. Pride in workmanship shows and produces results that long outlast their maker.
You just never know when these days are going to come. And you know they are too rare. Sometimes the Lord will just pour it out. A visit with an old friend is always good. An old friend bringing a new friend who ran around taking pictures and checking it all out is always good. New toys for the blacksmiths old and young is always good. We are grateful for good days. Grateful to be stepping stones in some of the stories we are unknowingly a part of. And grateful for quilt makers who lovingly connect us through the generations stitch by stitch.
As always I will end with a disclaimer. You are always talking here with Rhonda. Walter beats iron he doesn't do computer.
If you are ever down south we hope you will stop by and visit. You never know what story might be unfolding today!
The Blacksmiths Wife