I’ve bee involved in the Devil’s Blacksmith documentary only in its post-production phase until now. I have translated and narrated for my friend the filmmaker. However, I have never met either of the blacksmiths involved in this project. To be honest I have never met a blacksmith in my life, full stop. This however is quickly going to change as I am going to go to the BathIron festival this weekend! Before the trip I thought it’d be a good idea to meet one of them, Mr. Devil’s Blacksmith, Walfrid Huber himself. So I bought a train ticket to Vienna, Austria last weekend, and spend a day with the most humble and incredible guy there is!

Imagine my surprise when I was invited in to his most sacred lair, his blacksmith workshop. I thought there would be coal, dust, dirt everywhere. However, this is the most organized, and clean workshops I have seen in my life!
Each hammer (and all his tongs laid out in a similar fashion in an adjacent shelf) in the shop was made by Mr. Huber himself. Some are “general purpose” ones, but there are a few that were made specifically for one piece or project only.
Rows and rows of hammers. Their handles are smooth from use and all the love and care they receive.
Mr Huber’s latest projects, a more down to earth one compared to the Notre Dame hinges he recreated for the documentary film. This anvil was not cast, rather welded together from six (!) separate pieces. Unfortunately for the owner the horn came off. I cannot even imagine the force that is needed to do that!
And this is the future horn for the anvil. It is attached to an iron bar until it will be the right size and fit for the anvil. Then it will be cut off and welded onto the anvil.
And perhaps the most astonishing find for me. THE Anvil. The top of this baby reaches up to my waist. And for reference I am a 6 feet tall gal.
Mr Huber at work. Photo courtesy of Tamás Lehoczky.

I think this one day trip to Vienna was one of the most exhausting ones of my life. And it was not the train ride that drained all my energy. It had more to do with the fact that every single brain cell, every single pore of mine was in such high focus, I wanted to absorb every single detail, that at the end of the day I had the Internal Storage full error message. But at the same time, this experience has meant the world for me. To get to know such an amazingly talented person, a true artist happens only so many times in ones life! And honestly, I cannot wait to spend this next weekend with him, and artists from all over the world at BathIron!

If you are in the area and are interested, do come along and say hi! I will be taking part in the screening of The Devil’s Blacksmith documentary’s screening and will be hosting the Q&A that follows. See you there!

Advertisements