Blogging · Me myself and I · Thoughts · Uncategorized

#Don’tQuitYourDayJob!

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As you might know, one of the presents I got for my last birthday was an 8 hours long forging class, which was supposed to result in me returning home with my own handmade Viking-looking knife!

I was a little worried, because the discharge letter I had to sign beforehand was… Scary. It clearly stated that the forging school couldn’t be sued for any injury (including burns, cuts, or body parts hurt by heavy objects, on any level of severity), illness (due to fumes) or death.

Did Little Bro plan to have me killed?

So I warned everybody that I might not live to see Sunday, and Little Bro picked me up on Saturday morning.

We got to the forge about 20 minutes before the beginning of our class, and we were all alone, in the middle of an industrial area of Montreal.

Alone. A-L-O-N-E.

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Apparently, we were the only ones who got the email asking that we had to be there 15 minutes early, to be ready to start the lesson at 9 AM.

Fortunately, everybody showed up (the last being our teacher, just before 9).

I was the only woman of the group, and promised myself that I would show these gentlemen that girls can forge just as well as they could (promise I was soon to regret).

So, meet Ivan, our teacher of the day!

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I insist in introducing him, because he didn’t seem interrested in doing it himself. To his defense, I must say that the email we had received (yes the same one with the death warnings, and the request that everybody showed up 15 minutes early), stated that our trainer’s name was supposed to be Jeremy. My guess is that Jeremy sent Ivan a text message at 7AM saying ”Hey man, you owe me one… Could you fill in for me this morning?”

So, yes, we skipped any form of introduction and went straight to a 15 minutes demonstration of the first steps of turning a simple piece of steal into a knife. I must say, Ivan is a mind-blowing blacksmith, and everything seemed pretty easy to reproduce. Of course, the fact that he was masked, that the forge’s fan was blowing and that we were trying to stay at a safe distance from all the other participants made hearing all the useful advices a little hard.

But before we knew it, it was time to choose a forge, light our fire and work our magic skills.

Lighting the fire was the easy part. The ONLY easy part.

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You’d think that you just have to put the piece of steal in the fire, wait for it to be kind of orange, then hit on it with heavy tools, until it is grey again, and repeat the process. Technically, that’s true.

I quickly mastered the art of getting our steal piece a glowing pumpkin orange, but either Little Bro and I sucked at hitting it with the right amount of force, or in the right way, either our steal had super fast cooling properties.

In shorts, we were getting nowhere.

All the other teams seemed to be doing really well. It was embarassing, to say the least.

Suddenly, Ivan called for our attention. It was time for the second demonstration, which looked equally as easy to reproduce. But we weren’t fools anymore. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

Round two.

Although pretty far behind the rest of the group, we didn’t give up. Yet.

Yeah, because after working three hours of doing our best, I went to Ivan who asked me if things were going well (close supervising is not one of Ivan’s fortés, I just thought I should mention it). I just showed him the slightly modified piece of steal he had given us about three hours earlier.

He looked at it, and then looked at me.

Apparently, we had managed to ”burn” our steal. How did that happen? I could probably answer that question if I had heard the earlier advices.

That’s fine, we can save this.

 And within about 10 minutes, he had turned it into exactly what he had done during the demonstration…

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Lunch time… At long last.

The rest of the group was polite enough to pretend they hadn’t notice that we had had a rough time. I told Little Bro that I had a theory. I think that people book this class, and just can’t nail it. But to look cool, they book a second one, pretend it is their first, and impress the rest of the class. And we just so happened to be the only real newbies that morning.

Let’s agree we won’t quit our day jobs. – Little bro said.

Deal!

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The afternoon was to be spent on doing a second (second attempt for us) knive, and then learn how to sharpen them.

We didn’t have any expectations left, but we were not ready to give up.

And you know what?

WE DID IT!

I was so excited that I asked Ivan to come to our forge after every step (just in case we’d f*ck things up, at some point), just so he knew we up to something!

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We even managed to do the little swirly thingy at the end of the handle!!

Then, it was time to temper and sharpen both our knives.

There was about an hour to go, and I had a feeling that my life was at stake, since I had survived so far, and time was running out.

Surprisingly, the tempering went really well. So we moved to the sharpening stations.

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And that’s when it happened.

As cautious as I was, my hand slipped a little while I was sharpening my knife, and the fast spinning strap cut into my skin. Luckily, I backed up before my hand could get caught in the machine, but still. I DID get hurt!

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I washed the wound and got disinfectant and a plaster from Ivan, and then finished my job.

Just like the day had begun, it finished without much interaction, but Little Bro and I had succeeded, and I was really proud of that!

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It was quite and adventure, and I was eager to introduce my new knife to my Japanese blades, waiting at home.

Check how pretty it is…

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I was afraid that my other knives wouldn’t get along with the new blade… Being of different origins and all. But hey! They seem to like each other already, as you can see for yourself!

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So… If you’re thinking about trying a forging lesson, I’d say give it a try! It’s not easy, but it is a lot of fun!

But… Don’t quit your day job!! LOL

5 thoughts on “#Don’tQuitYourDayJob!

  1. Wow. So fun to read! I’ve watched the competition show on tv where they make various blades but love your personal info on it. Very cool C!🥰

    Like

  2. You are braver than me! Great job and glad that neither you or your brother got hurt any worse! So I am curious what his next birthday gift to you will be? 🙂

    Like

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