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Some Work Behind the Work

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

It’s hard to believe that it is June already! Things are quiet at the smithy. Not that I haven’t been busy. After the Spring classes, it is time to hammer away at projects around Shadow Sanctuary. We grow a lot of our own food, so the vegetable gardens need to be prepared (gots to have mater sammiches y’all). My Beloved is an herbalist (Spiral Grove Apothecary), and there are also the herb gardens that need to be tended. There always seems to be a lot more to do’s, than time of late. Most of the forging done around this time is focused on

commissioned pieces and getting stock ready for the Fall events. However, it has been a bit different this time around. We added the plot of land next to us about a year ago. We had been eyeing it since we moved here. There are some very nice locations on it for camping and it added in a rather nice section of walking trails. By the way, we also have added a seven circuit labyrinth that you can get to from the trail loop. It’s nestled in the woods quite nicely.

I want to say that the new property was a gift. I guess in a way it was. It was a ‘polite suggestion’ that we acquire it. It wasn’t necessarily all wrapped up with a fancy bow. It took some work. I have found that most ‘gifts’ from Herself require some sweat equity to receive. As we got used to the area, there seemed to be a ‘need’ for a cabin of some sort on it. A covered sleeping area, really. There is a nifty little glen by the creek on this section right off the trail. We spent some time feeling into it and my Beloved located the perfect spot. We got some plans for a tiny house type A-frame. It has been decided that it will be referred to as a cottage. (Do you see what I see?) I had planned on getting around to constructing something in the Summer time-ish. I have been collecting materials that would be needed since we got the land. Most of it has come from a falling barn at my Father-in-law’s place. If you know much about me, I am a huge fan of repurposing. My plan was to wait till lumber prices got back to reasonable. Well, not so fast there, Sparky. The timeline got moved up to ‘do this now’.

I have learned not to swim upstream. When She ‘politely suggests’ I do something, I’m a ‘yes Ma’am’ kinda guy. The real humdinger is most of what we need to build it, we already have now. There has been some expense, although nothing like having to buy everything. And I am getting great satisfaction from using stuff that no longer serves as its original use. I have also been able to use cut off from my local saw mill to create framing and other lumber. It has become a labor of devotion. Everything has to be toted to the site. EVERYTHING! It’s only about ¼ of a mile away, some downhill, so I got that goin for me.

By now I am sure you are asking, what in the world does this have to do with Raven’s Keep Forge? A whole bushel and at least a peck from my point of view. My Work is so much more than simply standing behind the anvil and co-creating magical forge bling for others to do their Work. It is a boon to have that domain to ponder and listen. For me, there is a lot that goes into the end result. Some pieces have taken months to complete. Most times, the forging is the simple part. I also see it as providing space for others to do their Work. Not only does it allow a nice place for people to camp and unplug during the Primitive Blacksmithing Workshops, it also provides the seclusion and area necessary to get Work done at the Magical Blacksmithing Weekend.

So I have been a busy little bee. There is a live copper working class to finish planning this month, I am trudging along on a metal magic book (more on this later) and I’m knee deep in some personal Work to boot. There is more than meets the eye to the things that are going on here. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse, kind of behind the scenes, so to speak. May you have the ability to visit here, to soak up what this wondrous, magical place offers. Or at the very least, have the ability to be guardian to some co-created forge bling.

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