Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What some of my friends have been up to

Iron-making at that real Viking campsite in Newfoundland.

Hammered Out Bits reproduces an article and this picture from the Northern Pen.  An excerpt:

Donned in traditional viking attire, re-enactors from Ontario and site interpreters from Parks Canada spent a sweaty day’s work layering charcoal upon raw iron ore inside a hand-built furnace and pumping the bellows to transform 20 kilograms of iron ore into almost three kilograms of iron.
Using a technique lost almost 800 years ago the group re-created a bog iron smelt — just the second to take place at L’Anse aux Meadows in 1000 years.
“I came a long way to make iron here,” said Ken Cook, otherwise known as Grettr Blackhands, his bushy beard only partially obscuring the huge grin spreading over his face.
“When we were doing it we were all floating on air. It was pretty exciting.”
The all-day activity was arranged in conjunction with the Dark Ages Re-Creation Company (DARC) as part of L’Anse aux Meadows’ 50th anniversary.
Darrell Markewitz, an artisan blacksmith and founding member of DARC, developed the training for the viking re-enactors at L’Anse aux Meadows and Norstead, and was instrumental in organizing this year’s demonstration.
“The problem with viking history is that it’s so far beyond people’s experience,” he explained last week.
“We’re talking about things that happened a thousand years ago — people have nothing to relate that to because it’s just so different. The easiest way to help them understand what objects were used for and what vikings were about is to use living history exhibits and this is a prime example of that.

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