The Artist-Blacksmith's Craft and My Life As Artist-Blacksmith

The Artist-Blacksmith's Craft


by Julius Schramm

Reviewed by:
Enrique Vega

One has this, the other that
And each wishes what the other has
Who is without, would rather be within,
Who is within, would rather out.
Where there is shadow, there is also light
Most see it not.
Yet there is light in every life,
Or whence did shadow come?
Therefore, friend, open your eyes.
Thus, when a shadow comes
You will not fail to look
Where is the sun.
- Julius Schramm

Have you ever wondered just how the blacksmithing craft survived the Industrial Revolution? How it was to live in a society which embraced the ideals of mass production and the mindless repetitious work of the assembly line? Well, you no longer need to wonder. Julius Schramm's two books, The Artist-Blacksmith's Craft and My life as Artist-Blacksmith packaged together in one consolidated book by SkipJack Press, is a great documentary of how one man was able to overcome the soulless movement of the Industrial Revolution.

This book starts with Julius Schramm's personal philosophy of why, in his opinion, there is no longer any pride in handcrafted work. He states that the decline of artist-blacksmith work since the Baroque period is due to formalism, bid submission procedures, fraudulent business, and industrial abuses. Does this sound familiar? Well, Julius is not afraid of the powers that be. He presents a clear picture of how and why the blacksmithing craft had all but vanished from existence. Mr. Schramm proceeds to explain what the blacksmith craft is all about by differentiating between materials and techniques used by locksmiths vs. artist-blacksmiths.

But my favorite part is the second half of the book. It contains My Life As Artist-Blacksmith and is an autobiography of how Julius struggled against the Industrial Revolution to find his creative self. His whole life was devoted to the pursuit of perfection. This drive, which could only be quenched by the forging of iron, is what brings true value to this book.

The Artist-Blacksmith's Craft
ISBN 1-879535-10-6

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