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PLANET OF THE BLACKSMITHS

What is a Blacksmith? The traditional role of the Blacksmith is to make tools, parts for construction, and many other forms of artwork from iron and other metals.

 

Iron has contributed greatly to the development of mankind, and without blacksmiths, we wouldn’t have the modern civilization or culture we know today. 

 

Since the Industrial Revolution, many conventional jobs performed by humans have become automated, and with the evolution of A.I. technology, that number is certain to rise.

 

Now, the once vital blacksmith profession that helped craft the modern age declines in human workers year-after-year. 

 

Since I first set foot in an Estonian blacksmith workshop in 2012, I immediately became fascinated and started to take photographs. While I initially was intrigued by the aesthetic of their craft, I became interested in the blacksmith way of life and began to think about how these craftsmen shaped our modern world.

 

Over the following 8 years, I visited over 20 studios and 3 blacksmith schools in Estonia. While I ultimately visited 19 countries and over 170 locations on my journey to research and capture the survival of blacksmith culture in the modern age, I found Estonia to have a particularly dense population of practicing blacksmiths compared to other places. 

 

As I visited and researched these different countries and cultures, I became interested in why these people live the way they do and I began to document the difference in their respective process and styles.

 

During my research I found many similarities across regions and generations of blacksmiths. Like any other profession, there are those who try to preserve tradition, those who adapt to the times by adopting new technology, and others who find a way to survive as a form of entertainment. The idea of losing this once revered craft to technology is a tragic thought indeed. 

 

It is my personal belief that the art of blacksmithery is one of the most significant developments in human history. I’ll continue to observe this culture and express my heart through photographs.

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Blacksmiths

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PORTRAITS

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WORKSHOPS

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