I think in our generation many of us have never seen a professional blacksmith at work, the way of modern life doesn’t dictate the need for hand crafted tools, time has simply moved on. This being said, especially in our own archive this lack of need for this trade has become a want, because seeing objects being crafted the traditional way has become a real rare and fascinating sight.
It’s rather comical that something that was once so everyday has become such an attraction, however even with this irony in mind I can’t help but appreciate the work that John Neeman turns his hand to in this short film we’re sharing today. As part of a running series titled “The Birth of a Tool”, the first instalment investigates how a traditional Axe is constructed using the same raw, natural materials and techniques that have been used for centuries.
I really can’t help but admire John’s passion for living a more humble, traditional lifestyle as I think we can all see how detached society has become from nature. It’s obvious that the more we continue to forget skills like these, the further away technology will take us from the world as it once was. Sure a machine can create a tool for the same purpose in less time, but doesn’t this undermine the connection we used to have with the objects around us.
It’s rather disheartening to consider this to be an art that steadily looks to be diminishing in modern society, however the hope is with advocates like John appearing all over the web something can be done to salvage an age where tools are continued to be made lovingly by hand. As mentioned above this is the first from a series so be sure to look out for the next instalments which no doubt will be shared on John Neeman’s webpage.