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Photographer's Note

Mr Nightingale at work has been a blacksmith for forty years and who, not only runs the forge at Stoke Bruerne, does restoration work for the National Trust and English Heritage and, has trained about fifty apprentices in a very highly skilled skilled occupation.

The "black" in "blacksmith" refers to the black fire scale, a layer of oxides that forms on the surface of the metal during heating. "Smith" is from the Proto-German "smithaz" meaning "skilled worker.

Hephaestus (Latin: Vulcan) was the blacksmith of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. A supremely skilled artisan whose forge was a volcano, he constructed most of the weapons of the gods, as well as beautiful assistants for his smithy and a metal fishing-net of astonishing intricacy. He was the god of metalworking, fire, and craftsmen.

In Celtic mythology, the role of Smith is held by eponymous (their names do mean 'smith') characters : Goibhniu (Irish myths of the Tuatha D Danann cycle) or Gofannon (Welsh myths/ the Mabinogion )

The Anglo-Saxon Wayland Smith, known in Old Norse as Vlundr, is a heroic blacksmith in Germanic mythology. The Poetic Edda states that he forged beautiful gold rings with wonderful gems. He was captured by king Nur, who cruelly hamstringed him and imprisoned him on an island. Vlundr eventually had his revenge by killing Nur's sons and forging objects to the king from their skulls, teeth and eyes. He then seduced the king's daughter and escaped laughing on wings he himself had forged.
Seppo Ilmarinen, the Eternal Hammerer, blacksmith and inventor in the Kalevala, is an archetypal artificer from Finnish mythology.

In Hindu mythology, Tvastar also known as Vishvakarma is the blacksmith of the devas. The earliest references of Tvastar can be found in the Rigveda.

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Additional Photos by marion morgan (jester5) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 66 N: 595] (1994)
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