This exhibition presents the traditional profession of the blacksmith,
knife maker and the blacksmith's shop in Agiasos.
Agricultural tools were of particular importance for the plenty of agricultural work in the islands of Lesvos and Greece. There were workshops like the so-called blacksmith shops, which in the past had great importance for the local community.
The profession of the blacksmith
The blacksmiths collected all the scrap metal, wherever they found it which was a valuable thing then and transformed it in the kiln into women, “kasmades”, “dikelia”, “kasares”, “masiades”, roasts, hangers, and whatever else was needed that time.
It is reported that the elder families had an agreement with the blacksmiths to make all the tools of each family and to be paid in kind once or twice a year with the harvest of the offspring.
The blacksmiths made with their hands whatever was made of metal, mainly iron.
The production process
Blacksmiths had a large oven where they blew with a bellows to keep the fire burning and at a high temperature. In this fire, the iron was heated to make it more malleable and then it was grasped with a large pair of pliers and placed on the anvil.
The anvil was a large iron base on which the iron to be processed was placed. There they struck the reddened iron with a large hammer and gave it the shape they wanted.
The work was very hard due to the heavy weight of the irons they had to carry, while at the same time they were working by the fire. The blushing of the iron on the fire in combination with the dipping in the cold water that followed, made the iron durable and hard. From there came a Greek phrase case “the iron sticks in the pan” (like “strike while the iron’s hot”).
Also a common profession to the blacksmith and knife maker was also the sharpener. His job was to sharpen knives, saws, axes, scissors and other cutting tools.
Today this profession has been lost over time.