Title Image

Nils Hint

In the book Rauast/ On Iron” –compiled by Kadri Mälk (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn 2013)

Nils Hint

1986

MA 2013

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I would call myself an iron artist rather than a smith, as smiths shoe horses and do things that I don’t know how to. I am dstinguished from a simple metal worker by my wide range of activities, my chaotic work schedule, longer  educational career and lower income. On the other hand, I am free to see the material in all its forms and wonders. In my hands, iron leaves its practical world and can test forms outside the boundaries given to it.

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Blacksmithing is truly beautiful work – each time I take up a hot piece of iron, I can’t get over its glow. Contrary to common opinion, I see it as a soft material, it doesn’t break into shards like stone or glass but takes on form like soft clay. Forging iron is the most unique and fascinating of all the iron working technologies. The time when the iron is still glowing is not long and you have to perform all the necessary shape changes quickly and in a well-thought-out fashion, so as not to waste the heat. Working with fire and tending the fire, which is important for blacksmithing, makes you love and honour the fire, just as with those who heat their homes with a stove. Fire cleanses material and the thoughts, and it is a truly universal tool whose power is used by all but few sense it.