photo Smithing


On an indented section of a wooden stand, a flat piece of metal is beaten with a wooden mallet so it can be bent. After this, variously shaped iron bars known as ategane are poked toward the wooden platform to create a form gradually. A piece of metal must be beaten tens of thousands of times to create a single finished work.


Did you know?

Smithed metalwork is thin, light and yet sturdy. It can be given a smooth finish, so that one cannot tell it has been beaten, or the marks from beating can be left intentionally to give it a distinctive atmosphere.


How to do metalsmithing

  1. (1) Heat up metal to around 600 or 700 degrees
  2. (2) Place it on the indented section of a wooden stand and beat it with a hammer to flatten it out
  3. (3) Place it on top of a curved ategane and beat it again with a hammer to bend it
  4. (4) Beat it with various implements tens of thousands of times until it's finished!
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo / List of works English translation: Kazuko Todate (Art critic / Art historian)


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