Posted on 2019-10-30    Category Traditions


One of the most important craftsmanship of village communities in history is considered to be the craft of metalworking. The archaeological materials prove that this craft was practiced throughout the country starting with the 3rd-3rd century, ie.

One of the most valuable discoveries is the warehouse of tools and handicrafts from Gradistea Muncelului, which includes an inventory of almost 400 pieces, an undeniable proof of the development and practice of crafts by the Dacians. The iron processing continued during the early feudalism as well reveal the discoveries from Garvan, Dinogetia, or Sun Pacuiul.

The two constituent parts of the metallurgical process are extraction and processing and were part of the same craftsman's work. The blacksmith himself obtains the first material, the iron ore and by reduction he obtains the material needed for processing in his own handicraft workshop. The ingenuity of the popular craftsmen led to the improvement of the technical installations, making them a real craftsmanship. The vast majority of the smiths in the perimeter of the Apuseni Mountains were Romanians, as evidenced by the documents in the Fifth-XVII Sections. Most ore mining installations were located at Boi and Craiova later became Vascau. At the iron smelters on the Beius field, about 1600 people were assured by the Romans in neighboring villages such as Varzari.

The products of these craftsmen were famous in all the Transylvanian villages: seces, rares, hoes, axes, sewers, handicrafts, chisels, hammers, pliers, straight knives, various household tools. As in other crafts, the Varzari ironmongers decorated their products with decorative motifs called "freckles" and "pupi", real signs of craftsman to distinguish their products from the products of other masters and to give full guarantee to their own products.

Ironmongery was set outside the house, never under the same roof. In the vast majority of the ironmongery workshop was located in the street to be easily accessible to those who come to work the pieces. In the vicinity of the blacksmith, the necessary equipment is being built for the carriage on the carriage wheel, the horseshoe yoke for climbing the oxen. It was actually the sign that there was a blacksmith.

Iron processing techniques.

Iron processing techniques are the same throughout the country. The iron can be processed in cold, hot welding and shaping.  Cold working is applied to thin track, wire, wire or small shape changes. The shaping of iron pieces was done by hammering until they were given the desired shape.

Cold processing required a specialization that only the well-established ones had. They knew how to modify both the initial forms of work materials and the quality of iron, its hardness. Blacksmiths have been mastering the iron boiling technique to get a wide variety of products. Boiling was done until the material became red-glowing, soft, flowing into the portion to be processed. In order to obtain the desired forms, the red metal is forged, that is, it strikes repeatedly and rhythmically with the hammers of different sizes and shapes receiving various plastic shapes.

The welding of the metal parts, especially of the wheel-rail, of the wheels, was made only hot. The ends of the metal were boiling at the ends, then the blacksmith knocked them tightly with his hammer. Subsequently the iron had to be treated in order to increase the hardness, especially the surface layer, such as the axles of the axes, the security tassels, knives, cutters, sewers, which were driven by boiling at a high temperature, followed by sudden cooling in a liquid, oily, gaseous or granular medium.

The craftsmen specialized in iron processing were called scouts, blacksmiths, or blacksmiths, and their workshops, blacksmiths, camenites, swordsmiths, mockers. The iron to be processed was boiled in charcoal hot on the hearth, or the crown of the smith. In the Romans, the hearth had two aspects: the fireplace hearth had two aspects: the low hearth and the hearth raised at 90-100 cm from the ground. The hearth was built of stone, earth or brick, usually of square shape. The smoke from fierariew was evacuated through a basket hanging above the well called chimney, hogeac, grandmother, chimney, etc. Research shows that the high firewalls were the most widespread and more suitable for the blacksmith's work, and the lower ones were fewer in number. The low hearth was arranged either at ground level or in small depths provided with simple bellows with a blowing tube buried in the ground.

One of the most important installations of the blacksmith was the blowing. The simplest hairs were made of the skin of a goat or owl, also called gypsy bulls. They were spread in Moldova, Dobrogea and Muntenia, rarely in Transylvania and Banat, where they were replaced early with the baker's finest, both in shape and function, with wooden caps and thick leather bellows, tabacita . The most widespread were the leg bells, which allowed the reactivation and activation of the air for the iron redening, the single-person firing of the iron representing a technical simplification. The most widespread type of sheet was the one of different sizes, the number of lids in the largest skeleton with 6 caps, then four and three caps, the skeleton of the sheet is dressed in double horse leather, which is preferred for its high resistance requests.

Nicolwa sat down on the floor where the hearth was low, or on the wooden hub in the hearths with the raised hearth. On the anvil, cold metal and hot metal parts were made. Mostly the anvils were poured into the factory. Besides these tools there is a great variety of hammers and pliers.  The most important products were: snakes, axes, storks, pirostrias, grills, big and small nails, knives, mowers, pins, skewers, door and door locks, hinges, forks, axles and carts etc.

A more particular product of the ironmongers were the bell-thalangles at the neck of cattle, which required several phases in their execution. First, cut, bend and bend the edges to form the so-called "sarpac", the thick stripe on the middle of the bell that amplifies the sound. The snake was made by pressing the inside plate with a steel hammer until the bell was finished, making it monolithic almost cast, giving it the necessary vibration. Then the bell of the bell was then anointed with clay on the outside and the bell was placed in the fire.

Unfortunately, the craftsman's craft has fallen due to the development of the machinery and tools industry, so that the products of the craftsmen have passed to the secondary level becoming additional aid to the peasant farms.