Art Documentaries - 2/2 Handmade: Metal (Ep2)
2/2 Handmade: Metal (Ep2)
Episode 2/3 Metal
First broadcast: May 2015.
As part of BBC Four Goes Slow, this programme follows the forging of a steel knife. From the slow stoking of the fire to the hammering, welding and etching of the metal, the film is an absorbing portrait of the complex processes behind the making of the knife.
Forged in a spectacular industrial space, bladesmith Owen Bush uses a combination of modern and traditional techniques, some of which date to ancient times.
The most time-consuming element of the process is the shaping and blending of a sandwich of steels into a blade which, after polishing is placed in a bath of acids, revealing an intricate pattern - a technique used by the Vikings and Saxons.
The bold style of the film-making, making use of long, static shots and with no music or commentary, allows the viewer to simply enjoy watching the painstaking and highly skilled craftsmanship.