Michelangelo Foundation - Homo Faber Guide

De Homo Faber Guide is opgezet om kunstenaars die hoge kwaliteit werk leveren, vindbaar te maken in Europa. Dave van Wijngaarden, meestersmid van Smederij Atelier Alkmaar, is uitgenodigd om in deze gids te worden opgenomen. We vinden het een eer. 

Voor de plaatsing in de gids, zijn er foto's opgenomen, en er is een interview gedaan. Hieronder lees je het interview; natuurlijk kun je alle informatie nu ook terugvinden op https://www.homofaber.com/en/discover/discover-dave-van-wijngaarden 

Forging a life

  • • Dave combines ancient tradition with innovation
  • • Learning is a touchstone for his success
  • • Honour and ceremony are infused in his craft

The idea to forge a traditional Japanese sword for the first time sparked a 20-year-old journey for master blacksmith, Dave van Wijngaarden. Melding creative passion with craftsmanship and forging has resulted in the rediscovery not only of ‘forgotten’ techniques but of his ancestry. He learned that both his grandfather and great-grandfather were blacksmiths at the harbour of Rotterdam. “I recently discovered that my great-great grandfather was a Norwegian weaponsmith.” The drive to craft metal is etched in his DNA. Magnificent knives and swords are forged from various types of steel, such as a unique sword inspired by the Norse god Odin, Katanas, Persian swords, as well as a more utilitarian range of kitchen knives.

Do you master any specific techniques?

I specialise in the making of Damascus steel, Mokumé Gané, a Japanese method (where the metal takes on the appearance of natural wood), swords in various traditions, as well as kitchen and pocket-knives. Computer-aided design and robotics also feature in my work, as does decorative ironwork.

Schager mes foto door Jef Bracke

How is your craft linked to your surroundings?

We make traditional 15th century Dutch knives and we source local materials where possible. Our work is set apart by Dutch inventiveness. We were making stainless Damascus steel ten years ago when only a handful of factories were making it.

What aspect of your work is little known?

I’m continually studying, be it metallurgy, 3D design, Robotics, or even ceramic clay methods (for Japanese swords or knife handles). Knowledge of material properties is particularly important for my profession. I have found that one can never learn enough.

What is a memorable moment from your professional life?

I had the honour to forge the ceremonial sword for the inauguration ceremony of Mr. Jiří Kylián at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The sword was handed to him by Princess Caroline of Monaco. In time, it will belong to the Académie de France, safe in the Louvre.

 

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