Sunday, June 05, 2011

Clip clop

In 1884 there were 793 blacksmiths (excluding farriers) in Dublin alone.

The Medlar branch of the family boasted its share of this profession but in modern times the smithy is alas no more. Probably a mere corner of an apartment block, or of a car park, or of a super highway, or just an old ruin gone to seed.

Well, the good news for blacksmiths, not to mention farriers, is that they may be back. The recession/armageddon will reduce us all to a single horsepower, at most, and the lucky horseshoe will be back in fashion in spades.

The illustration above imagines an ancient Irish clamper, but may yet be a sign of things to come. It is from the same collection of postcards I introduced here last year.


Donal said...

"in modern times the smithy is alas no more."

I challenge this. Find the remaining smithies/farriers etc in Dublin.

There are horses...

Póló said...


True for ya.

"Follow the horse", as my granny used to say, "and don't forget your bucket and spade".

Póló said...


"Thankfully, since the late 1970s there has been a resurgence of blacksmithing in Ireland. Certain groups and societies were formed with the intention of keeping blacksmithing traditions alive and open to new practitioners.

Today in Ireland, there is a distinct divide between contemporary farriers and their work with horses, and blacksmiths, who produce wrought iron work using traditional methods. The Irish Master Farriers Association has contemporary Irish farriers’ interests to heart, whereas the Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association caters to the needs and interests of the Irish blacksmithing community."

More here

The future is now.

Anonymous said...

You could be right - and perhaps it'll make life a little easier for horses. They won't be killed as soon as they're surplus to racing requirements