We’ve been a supplier for Ragnar the Trader, a traveling Viking merchant, for a few years now and we wanted to share a few pictures of what some of that product looks like.
It’s an interesting process creating large batches of items (my wife and ‘smithing partner was practically dancing when we finished the 50th horn stand) when we forge everything by hand with hammer and anvil. Creating items wholesale requires patience, diligence and being ok with a degree of monotony. There are upsides to wholesale (though my wife may disagree), however : it requires a focus on shop economics and streamlining production, and it provides plenty of practice in the fundamental skills of blacksmithing.
The first blacksmith I studied with, Ontario Artist Blacksmith David Robertson, suggests that new ‘smiths focus on wholesale production for the advantages it provides. It may also be a form of self-selection, for only those truly dedicated to the craft would be ok with cutting, forging, polishing and oiling the same thing 50 times or more.