BLACKSMITH WORKSHOP – VĂRZARI

Blacksmith workshop, VĂRZARII DE JOS, Bihor, year 1905

The blacksmith's workshop was transferred to the museum in 1959 from the village of Vărzarii de Jos. It is built on a low stone foundation with fir beam walls and a gabled roof covered with tiles. The interior has earthen floor and contains all the tools needed for blacksmithing: forging, anvil hub, different types of hammers, pliers, drills and chisels.
The iron processing in Vărzarii de Jos had a special importance for the economy of the entire Bihor region. In this village almost all the men were blacksmiths and produced in their workshops tools for digging, carving and cutting. The specialization went so far that some craftsmen made only a certain type of axe, others a certain category of hoes, while others produced sickles, scythes, coulters and ploughshares. This competition determined the early occurence of the “signs” marked on the tools made at Vărzarii de Jos, each master craftsman having his “sign”, that he applied on the iron while still red. The signs were combinations of straight, jagged or dotted lines, little stars, dots or rosettes. It is worth mentioning that the son never took exactly his father's master craftsman sign, but added to the old sign his own decorations.

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