This past weekend, I went to see members of the Dark Ages Recreation Companyattempt to smelt iron the same way the Vikings would have, over a thousand years ago.
The science worked! DARC again made a bloom of iron. The brave men of the DARC demo team could have died of heat stroke 'though, if they hadn't been smart enough to stop pumping the bellows by hand and insert the electronic version of the bellows instead.
30°C temperatures with a humidex that made it feel like 38°C instead is not a day to spend 5 hours pumping bellows by hand. There's apparently a reason that all the Sagas refer to the blacksmiths as working in the winter.
You can see the smelting by going to the DARC webpage, clicking on "Iron Experiments" in the left nav bar, and choosing "Smelt #5" or just by going here directly. Going the first route leads you to the index page for all of DARC's experiments.
Please keep in mind that the page for this weekend's smelt is still being written up. All that's available so far is the pictures from one digital camera (mine, I took them :)) - there are several more print films to be scanned in, and another digital camera full to make it's way to us. All of the accompanying written stuff is still to be written. My husband is the record-keeper for the experiments. I'm often (but not always) the photographer.
Tomorrow, we'll return you to your regularily scheduled garden report. :)
This just in from the front lines - apparently Vandy's next door neighbour is doing Sonny and Cher covers on a kareoke machine. Outside. Loudly. *shudder* I have a feeling that if she ever got a blog herself, the 'Blasted Heathcliffe' would feature prominently in her reports.