photoSCHWEIZ 2021
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Roger Harrison

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Der Messerschmied/The Knife Smith In Escholzmatt in the Luzernerhinterland, there is a small restaurant next to the church. Behind the restaurant the Knife Smith had his studio - 'had' because it has since burnt down. In this small space a young man made knives of exquisite beauty. The snow lay thick on the ground and it was bitterly cold. It was good to get into the smithy and the warmth and the smell of metal and the sounds of work. Hearing protection was necessary – when the ancient hammer falls onto the red-hot metal there’s a loud thud, the whole building shakes and sparks fly everywhere. Slowly but surely the chunk of metal, comprising many layers is flattened and formed, then cooled and finished off. The finished product is a work of art and skill. If the flattening process goes wrong then the whole procedure has to be re-started with a new metal blank.