Sunday, 19 July 2009

Vineyard Cultivation and An Interesting Blacksmith

During the recent trip to France I called by to see a blacksmith called M. Solon who makes agricultural implements. He's one of the few people in France who can still make by hand the specialist tools that people have been using to cultivate their vines for 1,500 years. He was particularly proud of this one. My French wasn't good enough to catch either the name or exactly how it was used, but he said it was for vineyards.

He won 50,000 Euros for making it in a competition and has decided to set up his workshop to train craftsmen in the old skills. I don't suppose they'll have to do a seven year apprenticeship or whatever he did, but I would imagine that he'd be interested in people who already have some metal-working skills. And, I suppose, who speak French, since he doesn't seem to speak any English.

He was a very slight and slender man, not a bit like the sort of blacksmith you imagine.

And just by the way he had one of the nicest shop doors I've seen - the handle is a beautifully crafted spade.


  1. How fantastic. I hope he gets lots of people on his course.

  2. It's great to see some of the old skills have a chance of surviving in this craftsman and his training plans. Excellent! I was also pleased to see you combining writing,travel and agricultural craftsmanship.....refreshing!


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