Friday, 24 February 2012

Last month I had some feedback from my Tutor on my Dissertation. It was originally going to be "the development of women blacksmiths and welders from the 18th Century and how their workwear accentuated their femininity before later developing into utilitarian dress that we know today, and how fashion-derived workwear could be worn without undermining the ability of women to be perceived as first-class welders" , but that was a bit too long and complicated. So it changed to "Women Blacksmiths: a study of how fashion can save them from sexual exploitation" and that seemed to do the trick as I received a Merit for the proposal (a mere 1500 words).

But it is still quite difficult for me to find those academic models necessary to meet the demands of the markers! I put in "Blacksmith models" into Google and got some very worrying pictures! There seems to be a certain type of person who finds women with a thin layer of Iron Oxide on their face and sweaty arms very attractive! Anyway, here are some photos of gorgeous girls blacksmithing especially for those people (probably Nikos and Affer....).



Of course, these women are dressed quite casually - although very attractively - because the heat in a forge is substantial. But they don't have the sparks flying around like welders do so they can do that. Welders need to be much more covered and that's where the essence of fashion is apparent. Of course,as Rene Konig has said "Fashion is as profound and critical a part of the social life of man as sex, and is made up of the same ambivalent mixture of irresistible urges and inevitable taboos." But set against that, Professor Michael R Solomon, who received the first Cutty Sark Men's Fashion Award in 1981 for his research on the psychological aspects of clothing, has written that "We are all emotional rather than rational and in the end the brand is defined by individuals, not by companies or markets. When a sufficient number of individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, then a company really has a brand". In a real sense this defines the way we approach fashion as both a name and a style.

I wonder what Marged Ferch Ifan would have made of it all? She was (amongst other things) a blacksmith, a harpist, an innkeeper and also rowed boats full of copper ore!

Mae gan Marged fwyn ach Ifan
Grafanc fawr a chrafanc fechan,
Un i dynnu’r cwn o’r gongl,
A’r llall i dorri esgyrn pobol.


6 comments:

  1. I had a meeting with a blacksmith today about some gothic metal work for some new gates I'm working on.He was about 50 odd and weighed in at about 20 stone.....I like yours much more.

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  2. Good luck with your dissertation. It's certainly going to take a lot of research.

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  3. Great post. I hope you do well on your dissertation.

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  4. Of course they are attractive, especially when they used an Expert Welding Cutting Equipment

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  5. It's very interesting to see how the clothing style has changed over the years. Great topic to choose.

    Jim

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