Historically, if you could afford to repair or replace your shoes, you were doing okay. Well heeled became synonymous with affluent. It’s not an expression we hear much anymore. Probably because most of us, at least on this side of ocean, spend our days in high tech running shoes whether we actually work out or not. Europeans, I notice, manage to do casual without looking like they just left the gym, but I digress…
In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where the average house sells for $400,000, what makes a home worth $4.6 million?
The open concept 4700 square feet of living space? Possibly.
The spa, games room, home gym? Could be.
What about the magnificent view of the University Bridge spanning the South Saskatchewan River? Enticing, but…
Personally, I think the house’s hefty price tag has a lot to do with the bathtub.
Yeah, I hear you. A tub, is a tub, is a tub… Not so. Not in this case.
What kind of cash would you plunk down for a house that comes with a tub shaped like a shoe?
Sorry, not that. I’m talking blacksmithing. You know that hammer and metal thing you thought no one did anymore?
Some people are still doing it. In fact, the craft is enjoying a resurgence in Saskatchewan, as people look for something that doesn’t come from Walmart. Something not digital, something they can hold in their hands. Something they can make themselves.
Dustin Small and the Saskatchewan Blacksmith Guild host a hammer-in every month. Artisans, farriers, and crafters come together to share their knowledge, pound the iron, and pass the skill down to the younger generation.
Fourteen-year-old Jesse Porter prefers to do more with his hands than hold an iPad. Jesse, who has ADHD, attends hammer-ins and finds that working with metal helps him to concentrate.
For M. Craig Campbell, a blacksmith and sculptor, metal is just fun. “With the heat and fire, it’s a phenomenal material, a bit of a chameleon. At 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s buttery soft, almost a liquid.”