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Die Ost-West Kinder (The East-West Children) by EihwazCraftwork
Die Ost-West Kinder (The East-West Children)
Inside one of the museums there were pieces of paper and discussion questions for people to write their thoughts or share their experiences with and then hang publicly from clip boards hanging from the ceiling. This one I found particularly moving: 

"Wäre die Mauer nie gefallen, würde es uns nicht geben! - die Ost-West Kinder" - (If the Wall had not fallen, we would not be here! - the East-West children)
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Wachturm der Berliner Mauer by EihwazCraftwork
Wachturm der Berliner Mauer
Watchtowers were dispersed all along the Berlin Wall every 300m. As the years went by, the so-called "Berlin Wall" that started off originally as more simple fences and barbed wire become more and more complex and expansive. Not only were walls increased (and built into the sides of buildings, whose windows were replaced with concrete slabs) and continuously spaced further apart, but various traps and devices to slow, main, or even kill would-be escapists were continuously deployed and "perfected". Even near the end of the Berlin Wall, East Berlin was still working on "perfecting" the Berlin Wall to completely prevent all attempts at escape.  
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Opfer der Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Victim) by EihwazCraftwork
Opfer der Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Victim)
During my time in Berlin I got a moving tour of the Berlin wall. Practically right across the street from the museum stands a metal monument with see-through pictures of the various victims who died during the division of Berlin. 

Many of these victims were murdered while attempting to flee to West Berlin, others were accidental victims (such as children who found themselves unwillingly swimming towards their demise in the Spree river). Although the majority were adults, there were also a number of children and babies who lost their lives. 

Since the East German government attempted to cover up these cases of murder (to keep peace with the citizens), the bodies of the victims are lost to their families. This memorial serves in that regard not just as a reminder of the events, but also as a make-shift cemetery for the families who have lost loved ones. Flowers, as seen in this picture, are still left to this day from the grieving friends and family members.  
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EihwazCraftwork's Profile Picture
EihwazCraftwork
Andrew
Artist | Hobbyist | Artisan Crafts
Germany
Student of German and Philosophy. Occasional artist in-between. Lover of nature, silence, and walking: preferably when combined.
Interests
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Rome - Flowers from Exile
  • Reading: Consciousness Explained - Daniel Dennett
  • Playing: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
  • Drinking: Coffee
I first started my endeavors in art the same place most people did: as a child in school. I always enjoyed spending time trying to recreate the 3D world on a 2D surface, and managed to see details around me that I otherwise had no idea was there before drawing.
As the years went on I grew very interested in other mediums. Woodworking always intrigued me, as well as blacksmithing. I loved the smell and sight of these materials, and the thought that mankind had the ability to take such unshakable mediums and shape them to their will just astounded me even more. Unfortunately as a teenage kid from a big family of no known wealth, I was unable to jump straight into woodworking and blacksmithing. So I did the next best thing: turned my love of drawing on paper to burning shapes in wood.

I started out simply: taking scrap pieces of wood from my high school woodworking class and grabbing the best pieces of loose wood I could find from the forest. Being as I always have had an interest in symbolism, particularly those symbols used by the people of early Northern Europe, I began burning runes and runic symbols into simple staves. From there I managed to find an old rusty bow saw at my fathers shop and purchased myself a cheap pocket knife. I began taking fresh limbs off of trees, whittling them down with my knife, letting them dry out as much as I could in the sun, and then burning images and knotwork into them as walking sticks. I made myself a nice little collection of walking sticks, some natural, some I tried to stain, and some I tried to paint. To this day I am very fond of the idea of going out with nothing but a knife and whittling away at whatever pieces of wood I can find.

Once I got out of high school, I began a seasonal construction job with a dear friend of mine. I was getting paid less than minimum wage to do work that typically pays double. I didn't have a car, I didn't have any luxuries, but regardless of all that I saved up my money for blacksmithing equipment. I managed to find a very nice lady in town who used to run a parts shop with her husband before her husband fell very ill. She had (what was to me, anyway) a gold mine of blacksmithing equipment. I purchased from her 2 forges: one farriers forge and one pan forge. Along with some pieces of scrap metal hoops originally used for wood tires on wagons. I bought a cheap anvil from a discount hardware store until I could save up for something better. It didn't work well, but it worked enough to get me started.

After finally getting some more materials, I ended up doing some blacksmithing events with my friend, who helped teach me some metalworking fundamentals. We set up at Renaissance Fairs and Old Threshers Reunions, where we often sought out old blacksmithing equipment from the farmers that frequented such events.  We had a lot of fun and made some good connections.

As time went on, adult life started to get in the way. I began to attend college, to pursue my dream of becoming a Professor of Philosophy and/or German. No longer having as much free time to work on crafts, I began to focus mostly on school.

As of now I am still sadly in the midst of my schoolwork, but still trying as often as possible to make whatever woodburnings I can. My blacksmithing equipment is not currently accessible to me, yet even if I did have it I no longer have a place for it as I did in the past. I am still struggling constantly on my way to getting my degree while simultaneously trying to offer handmade crafts to those people who want them.

I have always believed that there is something special in handmade crafts. Rather than having some machine pump out identical pieces of cheap material for the masses to eat up, handmade artists actually seek to make something unique and special for their customers. Every piece is picked from the depths of some scrap yard, or cut from the dangling limb of a dying tree, so that it can be molded and melded into a beautiful piece of art. Unfortunately those who seek to make such things are up against many tough challenges: a failing economy in a world full of people who are increasingly used to the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of the things they buy. We struggle to make it by, while still making our products accessible to those who want them. Despite what we handmade artists are up against, I can tell you personally, that the struggles for me have all been worth it.

The moments I have had giving blacksmithing demonstrations to kids and adults alike, or rummaging wood from the forest to make into a basic walking stick that no one but myself would see, have been some of the best moments of my life. It is my goal to impart those feelings I have about my work into my crafts, so that all who come across them can share a similar feeling.

I hope that someday the handmade tradition can flourish once again alongside the necessarily factory made world we have created for ourselves.

Andrew Russell - Owner - Eihwaz Craftwork
www.facebook.com/eihwazcraftwork
www.etsy.com/shop/EihwazCraftwork

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Comments


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:iconwildergothica:
WilderGothica Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there, nice stuff! I'll be watching you.
Reply
:iconoswulf:
Oswulf Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Student General Artist
Gruess Gott!

Thank you for allowing us to post one of your magnificent deviations with our group @ [link]! Should you ever wish to deviate anything else with us, we appreciate your contributions!

Gott mit dir,
Reply
:icontopielica666:
Topielica666 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for watch and all flattering words :D Your gallery is excellent!
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Not a problem my friend! :) I am truly glad you think so! Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconmar-jus:
Mar-jus Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012   Photographer
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Vielen Dank! :) Es freut mich.
Reply
:iconwinterelf86:
winterelf86 Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you for the watch :3
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No problem! You certainly deserve it! :)
Reply
:iconshatiel85:
Shatiel85 Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thanks for the watch dear :hug:
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You are certainly very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconlillegumpe:
LilleGumpe Featured By Owner May 4, 2012
Thankz very much for the watch :)
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner May 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No problem! Figured I would return the favor, plus as stated you have lovely photography!
Reply
:iconmetalserdel:
MetalSerdel Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
Thanks for the watch! :)
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No problem! You're very welcome!
Reply
:iconxaelmcewan:
XaelMcEwan Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Hi ;)

We organize a contest on :iconchamanics-pathways:
It would be nice if you can participate.
Theme : Samhain - Animism - Symbol - Myths
Media : all
Deadline : 21st December
More info here : [link]
Hope to see you :wave:
Have a delightful day :aww:

Blessings,
Xael
Reply
:iconmar-jus:
Mar-jus Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011   Photographer
Happy Birthday!
Reply
:iconlunarislarva:
LunarisLarva Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011   Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday! :)
Reply
:iconskadisdottur:
Skadisdottur Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011
I'm really glad that you liked my photograph my dear friend, thanks for adding it to your favorites! I was very pleased that you found me here ;)
Reply
:iconbachus99:
bachus99 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the fave and watch -- you have a great gallery here and an interesting taste in literature and music :)
Reply
:iconelric888:
Elric888 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010
Welcome to :iconheathen-kindred:, glad to see you decided to join :D
Reply
:iconeihwazcraftwork:
EihwazCraftwork Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you for both the request and for welcoming my decision. :) It is much appreciated!
Reply
:iconelric888:
Elric888 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010
You're quite welcome :)
Reply
:iconchaotixfreak:
chaotixfreak Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010
dude, i'll be in dav. on the 30th for certain :D
Reply
:iconniresse:
Niresse Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010
Why hello hello! Long time no see! Too long, man.
I saw Ashley has already found you :B
we need to hang out again!
Reply
:iconcorvoid:
Corvoid Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010   Traditional Artist
Cheers for the fave and the watch ;)
Reply
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