Artisan and Traditional Blacksmithing by Marek Banasiak
Blacksmithing is a disappearing profession. Only in a few places one can find a craftsman forging iron and making useful objects for home and farm such as gates, fences, railings, lamps, curtain rods, etc. Even less common are artisans creating unique pieces out of hard metal. Each one of them has a distinctive style. In a small municipality of Płońsk, there are two virtuosos of a hammer, an anvil and bellows and this is truly exceptional.
Mr. Marek Banasiak who lives in Siedlin near Płońsk is one of them. He has been passionate about blacksmithing for years. When Mr. Banasiak was 16 years old, he built a hearth with a crank and started, as he puts it, “slowly forging something”. In 2000 he was already a full blown blacksmith, making railings, gates and small objects for interiors.
Mr. Banasiak has always felt the need to expand his skills. In 2016 he heard of a national workshop for blacksmiths in Wojciechów in the Lublin region, organized by the Association of Polish Blacksmiths. He applied and was immediately accepted. In 2017 he traveled to Wojciechów one more time in order to participate in an artisan blacksmithing contest, where he competed with masters from all over Poland. His thermometer in a beautiful hardware fitting won him second place. Encouraged by the result, in 2018 he went to Legnica to an international blacksmith competition, in which he won…the first place for a piece called “The Little Bench”, defeating rivals from Poland, Germany and Armenia! The list of awards and honorable mentions of Mr. Marek Banasiak is longer.
Mr. Banasiak creates his pieces out of passion. These are interior decoration objects, furniture for homes and gardens, gates, railings, farm and blacksmithing tools. They can be appreciated at his shop in Siedlin, via the Internet or at shows and events such as the yearly Raciąż Fair in Raciąż.
Mr. Banasiak is an active member of the Association of Polish Blacksmiths and the Blacksmith Forum.
Blacksmithing is a traditional profession, hence contemporary forging is not much different than hundreds of years ago. Electricity makes the job of a blacksmith easier because it allows for the replacement of hand bellows. Source objects are flat bars, rods, sheets of metal and profiles, which are made of raw materials such as the, so called, black steel and noncorrosive metals like brass, copper or acid resistant steel.
Artist: Marek Banasiak
Location: Siedlin, Płońsk municipality
Contact: ph. 603 851 516, email: email@example.com
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