33. Bulgwang Blacksmith with 60 Years’ Experience
Bulgwang Blacksmith is one of the remaining blacksmiths left in Seoul. The smiths, Mr. Park Gyeong-won and his son, spend their day striking red-hot pieces of iron on the anvil. They make hammers, axes, and farming tools such as hand hoes, scythes, scrapers, and so on. While the reporter was there, an elderly lady bought a hand hoe to tend her flower bed, and a middle-aged man bought a solid-looking axe, perhaps to prepare firewood for his stove.
Tools made by traditional methods last much longer than their machine-made cousins. That is why stoneworkers and woodworkers have been regular customers here for many years. Nowadays, many things are mass produced and cheap. People discard them easily after using them. Compared with such goods, the things made at this workshop are like works of art. Mr. Park Gyeong-won has stuck to the traditional way of making iron tools for more than sixty years. He is not merely an ironsmith but a craftsman, the reporter thinks.