Experimental IRON SMELTING


Forms the backbone team that I work with.

Go HERE for an introduction
The main DARC web site holds the documentation for those iron smelts
undertaken by the team. along with associated notes and other materials.
Web formatting by Neil Peterson, who also writes many of the overviews.
Primary photography by Neil Peterson and Karen Davidson.

Go direct to DARC IRON

the ' Gangue aux Fer'

Without the guidance and friendship of these individuals, I would never have smelted iron.
the Gangue
Lee Sauder Rockbridge Bloomery
Skip Williams
Mike McCarthy  

Early Iron Experimental Group

- is a collection of working metalsmiths, historians and archaeologists. Our interest is using the methods of experimental archaeology to develop working skills related to the smelting of iron ores to workable metal using historic techniques.
As with other such specialized discussions, we ask that members limit their postings to our topic. Please feel free to share your discoveries, observations and research! In the photos and files area is a growing collection of articles and images of our individual smelts.
Active researchers in the archaeology of iron and bloomery iron smelting are invited to join our discussions.
Please send an e-mail to request membership

The Early Iron web site has been mirrored here

Note; I will be adding links to this series as I find them - on a random basis.
Newest additions always placed at the top of the following list
I will NOT be checking older links for accuracy - many may be temporary.

'Little Princess'- by Sauder & Williams
"..Drawing on this experience, we have designed and operated a simple clay-built bloomery with spectacular results, and have arrived at a selection of materials, construction techniques, and operating parameters that we feel are optimal..."
iron.wlu.edu/reports/Little%20Princess.htm A preliminary report only. This is an ideal model for those interested in Early Medieval method.
'Coated Tyle' Furnace - by Sauder & Williams
"This little iron smelting bloomery was inspired by ... the Pre-Industrial Iron Symposium, Farmer's Museum Cooperstown NY in October 2004."
iron.wlu.edu/Bloomery_Iron.htm This is a full description of the construction and firing of the 'Flue Tyle' furnace designed as a teaching tool for Early Iron II.
A Teeny Tiny Bloomery - by Skip Williams
"..A while back,.., Curiosity pulled me into the side yard and demanded that I try to build a tiny bloomery out of clay and fiber. By 'tiny' I mean a bloomery with less than a foot of stack above the tuyere and a charcoal burn rate of only 4 lbs. per hour."
iron.wlu.edu/reports/Teenytiny.htm A short report on what Skip christened 'the Occorania'.
The Medium is the Root of the Art -  by Walfrid Huber
"..To the question, whether one could reproduce some of the splendid forms of the past, we commonly hear the answer, "Can't be done with today iron". Did the wizardry inhere in the materials of the past or is it that we've lost all vestiges of the mythos?.."
www.artmetal.com/project/News/Hephaist/MedArt.html A discussion of the general historic processes of smelting iron -Translated from German (?)
Sturka Experimental Iron Smelting www.kolumbus.fi/jouni.jappinen/Iron.html In Swedish - but good photographic record.by this group from Finland in 2005
Ancient Metallurgy Research Group - the University of Bradford (UK)
"..The AMRG encourages investigations into all areas of ancient and historical metallurgy, including mining, primary metal production, artefact manufacturing, slag and residue studies, cultural aspects of metallurgy and metals, geophysical survey of production sites, and archaeomagnetic dating of high-temperature features. "
www.brad.ac.uk/acad/archsci/depart/resgrp/amrg/amrginfo.htm Started in 1992, the site includes research papers and field notes from a number of smelts since early 2000.

(Short Cut HERE back to the main site index / map.)

Text and photography © 1998 - 2010, Darrell Markewitz