The aspiration to preserve old traditions and to promote the creative work in the society has led the Lithuanian blacksmiths to get together. On 23 April 2005 the First Blacksmith’s Congress took place in the smithery of Linas Leščiauskas. All day long, blacksmiths from all over Lithuania shared their ideas about relevant issues. They decided to join into a union and act together in pursuit of common goals. This idea was supported unambiguously and the life of the Lithuanian Blacksmiths Union began from that moment. The board, the chairman of the union were elected and the statutes were issued.
After nearly a year of approvals of the union’s statutes and other matters, the Association – Lithuanian Blacksmiths Union – was finally registered on 10 November 2005.
INTERNATIONAL BLACKSMITH PLEIN AIR FOUR WINDS.
The international blacksmith plein air Four Winds took place on 18-20 May 2007 (Klaipėda). About 60 blacksmiths participated in this event. There were visitors from Latvia, Canada, Czechia etc. The plein air FOUR WINDS featured the blacksmith exhibition and a workshop (in the territory of Klaipėda castle site and the poterne). “You can make anything from iron – from a nail to the sea and the rage of four winds” – this concept was embodied in the works of Canadian, Latvian, Czech and our local blacksmiths. The residents of Klaipėda, who visited the exhibition of this great archaic craft work, could see everything: from iron-engraved postcards, jewellery and a 12-layer Damascus steel dagger, to small architectural features, sacral and modern sculptures. We saw the most unusual combinations: iron and leather, iron and ceramics, and iron, decorated with brass and bronze. There was a blacksmith competition, forging a sculptural composition and individual objects, and, finally, a gala evening and a concert. At the end of the event, Vytautas Jarutis was elected as the best blacksmith and the collective work The Fifth Wind was installed and donated to the city of Klaipėda.
Participants of the International Blacksmith’s plein air Four Winds in 2007 (in the territory of Klaipėda Castle) at the sculptural composition The Fifth Wind.
On 30-31 May 2008, the Second International Blacksmith plein air Four Winds took place. From the very morning, the participants of the plein air were coming to the Linas Smithery in Klemiškė village, Klaipėda district, and during the day in Klaipėda, near the drama theatre, they installed an open workshop – bringing up the finery, fuel and iron, equipping the bellows and other tools, and even a huge mechanical hammer.
Blacksmiths opened an exhibition of their works in the Blacksmith’s Museum and participated in the conference-seminar “The role of smithery art in modern architecture”. Blacksmiths finished the joint work and brought it to the Blacksmith Museum on their shoulders. It is still proudly exhibited in the backyard, surrounded by changing seaside winds from all four directions of the world.
Participants of the International Blacksmith Plein Air Four Winds (Klaipėda Theatre Square) in 2008 at the “Living Metal” sculptural composition.
The International Fencing Plenary FOUR WINDS has been taking place since 2007. During the plein air sessions, all attention is focused on the demonstration of the forging craft, it’s equipment, technology, and on creating a joint sculptural composition which is donated to the city of Klaipėda, becoming yet another centrepiece of its public areas.
The residents are given the opportunity to interact directly with blacksmiths from Lithuania and foreign countries, as well as to put their own hands on forging. In 2009, the Association Lithuanian Blacksmiths Union organized the International Blacksmith’s plein air FOUR WINDS. The event took place in the very heart of Klaipėda – in the Old Town (in the Theatre Square and in the Blacksmith Museum). The unique theme of the plein air was the creation of a joint decorative panel picture for the celebration of the Millennium of Lithuania. The Lithuanian 1000 year panel picture – the forged Lithuanian map is divided into segments. Blacksmiths used only traditional, ancient methods of forging the segments.
During the FOUR WINDS plein air in 2010 . The blacksmiths created a weathercock and placed it on the River Dane quay.
In the FOUR WINDS plein air 2011 blacksmiths created the composition “The Country of Blacksmiths”.
During the plein air FOUR WINDS on 17-19 August 2012 the blacksmiths created a 8-meter combined fence, installing it on the embankment of the River Dane. This is a beautiful, interesting and unique decoration.