Soulsmithing part 3

Laying bricks for the swordsmithing forge at Pierre Nadeau’s workshop. Read more about the project, or watch the whole soulsmithing series.

The three major projects during this visit were focused on getting the forge itself ready for use. In this episode, insulating and laying bricks for the forge.

During the long cold Quebec winters, the ground can become very cold and tanren could become difficult or impossible with an earth-grounded forge. Pierre’s solution to combat cold and moisture is to enclose the forge in a concrete box, insulate inside the box with ceramic fiber, pour a castable refractory floor, and then install the hard firebrick walls inside. The bricks came from a former pottery kiln in the area and have lovely wabisabi textures and colours that record past projects from their earlier use. A blend of sand, refractory cement, and clay seals off the fuigo manifold pipe and the tuyere within the brick opening.

This series is a compilation of what footage I was able to collect while both of us worked morning ’til night but gives a good idea of what went on and will offer some valuable details for astute observers.

Learn more about Pierre at