The Dragon Lovers Guide to Pern
On a white Feild,
A bright red Anvil.
Fandarel represents the Smithcraft as only a man of his bulk and competence can. The endless search for efficiency makes the Smithcraft one of the most progressive of the crafts. Techniques are in constant flux with new technology to create the best and fastest with the most sparing use of precious raw materials. Neatness counts.
The Smithcraft and the Minecraft work closely together. One supplies raw materials while the other supplies the tools with which the first can do its job.
The Crafthall was set up here, north of what came to be Telgar Hold, because of its proximity to the necessary ore and raw materials and to the Telgar River, which flows swiftly and deep down from the Northern Barrier Range all the way to the Big Bay. The earliest smiths set water driven wheels in the Telgar to run their machinery. The great wheeled barges follow Telgar's riverbank from the iron mines north of the Hold and continue their runs taking refined materials and finished goods down to the sea hold.
Processes that were lost to the colonists over the Turns are tackled with enthusiasm by journeymen and masters of this craft. The smith's motto is "If it has been done, it can be done again." As equipment the colonists brought with them wore out, facile minds in the Smithcraft had to find other ways of doing the same things.
Under Fandarel's direction, the Smithcraft has re-created distance viewers, invented the distance writer by combining litmus paper oscillographs with telegraphy, copied the Oldtimers' flamethrowers, and dome chemical research the resulted in the use of agenothree (HNO3, nitric acid) as a combination Threadbane and airborne fertilizer. The smith's more ordinary occupations include overseeing his many Craft masters, who are engaged in a variety of specialties.
The Smithcraft embraces a number of occupations. The masons who construct a building may come from the Minecraft, but the stress analyses of the stone and foundations are done by the Smithcraft. Some masters concentrate on making tools and doing practical metalwork. The Craft makes cooking vessels of all sizes, some with non-stick coating for easier cleanup. Other Master metalsmiths do fancy metal crafting, such as casting jewelry.
Journeymen work up to mastery in their choice of specialties, doing the uncomplicated and heavy work so the various masters are free to practice their skills. Apprentices may begin by sorting ore and working the bellows for metalsmiths, or extruding wire through wire plates for Master Fandarel's distance writer project.
Among the newest projects on which Fandarel is setting loose his brainstormers are some of the artifacts coming out of the caves around the Ancient Timers' Plateau. Disassembled machinery of all kinds has been found coated in grease or transparent hidelike material. Some of the machines use magnetics, which the Smithcraft understands. Some use nickle oxide batteries, which are similar in function if not appearance to the acid batteries and Leyden jars which the Smithcraft is currently using for metal plating and running the distance writer.
The Glasscraft and the Woodcraft are offshoots of the Smithcrafthall, each in its own building of the complex. Journeyman smiths interested in the Glasscraft will be immersed in work in everything from ceramics to porcelain. This branch practices glassblowing that ranges in complexity from flasks to bottles to windowpanes to lenses for the distance viewer and microscope. Wansor, the starsmith, came from this discipline, where he specialized in optics.
Woodcrafters being with whittling and go on to working with chisel and saw, creating furniture, toys, jewelry, and a new invention, paper, from the slowly increasing supply of that precious commodity of wood. Smiths who have a knack for chemistry formulate stains, dyes, varnishes, and cleaning compounds in their own building, which is at far remove from the others. (Among the other compounds they create are explosives.) In these disciplines, the apprentices spend a great deal of their time washing pots and retorts, sifting sand and sweeping.
A Smithcraft apprenticeship is one of the longest, but at its end the graduate journeyman is a practicing member of one of the most respected crafts on Pern.