Hephaistos Interdisciplinary Laboratory

Everything begins in the forge.

Upon entering, the dimness presses upon you from every side like a dark wall, and the room seems to be shaped like a formless sphere. All the corners have receded somewhere into the distant black darkness. In the distance, a pile of glowing embers gleams, beside which stands a dark figure. The figure stands motionless, and as you approach, you can see that his gaze is directed at the glowing pile. Then he takes a poker and stirs the fire, causing a large cloud of sparks to rise to the ceiling. The stillness continues until He, the Blacksmith, takes a piece of red-hot iron with tongs from the fire and begins to shape the glowing metal with a hammer on the anvil. With each blow, sparks fly across the room. The metal in the Blacksmith’s hands is like soft clay, quickly changing shape with strong, directed hammer blows, and after a few repeated actions, the iron begins to take the form that the Blacksmith desires.

That was my great-grandfather…

Now, everything has changed a bit, although the dimness and mystique of the room, as well as the anvil and blacksmith’s hammer, have remained. The dimness also has practical value, as it shows the true color of the glowing metal, but mystique always accompanies the forge. Nowadays, the room is filled with various machines, even though the space itself is small. From the dark corners, colorful lights, panels, and screens are visible. All of this simplifies the operations in the forge. Metal can be heated to its high temperature using either gas or electricity, though the dream of an old-fashioned coal pile remains. Instead of heavy hammer work, there is hydraulics, a press that does the heavy work in an instant. But what remains essential is the red-hot iron and the force that shapes it.

And that is my story…