The first story in my collection 'Head and Tales' is ‘The Boy and The Blacksmith’.
The navvy-boy accompanies the blacksmith on the road, and, to repay him, the blacksmith buys him shoes and gloves. While he’s putting the things on the boy, he notices that through each of the boy’s hands and feet are neat nail-holes.
Smiths took stone from the earth and, with fire, turned stone to a fiery liquid, which cooled into something new– metal.
The first metal swords, in the bronze age– beautiful leaf-shaped, gleaming, things – were not beaten on an anvil, but cast in stone moulds. Of dazzling rarity, power and status, they were possessions of kings. But whatever king wielded it, it was a smith who opened the stone mould and ‘drew the sword from the stone’. Was King Arthur a smith?
But it’s also possible that the blacksmith’s tongs once triggered memories, images and meanings as complex and layered as does the Christian cross. One of the symbols representing the Greek smith god Hephaestus was– a pair of blacksmith’s tongs.