The blacksmith who repopulated a village teaching techniques of forging medieval by Youtube

Ramón Recuero still remembers how the fire and the hammering of the forging of the School of Art and Crafts in Ciudad Real called him screaming when I passed by

The blacksmith who repopulated a village teaching techniques of forging medieval by Youtube

Ramón Recuero still remembers how the fire and the hammering of the forging of the School of Art and Crafts in Ciudad Real called him screaming when I passed by the Plaza of the Province. Hypnotized at the age of 11, looked through the window how the teacher Ephraim created elaborate shapes out of iron. "One day I offered to move and let me give a hammer to an anvil," says Recuero, of 56 years and natural of Calzada de Calatrava (Ciudad Real). Never imagined that that first class changed his life. "I spent three years going all the evenings of extranjis because I did not have the age to be there. Later, Ephraim began to teach me forging traditional. I did not realize, but what he was trying to do was to leave a kid all the old techniques that were being lost to preserve them," explains smith.

a detail of A work of Ramón Recuero. Andres Benitez

After 45 years of research and working the metal, I remember controls the same techniques that were used over 500 years ago and taught through Youtube. The success is so great that he opened a school face-to-face in their home-workshop in San Antonio (Toledo), an uninhabited village that began to fill up after the arrival of the smith in 1990. Since then, it has kept open a business of wrought products artisan who, now, sell on the Internet. Getting there was not easy.

The 30 of San Antonio

"At first I thought that the forge he had no future and I decided to go to university, but soon I realized that there were many students to be agricultural engineers. So I went to Toledo to practice with other blacksmiths," says Recuero. By then he was 25 years old. He began to travel around Spain and abroad to learn from other professionals in the sector. But the big cities are still doing small to have a workshop in which to continue to study the ancient techniques. He then decided to move to a village empty and open there your business. "I was looking for an abandoned site by the idea that it should be more economical and in which I could focus on silence," he says. Tracked down several of the provinces, until you find a village of Toledo in which to establish his new home: San Antonio, a colonial village of 16 houses about 20 kilometers from Talavera de la Reina. "I went with 30 books of forge, an anvil and a hammer," he summarizes.

Workshop of Ramón Recuero in San Antonio (Toledo). Beatrix Mexi

they Ran the 90's and the only family that was left was making plans to move to another bigger city, with schools and more choices of employment. But the arrival of Reminded them made them change their mind and decided to stay. To root from there, San Antonio began to see how the abandoned houses began to regain life. "Shortly after renting a house, I met another craftsman of Toledo that had no space for his workshop and was encouraged to come to live in the village," he says. This followed a potter and a carpenter. "Until the sons of the old owners are coming now to live here," says the blacksmith.

The arrival of your business to the village of toledo returned to be populated. Now the 16 houses are home to about 30 people registered. This village reflects the problem of the depopulation in the rural areas of Spain. In 2018 it is recorded that in the country there are 14 localities with less than 10 neighbors, five of them in Castilla-La Mancha, according to data from the National Statistics Institute. One of them, Illán of Cows (also in the province of Toledo) is the least, only five inhabitants.

support to rural entrepreneurs

The story of Ramón Recuero is an example of living in a village of Spain emptied and open a traditional business is possible. For this reason, Correos has launched the campaign #YoMeQuedo to help entrepreneurs in rural unpopulated areas. Through the e-commerce platform of the company's postal and parcel delivery, Mail Market, these small local producers are allowed to market and publicize their products in a safe manner. So far, more than 170 entrepreneurs are part of the market place Post, in which there are more than a thousand products available. One of the pillars of this project are the 2.396 offices that Post has open around the country, which reduces the times of deliveries and facilitates the connection between the seller and their customers. Shipments are made to the whole of Spain without costs.

forging old that are interested in up to in Dubai

But his happiness in San Antonio will not last long. The economic crisis of 2008 also hit his forge. The orders stopped arriving, and there was not enough work to Recuerdo and their two workers. As he describes, the workshop turned cold. "They say that times of crisis are times of opportunities, but I said: 'Where are they?", says. It was then when I remember decided to buy a camera to upload videos to Youtube. "We had not done in my life, but I wanted to hang all of the techniques that I knew to not be lost," he recounts. After recording the first videolecciones in 2011, the visits are not stopped growing: the first few days, 50; then 200, 2,000 are... and up to a million. To day of today, its subscribers exceeded 81.500. After the crisis, the clients returned to grow and its business of forging found a hollow solid in the century of e-commerce.

His phone started ringing again, but this time to enquire about the classes that I had no Internet. The impact of your videos have encouraged him to open a school for the people who would like to learn a trade. "That was an abandoned village is now filled of the cars of the students who come to the courses", he says between laughter. The wizards, followers of its online channel, they come from all over the world: south america, Romania, Croatia, Dubai, Sweden, Norway, Germany, England, Italy... population extra to the 30 residents of the small town.

The rural world as a market opportunity

I remember looking back and think again about how its arrival sparked a people destined to neglect to have a second chance, and you fill so much of neighbours as of foreign travelers. For this reason, he is convinced that to open a craft business in rural areas is more than possible."It is the time of the Spain empty is the Spain full. Right now the communication has hit a huge jump and sell Online allows you to work from any place," he says. In addition, it insists that in a city it is more difficult to be able to open a workshop to make crafts in a small town. "If you're working on a thing that you don't like it, it seems that you pay a penalty for your whole life," he says. Any way, the blacksmith recognizes that there are leaving the villages to perform and learn, but always go back to live there.

A student of Ramon I remember in his workshop during one of their classes of forge. School Ramón Recuero

His fame on the Internet has also led her to travel to disseminate their knowledge. This last month, what has happened in Chile, giving lectures of forges in the cities of Marchigüe (province of Cardenal Caro) and Punta arenas (in Patagonia). Your thirst for learning has not been off since I picked up a hammer at the age of 11. That curiosity to further research techniques is one of the pillars that you try to convey to their students. For this reason, he spends a couple of days of each course to the attendees to discover how to create pieces that no one has taught them to develop. "Teach students to learn for themselves", a principle that paved the way of I remember it since the master Ephraim stretched forth his hand. "Now, that window that gave me the possibility to learn knowledge, I've taken to another site: the Internet", he says.

Updated Date: 26 December 2019, 14:00



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