The Rooster’s Immortal Perch, Hand Crafted Weathervanes
The weathervane is most often thought of as a metal rooster on the top of a barn that points in the direction of the blowing wind. That is a weathervane point in the direction of the origin of the wind. A compass rose is fixed below the rooster and points in the direction of the eight cardinal points of the earth. North, South, East, West and the four in betweens. Once long ago, it was believed that the winds were gods and in that ancient time, flags were used to tell archers the direction of the going wind. Aiming against the wind in archery and in favor of the wind in sailing are important things for civilizations at their birth.
A genius astronomer and architect from Greece built the oldest weathervane from those myths and legends, to immortalize them in stone and bronze. That was more than 2000 years ago, but just a little over a thousand years ago, the rooster became an immortalized sculpture upon the tops of domes and cupolas in all the world of Christendom, when the pope proclaimed that in honor of the apostle Peter, each church should have a rooster weathervane to remind followers. In Luke 22:34 at the last supper, Christ prophecies that Peter will deny he is a follower or even knows who Jesus is exactly three times before the rooster will crow, and as he denies for the third time that night, the rooster crows. The Holy Roman Empire of the church passed this legacy onward and influenced culture the world over. Even the metal working Vikings would craft weathervanes of roosters, both for spiritual as well as artistic reasons.
Ever since the very first Merman Warrior weathervane known as a Triton. The careful melting down or softening of different metals kept at constant temperatures while mixed with other elements, pounded, sculpted into weapons and crafted. Weathervanes have been made by hand. The hands of a metalworker are usually course and calloused, from the fires and hot coals of the blowing forge. Billows would be used to heat the raw material (bronze, copper, iron, steal, silver, gold…) or any combination of raw materials until such time as the forge was no longer necessary. But till this very day, the forge and anvil are used by blacksmiths to mold and carve the general shape and desired balance of a weathervane. Sculpting a weathervane however once shaped, can be one of the most detailed and subtly elegant aspects of the art. It takes a lot of time and energy to sculpt a piece of solid metal into a detailed figure, and unless a smith has these skills, she or he will spend great portions of their time on it. Metal sculpting in fine detailed chiseling work is restricted to only a precious few, and those in America that do so are slowly disappearing. One of the greatest metalworking artesian of the 20th century said on many occasions before departing from this world; “Mine is the art of the dinosaur, I will not have my son learn it.
” – Grizzly Lee Burton in Portland, Oregon Highland Games, while forging a Scottish sword. The weathervane for this reason is a prize possession. The weathervane is a possession crafted by the human hand with emotion. Weathervanes are symbolic of a time when things were simpler and far less stressful than they have become in the 21st century. The peaceful life on a farm seems to make life slow down somewhat. Even though time still passes, the sun rises and sets, the rooster is immortalized upon the roof tops of churches, barns and homes as a reminder of peace and harmony, like that of times gone by.
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