О Кузне Петра

The first horn, the first fire. This event took place in the winter 1998 in the village Trudolyub, Poltava region, during the winter holidays. At that time, Petro Viktorovich Fedoryaka was a teacher at a local school, and taught algebra, geometry and computer sciences. From the childhood he was interested in blacksmithing and wood carving. That is why, when he had opportunity, he went to two local smithies, which were located on the territory of the collective farm. There he forged cutters and chisels for carving and at the same time learned the blacksmithing and artistic forging from the local blacksmiths. Winter did not stop the young and energetic Petro. He began to work, mastering in various techniques and styles of forging quite quickly. It is clear that the first works were for his own using and as gifts to friends. Six months later, in the summer, he finished his first order - a wrought-iron fence.

Immediately after receiving new orders, the work went at full speed. Peter tried to fulfill all his orders in the style of artistic forging, using various forging techniques.

About a year after his first order, he employed his first assistant, and six months later - first student appeared. But Peter belonged to those people who could do several things at the same time. In the meantime, twice a week, he worked at school, and on days off from his main job - in the smithy, and then until late night, he was doing wood carving (as he said, to thought about what he has done during the day).

On February 2, 2001, was a fire in the smithy. Almost all property has burned down. The smithy was divided into two parts: a part for making carved furniture, and the smithy itself. But fortunately, they survived in the fire, and we can say that the anvil and the tool were not damaged at all. The smithy has been rebuilt, but Peter said that it was the sign, that the blacksmith's tool and anvil had survived. And it is necessary to be engage only in blacksmithing.

Work in the renovated smithy has gone even more intensive. Six months later they took another assistant (it was me). Half a year later I became a student, and in the summer of 2002 Petro Viktorovich resigned from school. But Petro would not have been Petro if he had done only one thing, so he become interested in knives, swords, axes, Damascus, katanas. And again, after a working day, he stayed to learn about forge blades, and then how to work with Damascus.

In the fall of 2003, his first knife exhibition took place in the city of Kiev. The first blades and knives made from Damascus steel were sold there. After that, to make damask, he began to involve us to the process. At the same time, under Petro 's leadership, we were engaged in the restoration of traditional blacksmithing and the restoration of smithies in their original forms.

In 2006, during the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the renovation of the smithy after the fire, Petro said that we are changing our direction by around 50%: 50% of bladed and reconstruction orders and 50% belongs to artistic forging. After this decision, the smithy and the team began to improving rapidly. All that time we were trying to improve our skills on different blacksmithing directions, techniques and styles of forging, as well as a very careful and in-depth study of weapons and the development information of primary metallurgy (production of ferrous iron, ferrous iron in Damascus steel, ferrous iron in damask steel, wootz), and especially in favorite topic - learning the secrets of the Japanese sword.

At the same time, we have taken part in large number of knife exhibitions, blacksmithing festivals and reconstruction festivals. Many people began to come to the smithy to Master Peter for training, even from abroad, both in artistic forging and weapons. In 2008, the smithy completely began to work towards weapons direction, but continued to take part in blacksmithing festivals exclusively as blacksmiths - gunsmiths. In 2009, Petro Viktorovich organized and conducted the first blacksmith festival "TUDOLYUB". The format differed in that everyone could take part (clients, novice blacksmiths,experienced craftsmen and just people who were interested in the topic of weapons.) The goal was to raise the level of education and the level of communication with each other. This festival has become an annual event. At that time, the level of Peter's skill has already been at a very high level, which allowed him to take the next step - to take part in specialized knife exhibitions outside the country: Israel, Poland, Russia. He has put your products up for auction in countries such as England and France.

In the early 2013, one of the customers, and the great connoisseur of Petro's products, Dmitry Vladimirovich Goryachkin offered him to start and hold a blacksmith festival in the town of Mirgorod. "Blacksmith's Festival of Knife Masters", which in addition to knife themes and master classes of making knives was the beginning of forging by all participants of the festival the sundial and presenting it to the town as a memory of this event. But at the end of 2013, rallies broke out in our country, first in Kyiv on Independence Square, and then throughout the country. This was the beginning of the "Revolution of Dignity." In March 2014, the revolution ended with the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The Russian Federation began to invade the territory of our country. Petro voluntarily joins the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On April 13, 2014, I personally saw him off at the military registration and enlistment office, Peter told me: “Roma, the smithy must work in any circumstances. I believe that you can. And then, smiling, he added: “I am going for a short time, for 3-5 weeks. We'll kick Russian soldiers out and I'll be back.” After that, Peter's Forge began to work on two fronts: everyday blacksmithing and in support of the defenders of Ukraine, volunteers and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The war began to drag on, so it was decided to postpone the annual blacksmith festival in Trudolyub and the next blacksmith festival in Mirgorod to next year. In July 2014, the war began its active phase, fierce fighting took place in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

On July 31, 2014, while leaving the encirclement, Petro Viktorovich Fedoryaka was killed by a shot from a Russian tank as part of 25 separate airborne brigades in the city of Shakhtersk, Donetsk region.

Two and a half months later, he was buried near the smithy in the village of Tudolyub.

Master Peter's disciples continued his work. In 2015, the annual blacksmith festival in Trudolyub was restored. And together with Dmitry Vladimirovich Goryachkin they continue to hold a blacksmith festival of knife masters in Mirgorod. For the next four years, the smithy continued its course. The direction was the same: the manufacture of blades, axes and various replicas, as well as historical reconstruction. They continued to take part in various thematic exhibitions and blacksmith festivals in Ukraine and in more than ten European countries.

In 2020, we are planning to hold the eleventh festival in Trudolyub and the seventh in Mirgorod.

Memoirs of Master Peter's student, Maruta Roman. 31.03.2020.