The blacksmith’s workshop had been closed and deprived of its original function for more than 40 years. With the aim of restoring the dignity of what it represented for the village of Pereiro, the municipality and the north-eastern Algarve, a musealisation project was undertaken, whose starting point was the reconstruction and remodelling of the building that formed the basis of the Blacksmith’s House, which opened on 8th May 2011.
The process involved more than just restoring the physical structure; it had to be filled with objects and memories. It had to be given back the sounds of all the activities that took place there in the past, a time that already seems distant despite being relatively recent; this would enable people to glimpse and imagine the rhythmic cadences of the hammering and the ringing of tools, the sounds of the conversations of people passing through, and the heat that was created…
The work of the blacksmith in the village of Pereiro and in the rural world in general, was not limited to the production of agricultural tools: he was a kind of amateur in the treatment of certain illnesses in humans and animals; he made countless objects for everyday use at home, such as beds, washbasins, bolts etc. and he also provided for the happiness of young couples by making horseshoe nail rings that the boys would present to their brides-to-be. The blacksmith’s forge was also well known in villages as being the place where the menfolk would gather to share the latest news.
The forge in Pereiro was thus conceived as a space that encapsulates all these experiences from the past, enabling visitors to glimpse and relive them through the objects on display and the memories captured in a documentary. Understanding and reflecting on social conditions that are different from today’s. Bringing the past closer to the present and revealing the future.