Country: Kuwait

Blacksmithing is one of the oldest handicrafts practiced in Kuwait. Previously, this craft was much used  to make and maintain all kinds of metal tools, locks, nail for wood ships, anchors, hammers, chisels, axes, tent wedge, handcuffs, etc. Nowadays, this craft continues to be in high demand to make metal doors, windows, stairs, handrails, fences, as well as, many of the previously mentioned items.

The main tools and equipment used in this craft are hammers of varying sizes, anvils, a heating oven, an air blower, electrical iron blade saws, electrical drills, and oxygen cutting machines to cut metals. Smithing iron is conducted by three methods: welding, casting, and heat reformation. Finished products are often carefully cleaned and painted with anti-rusting paints. After that, they are painted with different suitable colors and protective coating. Finally, it is finished with the coating desired by their clients. Blacksmithing in Kuwait is mainly practiced for local consumption rather than export.

Today, blacksmithing is practiced in Kuwait in several major cities such as Sharq, Shuwaikh, Jahrah and Fahaheel. Most of the Kuwaiti artisans who used to be active in this craft passed away, retired or just continue to supervise their workers. Some of the famous families that are known to practice blacksmithing are Al-Haddah and Jaraq. Well known artisans in this craft are Mr. Hussein Saleh Al-Haddad, Mr. Saleh Ali Al-Haddad, and Mr. Abdulhameed Abbas Jaraq.

Currently, blacksmithing in Kuwait is mostly practiced by foreign artisans coming mainly from India and Iran. The total number is unknown, but it is safe to say that there are over 200 artisans. Raw metal materials used in this craft come in either new or scrap materials. Also, it comes in the form of solid rods and hollow pipes of different sizes, shapes and thicknesses.

Further reading

Jamal, Mohamad A. (2009) The Old Crafts, Trades, and Commercial Activities in Kuwait. Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait. Kuwait.
005-1)  A traditional blacksmithing workshop with heating oven, air blower in the back, electrical iron blade saws, an anvil between two holes in the ground for hammering heated iron rods to reformat them in any desired shape.

005-2)  Examples of some of the most common products of a traditional blacksmithing workshop.

005-3) A contemporary blacksmithing workshop equipped with few electrical machines to help cutting solid metal rods and pipe and prepare them for welding.

005-4)  Iron fences welded and gates (in the back of the picture) getting finished after being welded. Look at the right side of the picture to see the design board for sketching design samples.