In knife-making the “Schurbock” (Schuren: technical term in Solingen for polishing) made by Rema in the 1980s is used to polish the wooden knife handles. Here, the worker polishes the wooden handles on a particular polishing disc made of rag material.
For this process a paste of carrot oil, black soap, pumice powder and water is applied to the cloth on the disc. The polishing disc is put into rotating motion. The knife maker then polishes the wooden handle on the rotating disc, removing any remaining roughness.
The characteristic sounds of this polishing work are made by the polishing of the wooden handle on the polishing disc. The “humming” of the electric motor can be heard as well.
The “Schurbock” is in use at the knife factory Windmühlenmesser Robert Herder in Solingen (Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia), which was founded in 1872. Today the enterprise is in its 4th generation, headed by Giselheid Herder-Scholz. It has maintained techniques and methods of manual knife-making which have vanished more and more with the growth of mechanical fabrication.
In Solingen the production of blades has a long tradition. As early as the 14th century blades were made in large numbers in Solingen. Until the end of the 19th century the entire economy of Solingen was dominated by the cutlery industry.
Sound recordist: Konrad Gutkowski/Julian Blaschke
Photographer: Konrad Gutkowski/Julian Blaschke
Video recordist: Konrad Gutkowski/Julian Blaschke