Josef Maštalíř

* 1950

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Smithcraft is a legacy passed down from generation to generation

Josef Maštalíř was born on 17 October 1950 to a blacksmith’s family in the Czech village of Gerník, Caraș-Severin County, Romania. His grandfather trained as a blacksmith in nearby Lubková, the witness’ own father Alois learnt from him and Josef himself eventually kept with the blacksmith profession, making up the third blacksmith generation. Alois Maštalíř from Gerník was considered to be one of the best village blacksmiths and he taught several young apprentices who later struck out on their own. At the age of fourteen, after completing his eighth year of school, our witness began working in his father’s workshop, got married five years later and in 1980 he built a family house with a smithy in Gerník. For a short period of time he worked as a mine blacksmith, but stopped after a few months. In the early 90s he was employed together with his son in the Mitas plant in Prague, returning back to Gerník after less than half a year. This witness is currently the only blacksmith in Gerník. At the time of recording he was still living there (October 2021).