History

This workshop was set up in 1928, when the house of the Ardavanis family was founded and built by father Dimitris - Lixouriotis, originally from Argostoli, where he was born, and accidentally found himself in this village for family reasons.

It consists of two ground-floor spaces in the northern part of the house and joins it, so that together with the basement of the house it creates three independent but similarly used spaces.

Father Dimitris very quickly became respected and useful in the society of Eryssos, who by working hard and honestly from five in the morning becomes an example of a worker and a good family man. Of course, both he and his life partner, equally immobile and creative, are role models for their five children. Inside his then-poor business, he set up a furnace (they called it a furnace), since in order for it to work someone needed to blow the coals so that they would stay lit. This was done with a huge bellow that opened and closed and sent air into the furnace, as long as someone pulled up and down a rope at one end of it. Next to it was set up the anvil on which the iron fired from the furnace was beaten with hammers to take the corresponding form. Every Maundy Thursday, the day Christ is nailed to the Cross, the anvil is knocked off its base in a symbolic gesture of discrediting the blacksmiths who made the nails of the Cross. It stays that way until the Resurrection. The custom is passed down from father to son, something that those of us who remember it fills us with emotion and sadness. Next to it, in front of the window, in order to have light, there is a bench with the vise, another bench for connecting the iron structures of the anvil with oxygen welding and later with electric welding, a cutter, a giant lever that falls with force and cuts iron of a certain thickness. A drill (for drilling holes) is placed at the bottom of the house, the traditional version of which remained until 1975, when it was now replaced by the electric one. All around there are peculiar shelves, the so-called "skandzies", which neatly store small tools such as chisels, screwdrivers, hacksaws, pliers, hammers, wrenches, hand made drills, files and more. On a small bench was set the wheel, that is, an ax for scissors, knives, etc.

Dimitris Ardavanis dies in 1954 and officially the business passes into the hands of Spirogiannis, who has been working in the forge for more than ten years. Already in 1944, together with his brother Gerasimos, they have built a whole boat with local timber and put inside an engine from an old Ford car, changing the ignition system from a "Maniato" to a distributor with a part from a German cannon. In 1952, in the northernmost part of the workshop premises, with the help of the rest of the family members (notably women!..) but also with his natural ingenuity and acumen, he made a saw band from a German cannon base, which at that time was not he had nothing to envy from a bioengineer. In 1953 he creates the well-known railway-wagon that squares tree trunks. A diesel engine, a belt that drove the wheel and a new era in wood processing for Eryssos, with this wood, if not all, certainly most of the houses of the time were built and repaired. This band saw later got an electric motor and of course it still works today...

A century or so, two generations and hard work is the story of the small workshop known as the "hardware shop in Maggano". Through the fire of the stove and from the hammers on the anvil, with their strong arms and with modesty the Ardavanians breathed life into the iron, the traditional, creative blacksmithing and the cultural heritage of the place.

It is fortunate that Spyrogiannis Ardavanis took care of his reputation. A precious legacy for all of us, from the art he loved and lived by, are his wonderful artistic compositions of pure stainless steel and iron.