In the crowded interior of a forge, the gaunt figure of a blacksmith looks over his shoulder to observe his apprentices, who wear aprons like their master. Engaged in a gluttonous rampage, some raid the cupboards, while another takes food from a woman with a begging child. Tools lie strewn across the floor. As the smith is distracted from his work, the object that he holds in the flame flies apart. Various spectators stop outside the windows and at the top of the stairs to observe the chaotic scene, and an old woman slumped on a chair in the corner symbolizes Laziness, indicating that the scene might represent the popular Netherlandish theme of Sorghelos Leven (carefree living). The moralizing story warns the viewer against the extravagant waste of time, effort, and goods.
Jan Verbeeck covered this sheet with dense hatching, enveloping every part of the surface with lines to effectively increase the sense of chaos in the scene.