For now, I'm going to take you all of the way back to the first of July! I was awarded a schollarship to take a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Murphy North Carolina. The class I chose to take was the first week of July. The theme of the class was traditional Colonial hardware. The class was taught by Mr. Jerry Darnell, an excellent instructor and blacksmith. I took a class from him last year as well, and thoroughly enjoyed the drive that Jerry puts in his classes. It's no child's play, and in order to keep up, you have to have a solid skill base.
Enough talking though.....let's see some photos!
Here is Jerry demonstrating!
Here is one of me working......many thanks to Mr. Jerry for being the photographer!
Here is the whole class here! Mr. Bob Alexander (standing just right of Jerry, who is the guy in the white shirt standing in the middle,) acted as the assistant instructor and is always ready to answer questions, and just generaly a huge help!
Receiving my certificate and T-shirt!
At John C Campbell, blacksmithing isn't the only thing going on! There are a dozen or so crafts being taught each week! This is a bird done by the wood carving class. Pretty neat huh!
Here are some pieces done by the wood turning class!
Here is a picture of the blacksmith display table!
And here is everything I made!
First up here is a spatula! This actually wasn't on the list of things we were making, but I finished my other products early, and had time to do this extra piece!
The next couple of pictures are of a five-piece door latch!
Here is a set of split hinges I did!
These are blanket chest hinges!
This is how they work!
Here is a set of 24 inch strap hinges with a bean on the end!
And finally here is a dutch heart finial!
After I took the John C. Campbell class and got back home, I was fortunate enough to become a part of a group called Young Smiths 2012. This group was organized by Mr. Brian Brazeal, his wife Karen, and Brian's assistant Mr. Lyle. Two days after I got back from John C Campbell, I was off to Mississippi on a Greyhound bus, to join the Young Smiths. The Young Smiths 2012 group was composed of four young smiths. Alec Steele from Norfolk England: 14 years old, Danial Riffe from Sugarland Texas: 16 years old, Kainon Baumer from Austin Texas: 17 years old, just turned 18, and then myself from Columbia Kentucky: 19 years old, just turned 20.
The main event for the Young Smiths was the national ABANA conference. ABANA is the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. The conference is the largest blacksmithing event in the U.S., drawing several thousand blacksmiths from around the world over the course of the four day event. Demonstrators included an Italian blacksmithing team, a coppersmith family from South America, well known names in blacksmithing such as Mark Aspery, Gerald Boggs, and Darrel Nelson, an iron ore smelting demonstration, knife making demos, and more.
Young Smiths 2012 were honoured to be schedualled demonstrators at the national conference this year.
The Conference was in Rapid City, South Dakota.
However, this Young Smiths adventure started at Brian Brazeal's place in Mississippi. All four of us young smiths were at one time or other, under Brian's teaching, so we came together at his place and had several days of preparation before starting on the long treck to Rapid City.
I'll leave it at that, and the next blog will cover our month long adventure throughout the entire mid-west, as we demonstrated and taught the art of real blacksmithing!