Unfortunately just after I had got back from the new years fun I got a call from Simon and Alex, which we had all been worriedly expecting – the money for the next big job still hadn’t arrived. So to their credit they gave me as much notice as they could and suggested I started looking for some other work, so I sent out job requests asap. Replies from Iron Art came almost immediately followed closely by Chris Topp of Topp & Co. up in York. I decided to do a stint with Iron Art as that work was certain and within a week I had negotiated starting work up in York by the end of February.

In the three weeks before starting at Topp & co. I did about a week or so at Iron Art and spent the rest of the time sorting out my stuff at my caravan in Stroud and, as I had made some monies recently, searching around for a new two-wheeled toy…which I found all the way down in Cornwall. My mate Emily’s folks live down there so we cruised down and crashed there for the night then I loaded my new zoom zoom in the van and headed back. A couple of days blasting around Bristol and the surrounding area (seeing as the sun was just starting to struggle through the cold) and a few more days at Iron Art then I loaded everything in the van – including the bike – and bumbled up North to start a new work relationship with Topp & Co of York.

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Crashed at Olly and Hydi’s the eve I got there and we all got awfully exited that I was living in York now so cracked out the gin as usual!

I was shown to a small shack used to house the journeymen and part time workers like myself so for a small weekly rent I was living in considerable luxury! Just a single room with a sleeping platform, lil kitchenette and a tiny shower room. Electricity and internet so I was happy kicking back listening to some tunes in the evenings.

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First day at work and they put me straight on some real forgework for a big set of gates and railings they had been working on for a while. I had to make up 16 ‘S’ scrolls for two four-sided pillars either side of the gates. Olly was making the pillars themselves – first collaboration with my buddy!! 😀

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Wasn’t quite so lucky with the jobs after that – moved onto some serious galvanize clean-up on a massive pair of gates which standardly means fixing or replacing the bits that the monkeys at the galvanizers always seem to manage to destroy.

Settled in very quickly to the working environment and got on swell with all the chaps there, and really enjoyed spending time with Olly n Hydi and started regularly accompanying Hydi at her Monday ashtanga yoga sessions and joined the bouldering wall so was keeping well busy and finally actually doing some after hours activities just for my own pleasure…feels kind of odd!

We started work on the 18 or so panels of railings for this big job, all were set to a slightly different incline so a lot of maths and precision cutting to get the rise just right on the railings. These were then sent off to the galvanisers – it makes you wonder why one bothers to try and make anything straight and accurate if it gets treated like this at the galvanisers. A couple of the guys set about the arduous and frustrating job of completely dismantling the railings that were too bent and distorted from the galv and re assembling them straight again. Thankfully I was put on forging some finials and finishing the other railings. My last job while there was a good’un too – another big set of wrought iron gates needed some stainless steel shoes made and bolted on so they could have components for an electric opening system welded to them. This meant a lot of stainless TIG welding which is something I have not had the chance to do before. I got stuck right in and spent the best part of a day on just the welding, by the end of which I would say I was relatively competent at stainless TIG welding.

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I got a few other odds and ends done in my own time at the main workshop after hours and also at Chris Topps personal workshop on weekends which is next door to where I was living. Me and Olly made one of these each out of some 80mm square section…

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Also started on some more scissors – only in mild steel but just practicing punching the holes for the handles and forging them out. As well as a small knife…

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I had a month planned in up at Topps, although I would have loved to have done longer for financial and enjoyable reasons – and they would have been keen for the extra help too – I had to get back down south and start work on the alterations to The Nowhere Forge!

I had phoned my mate Jon because there had been words exchanged a while ago about the usage of his workshop. So after a short jellybone conversation we had arranged for me to rock up at his workshop near Bromyard in Worcestershire shortly after finishing at Topps…happy days!

Time to load the van and go for one last late night climbing session…I love having a full van 🙂

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My mission now was to dump the bike at Jon’s workshop and drive to Bridgwater to see the state of my trailer, which had been left in a sodden field all winter. I also had to fit a new plug on my van for the light board so there were many uncertainties and possibilities for things to go either wrong or not go at all…

First challenge was getting the van itself into the field without getting stuck because there was no one else there at the time to help – this was a success!

Next was to drag the trailer out of its ruts – without getting stuck. With the use of a lever, some blocks and some patient and calculated jiggery pokery, I managed to eek the trailer out of the pits it had sunk into, hitch it up to the van and in one swift movement drag it out of the field onto some hard standing. I was positively and quite literally jumping with joy.

Next was the plug – Im crap with anything electric. But that took about 15 minutes. Yay!

So I grabbed a quick cuppa with Billy and co who had just got back then headed up to Bristol for an unexpected night down’t pub! Emily also remembered she had a sheet of canvas behind her sofa which she didn’t need – so that’s the awnings sorted!! 😀

All round feeling pretty positive so far…we shall see how this project progresses from here.

Coming up to the Christmas break now and, as much as I am enjoying this seriously needed cash earning knowledge expanding period, I desperately need to make some work for the Society of Designer Craftsmen show coming up in January. I started the quest to make scissors last year but realised I needed a lot more time than I first suspected to learn the basics of scissor making. So now with a bit more practice behind me, I set about with a few sets of swanky scissors for the show. Alex was letting me use his workshop in Malmsbury as they were mostly going to be on site or working at Miserden.

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It’s a beautiful workshop and has been a blacksmith’s forge for hundreds of years so it was a pleasure to use it for a few weeks.

I made some alterations to the scales – balanced them properly and altered the copper dishes to be a bit more stable by fixing a base onto each  so they sit comfortably.

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One thing I really wanted to get done was a pair of scissors out of a damscus billet I had made earlier. I am getting very interested in smaller scale fine work so making a tiny pair of scissors was quite an exiting prospect!

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I also started on a fancy set of more sculptural scissors with the aim for them to be an ergonomic fit in the hand. I made them out of an old file, which I found to be a bit too hard for such fine forgework so I did all I dared and left them normalised rather than hardening them further. Next time I will use a lower carbon steel so there is less risk of burning the carbon while forging it.

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The proposed design…

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…a few practice runs at forming the handles out of mild…

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then went in to forming the actual handles

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I also tweaked the large pair of scissors I had made last year to try and get them to cut right. Fortunately Alex shares the building with a few guys who run a lawnmower repairs service and also have a beautiful old workshop and one of them is a master shear sharpener so I got him to teach me the art of hollow grinding. This is a method of sharpening blades by grinding a concave surface onto the faces of the blades to ensure that it is only ever the cutting edges that touch when moving past each other.

I had a quick practice then got stuck into the final sharpening of my scissors.

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They also let me use the lathe to turn a few brass rivets for fixing the scissors. When they introduced me to the line-shaft driven workshop I went a little weak at the knees.

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There were about 9 machines I counted that ran off the line-shaft including one of the biggest lathes I have ever seen in person, although it hasn’t been used since the last owner of the shop it apparently still runs fine.

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I only just managed to finish all the work I wanted to get done for the show and after a long slog of very cold nights in the van and very full and long days of work, it was December 23rd and I was well ready to head on back to Lewes to see my folks for crimbo.

On my way down I stopped via Hampshire along the south coast for a surprise delivery of a little job I had picked up at Blissfields earlier in the year. A couple of very sweet young ladies had asked for some hooks each in the shape of the first letter of their names to hang their christmas stockings on. So in true Simon fashion, I left it to the last possible minute to make and deliver…but I bloody did it and they were super chuffed. Had a quick cuppa and a stroll on the beach the continued back to ma n pa.

Next few days were spent prepping for the show and doing the Christmas thing, which was only simple but very much needed for everyone.

I got the portable science lab out and pickled the damascus scissors as well as sanding and properly finishing the other pairs I had made, then fitted the brass rivets to complete them ready for delivery to the Mall Galleries.

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I left the scissors and scales with my very kind daddio to take up to the Mall Galleries and set off back to Bristol where me and my mate Emily hopped in her van for a jaunt up to my buddies Olly and Hydi in York for some new years shinanigans.

After some serious boogying and tomfoolery to see in the new year I made my way back to Bristol via various lifts a couple of days later. From there I headed back over to the Mall Galleries for the private view to which I had invited some old buddies I hadn’t seen for too long and did the chatting and mingling and drinking free wine that comes with being an artist …darling.

My little display – unfortunately the damascus pair of scissors got left in the packaging when being unpacked and, by the time I arrived and realised, were in a box hidden under about a hundred other boxes in a sealed room so unobtainable for the show 😦

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Some really lovely work by the other artists at the show. Some of which I was lucky enough to model briefly…

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Had a lovely week and a half back at home with my folks before packing up the show and catching up with a few more mates while I was there…gotta jump at these chances while they are there!

Didn’t sell diddly but it was a good show all the same and I’ll be back next year with even bigger gusto and hopefully better scissors…

Back in Lewes I took the chance to do some of the seriously long awaited illustrations for my friend Saffron’s children’s book as I had two illustrator parents and a load of paints, light boxes, paper, pens and SPACE at my disposal.

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I realised that deep down I had been terrified of starting this work as I have never done any illustration or drawing work on any kind of professional level. After making a start I felt a lot more relaxed about the whole thing and got some good progress made. So after a week of pleasant drawing and tasty food in a warm house I said bye to mama wolf and papa bear and buggered off straight to Wales to meet Saffron and Chris and show them the fresh progress over tea and cakes. They were absolutely chuffed which made me chuffed and gave me a bit more confidence in the drawing malarkey.

Just got to keep up the momentum now!

My dear mother’s friend Gitta had just come into some money, started up gallery space in Guildford town centre for her husband, Stephan’s artwork (http://www.anatidaestudiogallery.com) along with other local artists.

I arrived at the gallery and said a big huggy hello to my folks and Gitta and Stephan and all their Gford crew, sat and had a coffee and cake (which I wholeheartedly enjoyed buying myself with my own money which I was enormously appreciating now having) plonked the bench in its proud position in the shop and went on my merry way back down to Lewes with my folks.

 

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I was soon to be joined by 5 of my lovliest bestest friends who had travelled from all corners of our little country to enjoy the Lewes Bonfire night with me…and my, what a humdinger of an enjoyable night (and relative days before and after) it was.

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After all the crew had slowly and sadly dispersed back to normality, I stuck around for a couple of days before setting forth again back towards my new home for the next few months. I got back to my caravan in bath feeling a bit ill from all the fun I had been having but soon pushed through that man-flu and packed up my caravan with the help of lovely Jo.

And off I went to my new pitch in a new field with a new place to work…

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Simon Doyle and Alex Coode have joined forces to start the Heritage Blacksmith Partnership. They focus mainly on conservation work, which is something I have been very interested in trying out and learning more of.

The majority of the work I was to be doing with them would be at their workshop in Miserden just outside of Stroud that has previously been owned by the legendary Michael Roberts.

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They also run the forge in Malmsbury, where I had dropped my tools earlier, which is the forge that Alex has been working from for the last 10 or so years, then a few miles down the road from there is an industrial unit which they use for painting.

I have pitched my caravan at a campsite about 15 minutes drive from Miserden and about 30 miles from the other workshops because I will be spending most of my time at the Miserden forge.

Its absolutely stunning scenery around the site owned by a lovely couple and just a few other residents on their farm. This is probably the most established and geographically settled I have been since I started this blog…. I actually have a regular commute to work! 😀

I arrived in the middle of a job for a restoration over in Cardigan, Wales. It’s a set of curved railings, two sections in each, one needs rusted sections replacing and the other needed completely remaking from scratch.

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After about a week on this we started on the next job which was straightening out a big set of gates which were dauntingly twisty.

It took an awful lot of standing back and having headscratching discussions about where to heat or bend to straighten the whole thing – when a gate is connected at so many points (i.e each upright along the top, mid and bottom rails) it is nearly impossible to predict where the tension is being held so straightening one section may throw another completely out…pain in the aris.

This is them after the straightening extravaganza…didnt get a pick of before but trust me they were bad…

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I got to experience a fair few firsts while working here, for a start they forge using coal as apposed to coke, so you just have to pre-heat the coal next to the fire before using it. Being conservation specialists they also do a lot of the repairs in pure iron or re-use the original wrought iron. Working these materials is very different to working mild steel, you can get them up to a much higher temperature more safely but they don’t stand so well when worked too cold – basically the hotter the better….and they forge like plastazine!

To keep to the NOS (National Occupational Standards) for conservation and restoration ironwork, we have to use the existing material as much as possible, welding it together or making new components from it. So I got a lot of fire welding done which is yet again a different experience on a coal fire!

 

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Cheeky fire weld and some forged tennons

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The whole front stile needed repairing and bit replacing and straightening and re riveting….even a bit of treatment with the NOS standard fire welding gun…

 

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As well as the conservation work I got a few other odds and ends made while there – a couple of nice strap hinges (pic shows them before rolling up the hinge socket) and the pintel, which Simon was particularly impressed with.

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Got the Cardigan raillings finished and loaded them up ready to take down to their paint shop in Malmsbury. Also some gates they had worked on before I started…

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I headed down to Lewes for a night at my parent’s house before making my way up to Kent for the set-up of the craft show at Penshurst Place.

When I arrived I found the Informed Design marquee and was directed to my spot for The Nowhere Forge, where I had a wee lil marquee of my own!

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Unfortunately the organiser of the show had decided that I must have been a massive fire hazard so stuck me in the furthest corner tucked between two massive marquees and totally off the route of the public so trade was pretty dire. Got a bit of interest on the first day but I could see that most of the people were spending time in the Informed Design marquee just next door so I decided to enlist the help of the lovely Jo, who had helped at Shambala, to be the sales woman for my work in the big marquee while I did demonstrations outside on the Nowhere Forge.

This proved to work well. Jo immediately set about on the feng shui and started selling bottle openers like they were hot cakes…or at least much better than I could have sold them myself.

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Anyhoo, we had a fun weekend and it was great to hang out with the other Informed Design-ers on the campsite in the evenings and Jo helped make a nice bit of dosh to help me along my merry way.

Packed up the Nowhere Forge for the last time this year and took her back to her winter resort in a field in Bridgwater.

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Swapped her for my caravan which I then took off up to a lovely lil woodland campsite up a big hill just outside Bath where I stayed for the next 2 months while I worked at Iron Art, steadily clawing back some money into my bank account.

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And so ends what has been possibly the most epic, fun, involved, horizon expanding and sociable summer of my life to date. I have made new friends and rediscovered old ones, experienced the most unexpected connections in people and places. I have learnt about my own craft and had the chance to teach an uncountable number of others about it too. I have pushed myself and worked harder that I have ever worked but still found some weird satisfaction from it. I’ve reached the deepest darkest depths of my bank account that I never wanted to see and never want to see again, despite finding that in a situation like that all the unnecessary elements of your life become apparent and you focus more on the most basic and important things. I will learn from all of this and next year do it all again, undoubtedly coming at it from a completely different mental and geographical angle and getting a completely different experience from it too.

Dunno what any of that will be yet but for now I need to find somewhere warm to park my caravan and hang my hat for the winter. Maybe make a bit of dosh as well…but ultimately keeping a gentle tick over of fun, friendships and blacksmithing.

Although I was already getting some pangs for the summer shinanigans I had just been enjoying, I was also quite looking forward to getting back to working in a proper workshop on some funky jobs and wasn’t feeling quite so hemmed in by the thought of staying put in one place for a lil while after all this happy wandering around.

So looking around my new digs just outside of Bath up a big hill I realised I had landed in a bloody luurverly environment. I was in a beautiful woodland that I was free to roam around and collect firewood at my will, there was a couple of lovely neighbours living in yurts just down the hill, the landlord/lady were very friendly and accommodating and I was just a 15 minute blast down a hill on my bicycle away from Iron Art! and a half hour crawl back up the hill back home…perfect!

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About 10 minutes walk through the woods was a little place called The Cherrywood Project that I had heard about from a girl I had met at Knockengorroch who lives there. They run greenwoodworking classes, charcoal burning, all sorts of project weeks and gatherings for anyone who loves living and working in the woodland. I got to know the guys and girls that live or visit there regularly and being just up the hill made the most of visiting for some great evenings round the fire and helped out on the project week. I will definitely be back there more often next summer.

As for the work side of my Bath expedition I rolled straight in to starting one of the more interesting and unusual jobs they got this year at Iron Art – a local commission from a couple just down the road from the workshop. They had agreed on a design based on anemone flowers.

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I got stuck into drawing up the scale working drawing from this original sketch design and making the tendrils. Forging out 600mm tapers on varying sized round bars is a bit of a mission…

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Got them sorted and started offering them up to the frame Jason had already finished. By this point the job had been pretty much handed over to me with a watchful eye from Jase…I felt pretty chuffed about this.

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Next was the actual anemone flower heads. We got some images and I did a couple of samples then went ahead with the three that would be used on the gate.

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It all started coming together nicely along with the final details like the latch, hinges and the plate at the base that would eventually have the house name “Kirkthorpe”.

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I scaled the original drawing of the letters up to full size to then send off to the laser cutters to get it cut out of stainless.

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I forged the small scrolls that come off the K’s and R’s then welded them on. Cecile fixed the collars around the welded joins of the stems then it was pretty much finished. Cecile had also stepped forward for the task of hand painting the gate, which I came and put in a few hours helping with as well.

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At first I wasn’t so keen on the bright colours chosen as I usually prefer metal in a more raw finish but after a while I started to accept the vibrancy and decided I actually quite liked it.

All in all I was dead chuffed to be part of this project and very proud of what we had achieved. All who were involved with the making of the gate were later invited back to the clients house for tea and croissants and a quick photo session with the gate.

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A couple of other nice projects I got to work on were a well arch which, amongst a few errors in measurements and other amendments, I managed to knock out all on my tod.

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Also did a basic well cover with a hinged door, two maHOOsive table frames to hold gurt big stone tabletops (photographed one on top of the other ready for galv pickup), a couple of small side-tables to match an existing one that was brought in, and a funky little bathroom corner shelf unit.

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Quite a good run really, so it was inevitable that the grinding/sanding and post-galvanise prep jobs came along after that….all in a days work.

Did a couple of days on site too which is always fun…especially lifting 3 x 3m frames 7 meters up wobbly scaffolding to fix amongst prickly foliage after a weekend of having fun and sleeping little… 😛

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Me and Dom went out to fit an awkward handrail in a house. Supposedly straightforward drill-holes-and-fix job but they never work out like that…

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I also managed to get a job done that I had started on the last Middlesbrough trip. I had to make two coffee table legs and frames to house wooden tops being made elsewhere. I had done the legs up in Middlesbrough but finally managed to fit in making up the frames to complete them. On the last day of this stint at Iron Art I finished them up and delivered them to the client just up the road in Bristol.

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My time is now up at Iron Art again, and this has probably been the longest stint I have done with them so far and felt really satisfied with actually moving my caravan to make settlements somewhere for a bit. I would totally take up the full time job they are offering at the moment but my worldly plans wouldnt suit that sort of thing yet…I still got some miles to cover and things to see.

So after loading up all my tools from Iron Art I headed up to Malmsbury to drop them off at one of the workshops I will be working in next belonging to Mr Alex Coode.

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But the next big adventure from here is a wee excursion back towards my homeland Guildford to deliver the bench I had made in my final year at Hereford…yes, that’s right! I bloody gone and sold it dint I!? 😀

I had the help of fellow blacksmiths Tim and Jo for Shambala which is handy because this is the biggest festival I have done this summer.

We arrived late and I dumped everything in my spot ready to set up tomorrow.

Tim brought his anvil and forge with him so we could have two workshops running at a time and Jo had brought a chopped up copper boiler, a tiny anvil and some letter stamps to run copper bracelet workshops.

We set up the workshop and already people were arriving and asking about workshops. Booked them in straight away using my new handy booking in sheet 😉 and cracked on making the place look pretty.

We were pretty lucky with the weather for the most part but did have to shelter from the rain occasionally…looks like summer may be nearing a close 😦 Not to worry! We must make the most of these last weeks! …and Shambala was a wonderful place to be doing this.

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This was the biggest event I had done so far this summer and in my opinion was about the biggest I would like to do. I have really enjoyed the small festivals as they become much more personal and the people you meet are bound to pop up again throughout the weekend.

I found doing the workshops with the help of Tim and Jo was so much better, we could take it in turns to make food or chat to the people or take bookings so that the others could carry on with workshops. It made the whole experience a lot more manageable and I will definitely be doing this more next year.

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I managed to get out and see quite a lot of the festival too, more than some of the smaller ones I had been to! And this was a great festival to wonder around…me and Jo meandered into the Enchanted Woods where all sorts of weird mischief was beheld. I had some great nights dancing like a lunatic and eating tasty grub with Tim and other mateys I had made or rediscovered through the bizarre connections that emerge from the festival vibrations.

 

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At the end of this final festival of the 2014 summer we totted up our takings and were all round delighted to find that each one of us had made more than I had managed in any of the other festivals. We each took our earnings and enjoyed a final night at the festival feeling super duper good!

We congregated for one last time on the morning of the pack-down in the pissing rain as all the other wonderful and colouful intricacies slowly disappeared around us. Jo left then Time made his way home and I went to help Emily take her yurt down to then make a late and knackered journey back to Bristol for a well earned nights sleep…

…which unfortunately for me ended in an early morning start back at Iron Art. Happy to be back there but my god, was I tired.

Couldn’t complain for long because I was put straight on a pleasantly unusual job that restoration-man Martin was in charge of – a gate for the Zero Degrees bar in Bath. This was made of all sorts of reclaimed scrap to the themes of Bristol docks, aviation through the ages and other industrial imagery.

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I got to make a few of the details such as the plane in the pic but was mainly involved in the final assembly and clean-up of the gate and frame.

It went off to the sand blasters and would then go and get the finish put on. I didn’t get to see the final thing or the installation because I had one final event to take The Nowhere Forge so at the end of that week I headed to Bridgwater to do some final preparations for my stock for the very last event for The Nowhere Forge this year – Informed Design at Penshurst Place Craft Show in Kent.

On my way to the IBF I stopped off in Salisbury to go for a spot of bouldering with the leatherwork crew from Blissfields and Nozstock which was a proper generous treat to myself. Then on to Westpoint in Exeter where the festival was being held.

Got there to find some of my mates had already arrived so hung around and helped where we could in the setting up for the show.

I was to be helping out on BABA books (British Artist Blacksmiths Association) selling blacksmithing related books to blacksmiths and punters alike. Doing this was my ticket into the festival so I was happy to help and I got to do it with Team Hobo who are the keepers of the books.

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We were fortunate enough to share our marquee with the Hereford College Exhibition which had an amazing array of fine blacksmithing work from both the current and graduated college students as well as established smiths.

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A pice by master smith Bromley O’Hare…

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A lovely lamp by Jake James who Im still waiting for a chance to work for down here in East Sussex.

 

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A familiar name to me, the all-knowing legend that is Peat Oberon

 

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And the rest!

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Paul Allen, the master smith and tutor of the DFS course which I recently completed, did a demonstration on making a fire welded flower form, which I unfortunately couldnt attend.

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In another one of the big marquees were some more amazing works from national and international smiths alike.

 

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Other workshops and demonstrations were held throughout the entire show, one of which was a copper working masterclass which I managed to schmooze my way into the tail end of and have a little go working on the rim of the big bucket you can see in the picture.

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One of the main attractions of the event was the iron smelt. They lit the furnace at around midday and burnt it til after dark when the bloom would be ready to extract and be processed into iron…this process basically involves smelting iron from the ore by burning coal in the furnace. Once ready you kick the clay furnace over, drag out the white hot bloom which is about the size of a flattened beach ball and beat it repeatedly with sledge hammers, two strikers at a time rotating with two others so as not to burn yourselves from the radiant heat.

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I was lucky enough to blag my way onto the striking team and got myself a wee bit of iron bloom to play with as a reward!

A bunch of fellas had brought along a workshop that seriously rivalled my lil portable Nowhere Forge. Understandably I was intrigued with their set up.

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Its about the same size as my own trailer workshop but I think they have utilised the space really well for equipment and display space. Ill definitely be taking inspiration from this set up for the imminent improvements to be made on mine…

They even managed to bring in their Blacker ‘B’ power hammer to play with!

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We all enjoyed all sorts of communal meals on the campsite…

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Got a performance from the Red Arrows!

 

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This is the third year of the DFS (Design and Forgework Skills) course at Hereford, most of which were my buddies anyhoo, now all my buddies 🙂

They spent an enormously long day completed this competition piece along with seven other teams also making screens which will be installed around Westpoint and Exeter.

 

 

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Terry Clark, a well established and recognised smith, announced his proposition for the next big blacksmithing event to build this sculpture, the collaborating smiths will work on one of the 25 or so panels surrounding the sculpture.

 

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So I had just managed to earn enough at Nozstock to bop around delivering and dropping work and doing a bit of fun and games in between, but now I was finding myself in a much more serious situation. I had just spent nearly 5 days at this event after burning all the fuel from my van and was left totally skint with no other prospects of earning money before my next destination – Shambala festival in Northhaptonshire, which, last time I checked, is quite far away from Exeter.

bugger

…oh, whats that, a text message?

…its Emily who I traded a poker for some trousers at Noz…she needs a lift back to Bristol with her clothes that she’s selling at a festival … that’s about 15 minutes down the road. And she’s willing to pay the deisel…and her next destination is Shamabala…..which she is also happy to contribute towards fuel for.

Well thats that sorted then 🙂

 

5 days of blacksmithing fire, fun and frolicks, we all said goodbye til the next forge-in event and departed from the Westpoint grounds, most to head home or back to work. I, on the other hand, had some more miles to cover and one last blow out lined up before I started winding down and thinking about getting back to work.

I popped down the road to Beautiful Daze festival to meet Emily who sneaked me into the festival and after a quick hello to Billy and his family who also happened to be there, hung about at at the festival then proceeded to spend a night out in the festival having fun. Packed up their shop the next day and made tracks back to Bristol via Bridgwater to pick up my trailer. A couple of nights crashing in Bristol then loaded up my van with clothes, copious amounts of fruit and a yurt and made our way to Northamptonshire with the much appreciated help from Emily’s pocket.

Better make some bloody money at this one…