The CVBG or the Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild hosted an impressive display of metal work and artists on March 10th, 11th, and 12th 2023.
Held in Richmond, VA at the Chesterfield County Fair grounds, the event drew visitors from across the country with notable demonstrators and guests in attendance. The sole function of the event is to bring blacksmiths and aspiring blacksmiths together in order to perpetuate the noble craft of blacksmithing and celebrate its contributions to society. Education is a key part at these type of events and demos were given all weekend long by and All-star team of top-rated smiths.
Andrew Molinaro from Artisans of the Anvil forging his “ Starry Eye” sculpture
The ancient craft has made a huge resurgence after being in the the spotlight of such shows as Forged in Fire, Master of Arms, Milwaukee Blacksmith, Man At Arms, Iron & Fire and many more, not to mention an ever growing presence on YouTube and the rise in popularity of metal art world-wide.
The Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild is an affiliate of ABANA-the Artist Blacksmith Guild of North America.
The demonstrators in attendance were Ben Abbot ( judge on History’s Forged in Fire) Andrew Molinaro from Artisans of the Anvil, Roy Adams from Christ Centered Iron Works, Burt Foster (MS- Master Smith) Mathew Parkinson (JS- Journeyman Smith , Dragon’s Breath forge) Brent Stubblefield ( Join or Die Knives)
Demonstrators did not disappoint! In the “knife shack” Ben Abbot partnered with Brent Stubblefield to produce a six-bar Turkish twist Damascus blade and Burt and Mathew created a mosaic pattern. Both knives were raffled off to benefit CVBG.
Ben & Brent’s knife
Matt and Burt’s knife
In the forged sculpture tent Andrew Molinaro designed and created “Starry Eye”, a sculpture inspired by The beauty and vastness of the universe received as photons. The eye is portrayed as peering into the vastness. With 8 rivets representing our solar system holding the iris together.
Roy from Christ Centered Iron works demonstrated joinery and texturing methods on acanthus leaves and floral elements to ornamental scrolls. Traditional methods such as forge welding, pinning, and collar work were demonstrated. He also demoed his signature budget power/Manual hammer design that he sells and and demos on his popular YouTube channel.
Roy’s floral piece was donated to the CVBG for a training item and to offer inspiration to the practice
Roy demoing his affordable power hammer kit
Opportunities for learning were boundless for new and experienced smiths alike.
An anvil tree was at the entrance where visiting smiths install a signature nail, a long held tradition of the blacksmith. Over the years the tree will be adorned with many amazing pieces by those passionate about the craft.
George Cramer of the Village Blacksmith designed a skull nail, completely forged from a single piece of 1.25” x 4” solid square bar. The completed nail was over 12” in length when finished.
Forged Nail from 1.25” x 4” mild steel
The Village Blacksmith’s very own George Cramer was the lucky winner of the Starry Eye Sculpture by Andrew. George was “elated to have won the sculpture and from a good friend at that” , he said. “It’s rare that a blacksmith gets an opportunity and a budget to collect art from other smiths… It shall remain on display at the Village Blacksmith for a source of inspiration as I build my sculptures and custom work.”
Burt is big even when he’s not standing on a chair!
for more info on the demonstrators or to commission work or promotions contact below:
Ben Abbott- ashgroveforge.com
Andrew Molinaro - Artisansoftheanvil.com
Roy Adams - blacksmithblanks.com
Burt Foster -burtfoster.com
Mathew Parkinson- dragonsbreathforge.com
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