The opening ceremony involved the forging of a T-stake anvil by Steve Parker on a big steam hammer! Making anvils with steam powered tools - always awesome!
The source of steam was a Traction Engine parked outside the building. The owner said his uncle had built it to the current form. It looked like a small 3 horsepower stationary steam engine had been converted to a self propelled using antique truck and tractor parts. Ingenious! It was parked and piping steam to the hammer inside the main demonstration barn.
It was dark out, so these pictures aren't great. The crew is manning the boiler as the Hammer Man and Hammer Driver work on the anvil in the barn. It was nice to be reminded that working big iron in the past took a whole team to run the boiler, hammer, and anvil. Only in the present does technology let a Blacksmith work alone. Historically it was labor intensive and the hub of the village or factory.
Brian's morning demo included forging steel jewelry. This ring was forged to a very low heat, which reduced scale and produced the silver finish. His forging style of using a very heavy hammer, slow blows, and working at a low heat is the opposite of the traditional smithing that I do with historic wrought iron. But it sure makes a pretty finish and moves metal. The ring show had just been forged and wire brushed. Shiny!
Robert Trout's demo was in a big, airy new pole barn. His tireless work and lively discussion of tools, copper work, design, and methods kept the bleachers full. I've know Bob for 15 years and his demonstrations just keep getting better. Even my 14 year old son was entertained and stayed in the bleachers.
He did a great job of explaining how to forge, shape, planish, and patina copper work. Here he is shaping with a soft face cross pein on the anvil to take out excess curve. Note the industrial carpet scrap on the horn. That is placed on the anvil but under the work when shaping to prevent damage to the hammer patina.