Main Gallery

Forging Ahead: A Blacksmith Invitational
Featuring work from the Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America
October 6 - January 29, 2019

The Southern Highland Craft Guild opens its fourth and final exhibition for the 2018 year with Forging Ahead: A Blacksmith Invitational in the Folk Art Center's main gallery upstairs. It features 36 objects from makers of the Western North Carolina chapter of Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. Works range from functional to decorative emphasizing the discipline of finesse with fire of a forge.

Many modern blacksmiths still work with the old-fashioned tools and techniques handed down through the centuries. However, as the years pass, new technology and sophisticated equipment have emerged to help lessen the work load of the contemporary blacksmith.

Southern Highland Craft Guild member Susan Hutchinson, also a member of ABANA, gave curator Nikki Josheff and photographer Steve Mann a demonstration shaping steel using the traditional blacksmith tools, hammer and anvil, and then on a modern electric power hammer. "She has a power hammer that allows for much more force than that of a human." Forging Ahead captures the arduous nature of blacksmith, even to the smallest details, as can be seen in Robert Timberlake's thimble.

Early blacksmiths were essential to the survival of any community. They were the most important craftsmen on the first ships from Europe that colonized the New World/Americas. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, they created all iron and steel tools. Because of the high cost to create such tools repairing a tool was preferable to having a new tool made.

This exhibit is located on the second floor of the Folk Art Center in the main gallery through the end of January 2019. All products are available for purchase, online and in the gallery. Shop below.

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