Northwest Blacksmith Association

Columbia Fire and Iron 2016 Spring Hammer-In

Date(s) - 05/21/2016 - 05/22/2016
All Day

Blacksmith Gathering

May 21-22, 2016

High Bridge Park, Spokane

Our semi-annual convocation of blacksmiths from all around the Columbia Basin is happening again, this time in a great new location: High Bridge Park in Spokane

We are honored to have a famous Hungarian blacksmith, Gabor Szombathy, as our featured demonstrator. He is currently engaged in a year-long project building very large hand-wrought gates and other major items in a classical style for an Ivy League University. To see more of Gabor’s work, see the 1st quarter 2016 issue of Hot Iron News.

Forges and anvils will be set up in the large picnic shelter at High Bridge Park. We will have enough forging stations to make sure that everyone can get some hands-on instruction. A separate section is designated for forging demonstrations.

High Bridge Park is a beautiful place with plenty of trees and green grass, but the amenities are a bit sparse. You will need to bring your own food and water, and a folding chair would be a good idea. There will be portable toilets with a handwash station. Camping is not permitted at the Park

Only members are allowed to attend, but anyone with an interest in blacksmithing can join, right there at the Park. Membership fee is $20 for six months.

From Rosauers on 3rd: west on W Sunset Blvd 0.2 mi;   Slight right to stay on W Sunset Blvd 0.6 mi;   Turn right onto S Government Way 0.6 mi;   Turn right onto W Riverside Ave 0.4 mi;   Turn right onto S A St 177 ft;   Turn left onto High Bridge Park.

This is an opportunity for everyone in the local blacksmithing community to teach and to learn.

  • Bring a project you need help with, and you’ll find friendly, experienced smiths glad to advise you.
  • Need to know how to build a forge? Take photos of our forges and ask for advice.
  • Need some ideas for what to make next in your own shop? Take a look at what other smiths bring to show.
  • Have a nifty technique you’ve figured out or learned? Teach it to some others.
  • Have you made some items you’re proud of? Bring them to show!
  • Have some smithing tools or supplies to sell? You are likely to find willing buyers.
  • Need supplies? Tools? Classes? Anvil?   You are likely to find willing sellers.

Background information:

Columbia Fire & Iron is an association of blacksmiths, knife makers and metal artists organized in 2014 and headquartered in Spokane.

We hold two “hammer-ins” each year; one in the Spring and one in the Fall. We also organize skill-building events for our members, such as a Damascus blade making workshop, smithing demonstrations at fairs, and periodic “hammer club” mentoring for beginners.

Historically, it was common for the village blacksmith to be highly respected for his strength and wisdom as well as for the universal importance of his craft. The blacksmith was sometimes called upon to perform weddings or to serve as a judge.

A hammer-in is a perfect example of the historical blacksmith’s legacy. It is a gathering of people who love using fire and hammer to shape metal, often into “functional art”: steel items that are beautiful and useful, clearly hand-made by a craftsman.

This Spring we will have a famous Hungarian blacksmith, Szombathy Gabor, as our featured demonstrator. Other demonstrators include founding members of Columbia Fire & Iron, John Huffstutter and Steve McGrew.

At a hammer-in, attendees both teach and learn. Forging stations with hand tools, anvil, vise, and forge, are available for attendees, and experienced smiths are there to share their knowledge and skills.

“Tailgating”, the hammer-in’s version of a flea market, is an opportunity to buy or sell smithing tools, equipment and supplies.

This hammer-in is not a public event, because our insurance does not allow us to admit the public. Only members of Columbia Fire & Iron may attend, even though it is in a public park.  However, membership only costs $20 for six months and new members can sign up at the park.

For more information, contact:

Steve McGrew 509-998-2465

John Huffstutter

David Kailey


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High Bridge Park, Spokane

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