South County Museum’s Blacksmith Forge is a an exhibit and a working forge. It includes an extensive collection of blacksmithing tools as well as a bellows that came from the famous Fayerweather Blacksmith Shop in Kingston, Rhode Island. Museum Executive Director Jim Crothers doubles as our master blacksmith but there are several local blacksmiths that work in the forge on a regular basis throughout the year, and who provide demonstration and answer questions for museum visitors. The Blacksmith Forge is the center of SCM’s contemporary Blacksmith program, which includes:
- Blacksmith Camps for Kids – one in July and one in August, Wednesday through Friday, 9 am – 12 pm, for kids ages 8-14. These are designed for youngsters with no blacksmithing experience. Cost is $90 for non-members, $85 for members. There is a limit of 6 children per camp. For dates and registration forms click on the title above.
- Open Forge – every 4th Saturday, year-round, for individuals with an interest in blacksmithing. This was formerly called the NEB (New England Blacksmith) Southern Bunch Get-together, but it has expanded to offer forge facilities to those who have a variety of experiences and is listed in the NEB Newsletter. There are no age restrictions, but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. This is an informal gathering. No “formal” teaching is available. Thus, we recommend at least 1 lesson or prior experience before coming to work on a project. Open Forge is a great time to see what is going on.
- Open Forge for Adults – Thursday evenings in June and Wednesday evenings in August from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Pre-registration is required and participants must be 18 years of age or older. Cost is $25/night for non-members, $20 for Members. There is a limit of 6 adults per night. To guarantee your space on a particular night, pre-payment is required. Credit cards can be taken over the phone or through our online donation system. Just indicate in the memo what the payment is for. No experience is necessary, but many folks come to multiple nights to build their skills across the month.
- Private Lessons – 3 hour private lesson for two. Designed as an introduction to blacksmithing. No age restrictions.
- Senior Portfolio Mentoring – Students in their senior year at Narragansett High School must develop a project/portfolio whereby they develop a skill not covered in the high school curriculum. This is the fourth year SCM has offered blacksmithing as an option.
- Demonstrations – Blacksmiths are working in the forge during regular museum hours and at special events such as Family Day, Gansett Days, and the Folk Art Quilt Show. We also have taken portable forge setup for demos at Sterling, CT & Charlestown Historical Society.