South County Museum’s Blacksmith Forge is an exhibit as well as a fully functioning working forge, which includes an extensive collection of blacksmithing tools including bellows that came from the famous Fayerweather Blacksmith Shop in Kingston, Rhode Island. Executive Director Jim Crothers doubles as the resident blacksmith along with a team of several local blacksmiths to work on a regular basis throughout the year and provide live demonstrations.
This year SCM will be hosting 3 Blacksmith Camps for young people: 2 in July and one in August. Each Camp will run Wednesday through Friday, 9 am – 12 pm, for kids ages 8-14. This year the 2 camps in July are designated Level 1 and the August Camp is designated Level 2. Level 1 Camps are for those who have no blacksmith experience at all. Participants that wish to attend the Level 2 Camp in August must have taken a previous Blacksmith Camp or lesson at South County Museum within the last 12 months. Cost is $225 for non-members, $202.50 for members. There is a limit of 6 children per camp. Registration forms will be available soon.
On the 4th Saturday of each month, individuals interested in blacksmithing feel the heat of the fire with a hammer in hand as they hone their blacksmithing skills as an actual blacksmith. There are no age restrictions. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. This is an informal gathering with no “formal” teaching. At least one lesson or prior experience is required in order to participate. There is no fee for Open Forge, but donations are appreciated to defray the cost of staff time and materials, including coal and steel.
Open Forge for Adults
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 $75/night for non-members, $67.50 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. If using the online payment system, indicate in the memo what the payment is for including dates. No experience is necessary, but many folks come to multiple nights to build their skills across the month. More details will be available soon.
A three-hour private lesson for two designed to be an introduction to blacksmithing. No age restrictions. Private lessons are for 2 individuals, run for 3 hours, and are scheduled at a mutually beneficial time. The cost is $150 for non-members and $135 for Members. Lessons run 3 hours a session for 2 individuals.
Senior Project Mentoring
Students in their senior year required to develop a project for their high school curriculum are offered one-on-one mentoring with the resident blacksmith.
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 set up for demos at Sterling, CT & Charlestown Historical Society.