Carla Hall teaching the Women’s Blacksmithing Workshop.
Earlier this year, a dozen women gathered for the bi-annual Women’s Blacksmithing Workshop. The Crucible offers this special workshop – taught by women, for women – to cover the fundamentals of blacksmithing and forging steel. It’s designed to create a supportive and welcoming environment for women to explore this ancient art form. Except these women don’t merely ‘explore’ blacksmithing – they kick its butt. Throughout the room, women hammer with incredible strength, help each other bend, shape, and chisel metal to create incredibly complex shapes – and do it all together.
This bonding time was particularly profound for one Mother-Daughter team, Helen Fong and Laura Holmes, who spent the weekend hammering, forging, and designing together. Set to the wonderful cacophony of fans and hammers, they shared their experiences with Sarah Dabby, staff writer at The Crucible.
“I think, because I haven’t had a lot of industrial background, it was a little intimidating at first,” mused Fong. “But by the end of the day, when I had this wonderful bracelet and this hook, I thought, ‘Man, I did this!’ I was just so proud of myself.”
“I was really impressed with the depth and complexity of the projects we’re doing in an intro class,” Holmes chimed in. “[Our instructors] really gave us the benefit of the doubt and said, ‘Ok, here’s this complex thing; you can go and do that.’ And we did! We rose to the occasion, and by the end of yesterday, we had a couple of really awesome things, and today, it’s gotten even better. I think the level of confidence of everyone in the room has risen with every project.”
To experience the whole journey, listen to the audio interview on SoundCloud – and be sure to sign up for your own epic adventure at The Crucible’s next Women’s Blacksmithing Workshop on August 10-11, 2013.
Learn more about The Crucible’s Blacksmithing Department, including course descriptions and offerings.