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CanIron VIII Demonstrator: Kelly Smyth

From

Deer Lake, New York, USA

 

 

Demonstrator Bio

Kelly has been frequently chosen for Early American Life magazine’s Directory of Traditional Crafts (an annual selection of the best practitioners of traditional trades in the United States). The jury uses the quality of workmanship, fidelity to period design, and use of traditional tools and techniques as the basis for this award. She has forged ships’ hardware for five recently constructed historic vessels: Susan Constant and Discovery (1607), at Jamestown Settlement, (Virginia); Kalmar Nyckel (1638), near the Rocks on the Christina River (Delaware); John Smith 400 Shallop and Sultana (1738), both homeported in Chestertown (Maryland) - plus other smaller projects for museums and historic sites. For over a decade, Kelly has been teaching adult and young adult blacksmiths’ workshops at local community college and many regional venues. This is the logical continuation to her years spent demonstrating and interrupting historic blacksmiths’ work at living history museums. Although quite unusual, Kelly has been selected twice to participate in the prestigious Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the MALL (Washington DC).

“With all my attention focused on traditional tools & techniques, I am convinced this is the easiest way to make accurate copies of traditional hardware. I find this an artistic alternative that may be stolen by modern equipment. The opportunity to present at CanIRON V in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia was a privilege. Now “Forging Friendships” at CanIRON VIII will be a pleasure.”

In demonstration, Kelly will be showing her distinctive Chains Over TIme motif. She feels: “This is an example of how using a traditional technique found in heavy ships’ hardware that with a slight turn becomes delightful & useful where only the practical existed. “ Kelly’s hands-on session, Forging Simple Tongs will highlight her teaching skills.


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