Where better to hold a unique event showcasing heritage skills than at the heart of a World Heritage City? At a time when the ancient craft of the blacksmith has almost faded from view, we will be staging a spectacular live forging event to coincide with our inaugural Conference in the centre of Bath in June 2018, to demonstrate that this distinctive art-form is as vibrant and relevant today as it ever was.
BathIRON will offer an exciting opportunity to witness Master smiths at work as they forge a brand new balustrade for the Parade Gardens bandstand. The new balustrade – based on the score of Hammer and Anvil, an original composition by Bath Spa graduate Jake Garrett– will be brought to life as the central feature of BathIRON. There will also be the chance to have a go at forging yourself, as well as demonstrations, exhibitions, storytelling, craft stalls, street food and live music from the Bath Folk Festival Team. And if you can’t come to the gardens then hopefully you will find us at one of the pop-up forging venues around the city, bringing the live demonstration of ancient skills to all corners of Bath.
We need your help to make this fantastic event happen and there are plenty of ways that you can show your support, from buying a beautiful, hand-forged treble clef (see below) to sponsoring a marquee or a single event. So if you believe that traditional skills are important and value the crafts that built our country and your community, or if you just think this event sounds like a great idea, now is your chance to be one of the sparks that lights the fire and make BathIRON happen.
… or rather hot out of the fire.
One of these beautiful hand-forged treble clefs could be yours (we’ll let it cool down before putting it in the post). Available to buy from October, they would make the perfect ‘one-off’ Christmas gift for a music lover. Your treble clef will be accompanied by a card telling the BathIRON story so that the recipient knows they are supporting an exciting, grass-roots event celebrating traditional craft skills.
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Aimed at heritage professionals and craft practitioners from all over the world, as well as the general public, the National Heritage Ironwork Group’s first ever Historic Ironwork Conference will be held in the beautiful Grade I listed Guildhall at the heart of the World Heritage City of Bath, a stone’s throw from historic Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. Alongside this, a Festival of Ironwork will be staged in the elegant surroundings of Parade Gardens bordering the River Avon.
The principal aim of this unique celebration, which is supported by our partners the British Artist Blacksmiths Association (BABA) and the Institute of Conservation (Icon), is to raise the profile of one of our neglected national treasures – the country’s wealth of Historic Ironwork.
A first in its field, this event will provide both introductory and in-depth sessions aimed at stimulating discussion and sharing knowledge. So if your work involves ironwork conservation, or you own an example of heritage ironwork, or you simply have an interest in the subject, then this conference will be important to you.
This will be an event for all the family, with demonstrations and workshops by master smiths using traditional skills in an historic setting to create new & exciting contemporary ironwork which will become the heritage of the future. Featuring children’s activities, exhibitions, storytelling, folk music, craft stalls and local food, this will be a distinctive & unusual festival you won’t want to miss.
Names of key note speakers, master smiths, programme and booking information will be available as soon as possible, with the full event timetable released in in early 2018.
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We are looking for Sponsors & Benefactors to support this unique project. Your generosity will not only create a lasting legacy in the City of Bath but will ensure that heritage skills are kept alive. Please contact us for details.