From the community

Blacksmithing course at Curran Homestead

Posted March 18, 2014, at 3:25 p.m.

ORRINGTON, Maine — The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum at 372 Field’s Pond Road, Orrington will offer a basic 6-week introductory blacksmithing course 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning April 8. The course is limited to six participants.

No experience is needed. Participants will have access to the Homestead’s forges and tools for practice or projects 10 am.-noon on Saturdays during the same 6 weeks. It is recommended that participants wear leather shoes, cotton or wool clothing (not man-made fiber clothes), bring a pair of work gloves and, if they have them available, safety glasses/goggles, and a 2-pound cross pein hammer.

In announcing the course, Curran Homestead Museum Director Bruce Bowden said Pat Roy of Belfast will teach the offering which has been very popular among both men and women throughout the region. Roy is a part-time blacksmith and metalsmith. Much of his creative output is functional or artistic iron, and more recently, jewelry and artistic objects in copper or steel sheet. These objects are each individually created  by hand. He has been working with metal for thirteen years and taken several classes at the New England School of Metalwork in Auburn. He has done frequent blacksmithing demonstrations at country fairs and regularly volunteers at the Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum and has taught previously at The Curran Farm’s blacksmith facility.

Bowden said, “This is a beginner’s course which will introduce the participants to traditional blacksmithing methods using coal-fired forges, hand tools and shop equipment. Each participant will go away with knowledge, skills and products of his/her work.”

Pat Roy added detail to the course curriculum, to include: safety discussions, materials and tools of the trade, fire starting and maintenance, heating the work, hammer blows and hammer control, measuring and marking, tapering to a square point, drawing out metal, forging square to octagonal and round, bending, twisting, forging a basic S-hook, a drive hook, screw-in/nail-in hooks, making a chisel, a punch, a drift, punching holes, flattening and spreading, forging a spoon, simple leaves, nails, rivets, fire tools, tool handles, door handles, scrolls, preparing for welding, forge welding a ring, welding chain, stop and pintle hinges, riveting and forging a door knocker as well as working on personal projects.

Cost of the course including materials and supplies is $350 per participant. Pre-registration is required and is first-come, first-served by cash, check payable to The Curran Homestead, or credit card (MasterCard or Visa only). Contact Irv Marsters, Curran Homestead Treasurer, at 745-4426, irv@bangorlettershop.com, or by mail at 99 Washington Street, Bangor, Maine 04401.

The Curran Homestead is a 501©(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the rural Maine family farm through educational programs and demonstrations for the public. The Curran Homestead is uniquely positioned as a place where Maine’s turn-of-the-20th-century farming history comes to life for children and adults.

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