Experience pre-industrial age blacksmithing at Gilfillan

Those who attend Farmfest have the opportunity to learn about blacksmithing over at Gilfillan Estates.

Blacksmith Teacher Bob Brown, of Inver Grove Heights, will demonstrate basic blacksmithing techniques on Aug. 5 and 6, and part of Aug. 7.

Then he’ll be leaving for Harrington, Del. for the Artists Blacksmiths’ Association of North America conference.

At Gilfillan, Brown will show techniques such as drawing out, scrolling, texturing with hammer or chisel, forging, cutting, punching, bending, twisting and welding.

He makes a few items for sale, but his real goal is to demonstrate and teach blacksmithing, tell stories of the trade, and learn from others.

“Many farmers can remember their fathers and grandfathers working with metal in the farm shop,” he said. “Blacksmithing was a dying craft, then people started getting into clubs and saying, ‘We can’t let this die.’ Now, we have to glean as much knowledge as we can from the older generation.”

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  3. With a box of fresh vegetables under his arm - and a roadside stop to forage wild garlic - Sheehan takes us back to Cartmel, where he dons an apron and the six of us prop on high stools at a kitchen counter. Executive Chef Mark Birchall cooks with

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