Women forge ahead in blokey blacksmith world

A Bundoora women's group called Blacksmith Doris , started six years ago, is thriving, with up to 15 members meeting monthly to learn and hone their skills.

On September 5, they are holding an open day at the Australian Blacksmiths Association Victoria's barn in the Cooper's Settlement complex in Bundoora Park.

Blacksmith Doris co-ordinator Mary Hackett says people can observe the "Dorises" shaping metal into everything from chains to chisels, candle holders and garden chairs. 

Ms Hackett, a metalsmith, formed the group after she followed her husband Nick Hackett to the ABA barn to learn "fullering" or narrowing of metal.

She felt uncomfortable by the all-male environment but wanted to explore the craft and wondered if other women felt the same. 

Doris is a slang word for "woman". At the first group meeting, or Doris Day, in 2009, there were 21 people ranging in age from 13 to 70.

Now there is a dermatologist, a farrier, a call centre worker, teachers, artists, and jewellers.

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