The art and tradition of good blacksmithing – shaping, pointing, bending, splitting, and joining. These are some of the topics you might hear discussed at the Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild.
Forging metal to create everything from furniture and sculpture to light fixtures and tools, blacksmiths in our area represent the self-sufficiency and do-it-yourself nature of Richmond that we hope this issue represents. The Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild (CVBG), an affiliate group of the Artist Blacksmiths Association of North America, is working to expose the art of blacksmithing to Richmond, Petersburg, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, and the surrounding areas. “The Guild was established to build a network of area smiths, both to foster the craft within the community and to demonstrate the limitless potential in ironwork to the public,” says Julian Cook, president of CVGB.
By offering training programs for aspiring smiths and educational events for the public, CVBG hopes to continue to drive a renewed interest in the historical significance and art of blacksmithing. “As an artist working in various media, the Guild has helped me tremendously by providing opportunities to learn, practice and teach smithing and metalworking in a dedicated, supportive, and diverse environment,” explains Cook. They will also be doing this using the best-specialized equipment such as CNC lathes for example so that they are able to make the highest quality products.
Doing what blacksmiths have done for 3,500 years, the members of CVBG have a core mission: to build things that last for people in their local area. If you’re interested in a career in blacksmithing, you’ll need to buy the correct tools, such as this Hay budden anvil. The organization serves as a center of information for makers, architects, interior designers, and the general public. Through a series of monthly meetings and events, the members of CVBG hope to preserve – and grow – the noble art of blacksmithing. With hammer and anvil in hand, these modern smiths continue to build on a tradition of artistry and craftsmanship.