There’s not a blacksmith on every corner or in every town anymore, but it is an art that’s not necessarily dead.
On Saturday, the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History played host to a blacksmith class, and a handful of locals turned out to try their hands at it.
Joe Allen said he took up the hobby about a decade ago. When he would go to events such as tractor shows he always enjoyed watching a blacksmith worked. It was tough to pull him away from it.
Thus, the Mount Airy native decided to give it a try.
Though a blacksmith is not the necessity it once was in a community, Allen said he is not alone in his love for the hobby.
He said he is mostly self-taught, though he has learned quite a bit from his meetings at the Triad Area Blacksmiths. He makes all sorts of things, but the latest product of which he is proud is a line of slingshots.
He also attends Civil War reenactments, fairs and other events. He said events like those help turn what could be an expensive hobby into one that at least partially funds itself.
Allen recently took part in an arts show at the museum, and he said part of the deal was he had to teach a class at the museum.
He fulfilled his responsibility by way of a four-hour class in the courtyard of the museum on Saturday afternoon.
The five or six people who showed up were given a tutorial before they had the opportunity to make an “S” hook. Then to perfect their newly learned skills, participants made a hanger for a plant. Participation in the event was $100 for those who are not museum members and $75 members.
Allen said he has taught elsewhere, but Saturday was the first time he instructed at the museum.
Saturday’s participants were mostly from Mount Airy and the surrounding area, though one man travelled from Greensboro to take part in the class.
“I was looking for something to do in the area, and I found it online,” said Ted Alegranza.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.