Peters Valley |
Pig Iron Fest and Iron Smelt
by Larry Brown
The Pig Iron Fest was held on October 7th this year, which was later than usual to take advantage of the cooler weather and to avoid scheduling conflicts with events in other areas.
| It was held in conjunction with a three day Iron Smelt with the two events having an overlapping day on Saturday. People attending the Pig Fest could watch the iron fest but they couldn't participate unless they had paid for that event.
Dick Sargent, who is the head of the Peters Valley Blacksmithing Department, spent most of the day interpreting what was going on at the iron smelt to spectators as the smelt was held behind the shop in front of the barn.
There was food aplenty with a pig and a large piece of beef cooking in ovens on spits. It was delicious to say the least.
Bruce Ringier was selling raffle tickets for a few items, including an anvil. After the initial round of beer, other beverages and food, Bruce Ringier became an auctioneer.
With the help of Josh Kavett showing the items, he auctioned off the donated pieces of forged art pieces, tools and other items. Many of the items are donated by smiths who have taught there over the years and by people who have enjoyed taking classes there.
In the afternoon several smiths including Tom Ryan gave demonstrations. Tom demonstrated forging some of the iron from the morning iron smelt and then proceeded to draw different shapes out of the bar he was working on the power hammer. It was getting too crowded in the shop too see well so I went outside and missed the rest of the demonstrations that Tom gave and the smiths who came afterwards.
It was a good time with a lot of nice people, although is could and should have been better attended. Peters Valley offers the best opportunity in NJ to learn blacksmithing and we should show our support for it so it will still be there when we want to go there. So next year lets have more than just a few NJBA faces there. For more information on the Iron Smelt look for the article in this newsletter by Bruce Freeman about the summer class held at Peters Valley.