Want to try out a technique you saw demonstrated? Or work a bit more on what you learned in a class? Stop by the Open Forges section of the teaching area. You’ll find forges, anvils, and friendly helpful experienced blacksmiths.
The Open Forges section will be available for self-directed work on Friday and Saturday.
Use of the Open Forges area is available to registered conference participants. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Users must provide their own stock and tools.
If this is your first conference and/or you’ve never hit hot metal before, please take a class or two before using the open forges. Open forges are NOT a class. We expect you to know basic blacksmithing skills and safety precautions for working around hot metal.
Safety is a concern when dealing with metal often in excess of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. No synthetic fiber clothing! Synthetics melt, stick to your skin, and burn you! Natural fibers only! In Florida, that means wear cotton. Jeans and a long sleeve cotton shirt are suggested, most of us wear jeans and a cotton t-shirt. Wear shorts at your own risk, they are not recommended. Closed toe shoes are required; we recommend high top boots. If you show up in flip-flops we will ask you to change your shoes before entering the forging areas. A hat or a bandanna to hold up long hair and keep the soot off your head is desirable. Gloves and a leather or heavy canvas apron are optional depending upon personal preference.
Safety glasses are required at all times in the forging areas. Earplugs are highly recommended. If you have your own, great! If not, they’re available at many stores, and will be for sale at the conference.