Free and Family-Friendly
Saturday, October 7, 2023
10 AM to 3 PM
Free parking available off of Kentucky Street in WKU parking lots. Follow the Hammer In Parking Signs. For GPS directions, use our street address: 1444 Kentucky Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101
Join us at the Kentucky Museum for a free community event celebrating the metal workers' trade, including:
- Forge demonstrations.
- Tinsmithing demonstrations.
- Aluminum Pour demonstration and make-your-own pour.
- Basic Forge Skills Demonstrations.
- Opportunity to learn about joining metal working associations and getting started in the trade.
- Learn about the Kentucky Forge Council and become a member.
- Kentucky Folklife Program Narrative Stage, including an interview with our Featured Blacksmith.
- Big T's Bar-B-Cue food truck on site.
Click on the arrows below to view activities.
Hammer In Kickoff
- Forge demonstrations
- KFC Member demonstrations
Felts House Lawn
- Tinsmith demonstrations
- Basic Blacksmithing Skills demonstrations
Circle Drive - Aluminum Pour
Big T's Bar-B-Q food truck
Museum open to public
Featured Demonstrator: Ernie Dorrill
Blacksmith Ernie Dorrill celebrates Gothic and Renaissance motifs in his candelabra, lamps, locks, and keys. Ernie hails from Canton, Mississippi, where he retired from a career as an architect and took up blacksmithing in the mid-1990s after working with George Dixon, Tom Latane, and Carl Close.
Ernie primarily does classic Gothic and Renaissance blacksmithing, popular from the 13th through 17th centuries, which includes hot forging, hot and cold chasing, piercing and repousse. He also uses layering, fitting, traditional joinery, and filing, but no forge welding. Forms and figures are highly detailed and in high relief. Some shaping is done wiht the treadle hammer and some is done by hand. Although the original masters performing this type of work used wrought iron, Ernie uses mild steel sheet and bar stock.
Ernie has demonstrated at several conferences and taught at the John C. Campbell Folk School. His style of demonstrating includes electronic media, written material, moving metal, and humor...so bring your notebooks and prepare to be entertained!
Wall-mounted candle holder, made by Ernie Dorrill. Copyright Doug Wilson for the John C. Campbell Folk School, 2013.
Kentucky Forge Council
The Kentucky Forge Council is a community organization dedicated to preservation of the craft of blacksmithing through hands-on education. The council meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Kentucky Museum. The group and its meetings are open to the public. Find out more on their Facebook page.
Members include Charles Hurst (owner of Lick Skillet Lab), Travis Hutchins (owner of Fat Man's Anvil), Richard Harris, and many others.
A native of Glasgow, Hoffman is a an award-winning author-illustrator who also practices metalwork. She is a graduate of WKU (BFA, Graphic Design and Sculpture) who began metalworking by making hooks. Learn more about her work at Squirrel Size Studio.
Randy Hulsey, Jennings Creek Tin Shoppe
Randy began his apprenticeship under Tinsmith Bill Lawrence "Uncle Billy". He studied with him for three years before establishing his own shop. Randy is a juried member of the Kentucky Craft Market program, He uses 18c forming stake tools while specializing in 18th & 19th Century reproduction tinware and living history demonstrations.
Jonathan began to experiment with his family's foundry and black smiting tools as a teenager. He is the current foundry master at Pioneer Foundry in Caneyville, KY that manufactures Pioneer Wood Burning Stoves. Jonathan also makes his own tools as well as runs a steam powered wood shop and sawmill.
A Pittsburgh native resides and has his forge in Bowling Green where he makes art out of recycled metal and wood. Radus' metal working roots go back to his grandfather who was a professional blacksmith in the old country (Hungary).
Greg has had a lifelong interest in Blacksmithing and took that interest to the next level in 2016 during the first Kentucky Museum Hammer-In. Greg enjoys teaching decorative metal and working with the next generation of blacksmiths.
David Marquez and the WKU League of Sculptors
The League of Sculptors is a WKU student organization intent on sharing and supporting sculpture. They are engaged in showing student work and participating in sculpture organizations and conferences on a local, regional and international level.
The organization is led by David Marquez, Assistant Professor of Sculpture at WKU. Marquez holds an Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture and has taught at WKU for over 14 years.