Potter College News
Hammer-In to be held October 16 at Kentucky Museum
- Tiffany Isselhardt
- Monday, September 20th, 2021
The Kentucky Museum is thrilled to announce the return of Hammer-In, an outdoor festival celebrating metal working traditions of Kentucky. Sponsored by Logan Aluminum and the Kentucky Humanities Council, this year’s event will be held on October 16th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kentucky Museum and features an expanded roster of demonstrators and speakers.
Beginning at 10 a.m., guests will observe demonstrations of forge, tinsmithing, aluminum pour, and basic forge skills. Guests will also have the opportunity to speak with representatives of The Kentucky Forge Council, WKU League of Sculptors, and special guest the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths.
Special guest Elizabeth Belz of the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths will kick off the event at 10:30am. As the Humanities Featured Speaker, Belz will present a talk about her interest and career in metal working, specifically touching on ways the field has become more inclusive and diverse in recent years. Belz is an educator, blacksmith, and owner of Black Widow Forge, LLC, located in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Having trained under master metal smith James Masterson, she has also worked with the North House Folk School, Science Museum of Minnesota, Penland School of Craft, and John C. Campbell Folk School. She has presented across the nation and world including competing in the 9th World Forging Competition in Stia, Italy. Belz is a member of The Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths, a nationwide organization dedicated to building equity and diversity in the field of blacksmithing. They offer mentorship, connections to resources, and special events that empower and support the community while reducing social and economic barriers to metal working.
“We are very happy to be back to share the Hammer-In event highlighting so many metal working traditions this fall,” said Kentucky Museum and Kentucky Folklife Program Director Brent Bjorkman. “The Kentucky Forge Council grew out of our first Hammer-In event five years ago and is led by the museum’s Lead Preparator Charles Hurst. Under his guidance, the KFC meets each month to both educate many in the fine art of blacksmithing and provide a community space for these metal artists to share their creative visions. Our Hammer-In event is a time to share the creativity of this dedicated group with our growing public audience.”
At 1 p.m., the Hammer-In will welcome Andrew Larson, a blacksmith and toolmaker in Western Kentucky, as their Featured Forge Demonstrator. With a lifelong passion for tools, old equipment, and making things, Larson has learned and worked with many different makers around the country. He specializes in making tools from steel and hickory wood.
The event will also feature demonstrations and narrative stage talks throughout the day, and local food truck EmpanadasBG will be onsite. The Kentucky Folklife Program and WKU Folk Studies students will also be onsite, recording the event through video and oral history interviews that document Kentucky’s unique metal working artisans and their craft. Finally, the museum will be open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More information and the event schedule is provided at wku.edu/go/hammerin
Special thanks to our sponsors, Logan Aluminum and the Kentucky Humanities Council.
Established in 1985 and based in Russellville, Logan Aluminum is the largest single can sheet facility in North America, supplying over 45% of the North American can market and employing over 1,300 Kentuckians.
The Kentucky Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. They are dedicated to Telling Kentucky’s Story through programs and services that create a legacy of pride in the wealth of Kentucky culture, building civic engagement and supporting local humanities programs and events. The Council strives to enable all Kentuckians to take part in learning, sharing, and teaching each other about Kentucky’s rich heritage and is committed to providing leadership and developing resources that support the needs of Kentuckians to examine our values, understand our common heritage, and build stronger Kentucky communities based on the knowledge, insight, and respect inherent in the humanities.
About the Kentucky Museum
The Kentucky Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Museum celebrates all aspects of southcentral Kentucky’s art, history and culture. “Kentuckians need to know Kentucky” was the Museum’s earliest conceptual framework, which took shape under WKU’s founding President, Dr. Henry Hardin Cherry. Today, the Museum is a steadfast educational campus partner helping to inspire innovation, elevate community and transform the lives of WKU students and the region. To learn more, visit wku.edu/kentuckymuseum/
For more information, contact Tiffany Isselhardt at (270) 745-3369.