After watching a lot of blacksmith tool & knife making on youtube recently (Alec Steele really gets it done.), I took a drive to Footscray on Saturday to check out the Waterside Blacksmithing & Metal Art Festival & see some locals getting creative.
The promise of a 20-foot fireball over the Maribyrnong River to finish off the day was also a serious lure.
33 photos tell the story…
There were many cool artistic pieces for sale. Several scorpions of various sizes & configurations.
Most of them I didn’t photograph, since it was their personal creations & many folks get understandably touchy about having their designs on the Internet for anyone to copy.
I’m pretty confident you’ll have trouble copying that tortoise though. An impressive combination of found objects & imagination.
These guys, and several others, were creating what appeared to be a park bench. But that description doesn’t do it justice.
They were about halfway through construction at this stage. I was quite tempted to go back on Sunday to see the result.
It’s a 2-day creation of at least half a dozen blacksmiths, that was up for sale at the end of the weekend. Bids started at AU$6500.
I’m still searching for a photo of the completed work.
Artisanal Blacksmith Shawn Lovell made the trip from the USA.
As I arrived she was forging bubble wands on a cone mandrel, which blew large bubbles that warped as they moved. Seriously hypnotic.
As 5:10pm rolled past, bringing dusk to the shores of the river, the time approached for us all to stare deep into the flame.
A small contingent of safety experts buzzed around, setting up the specially crafted gas-fuelled apparatus just slightly below the surface of the water.
The crowd gathered at the water’s edge as the torch was lit.
The festival pulled a decent crowd, making it difficult to get an unobstructed view.
Many folks were generous & gave up their front positions to others after a few minutes.
The youngest member of the crowd got a fantastic view, thanks to his dad’s masterful overhead hold position. Impressive.
As the night crept upon us all, the heat from the flames were a welcome bonus to the visual spectacle.
The machine fired from below the water line, which launched not only flames but a jet of water each time it was let loose. So awesome.
Looking back through the photos, many shapes & creatures appeared to me. What can you see?
At some stage, a local called in the fire department. So we got a fire truck visitor.
I’m surprised they didn’t send a truck beforehand, since it was all cleared with the council well in advance.
The fireys thought it was pretty cool.
The side of this diner at the top of the street was too interesting to ignore on the way back to the car.
Waterside Metal Art Studio in Footscray does classes & a bunch of other smithing things. Go check them out.