independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Hammer against anvil lights up blacksmith fest

Viewing the poutry at the the Traditional Crafts and Blacksmith Fair in Millstreet Country Park were Madeline Crowell, Dervla Cronin anfd Muireann Dowling.

CAR parks full confirmed the days of yore remains popular and celebrated at the second Traditional Crafts and Blacksmithing Fair at Millstreet Country Park last Sunday.

A relaxed festive atmosphere prevailed with huge numbers availing of favourable weather to convening at the picturesque location.

Central to the staging saw working forges indoors and outdoors allowing members of the Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association drawn from all over the country demonstrate their skills to create implements and special pieces using the anvil, the hammer and the forge fire. The event recaptured the blacksmith's forge that became an intergral parts of village life from a past generation.

Young and old viewed the skill, artistry and manipulation of iron and steel by dedicated craftsmen in a series of demonstrations. Indeed the staging harked back to a bygone era where the forge to the expanded tasks of butter-making, crafts and much more, illustrated the part of everyday life and captured in the splendid Millstreet staging.

Blacksmithing has generated huge interest since the staging of a world event in Monaghan two years ago Millstreet Country Park was seen as the ideal venue for such an event, in the south of the country.

Millstreet Country Park General Manager Donie Howard said the event lived up to its promise as a spectacular event with the attendance exceeding expectations.

"The feedback is terrific, this annual event is very much in keeping with the ethos of the Park, showcasing the skills of our forefathers whilst maintaining ecological harmony with the environment. Essentially the Fair encourages education but also affords the public an opportunity to admire traditional techniques and the creation of beautiful pieces of art whilst also enjoying good food and a myriad of family activities," he said.

Apart from the blacksmithing, patrons enjoyed an exhibition of finished articles from the anvil coupled with artefacts from the past. One crowd puller was a thatched cottage that featured an open fireplace, cake and butter making to poultry. Expert craftspeople added to the occasion, displaying everything from the súgan chairs to stone sculptures and a host of other creations from a bygone era.

Away from the anvil, patrons held the option of relaxing in the award-winning Nibbles Food Emporium and Artisan Bakery, strolling or cycling over the picturesque 500-acre venue.

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