Sunday, October 14, 2012

Demo at Heritage Festival at Prince William Forest Park

We had a lovely time demo'ing yesterday at the Heritage Festival at Prince William Forest Park.  This was a low-key event, designed to educate attendees on the various aspects of the park.  We had been invited to demonstrate blacksmithing as a part of the section devoted to the Civilian Conservation Corps, who built the park from 1935 to 1942.  The festival also had lots of children's crafts, as well as an area devoted to World War II because the park was a secret training area of the World War II spy agency, the Office of Strategic Services, from 1942-45. 

In addition, the festival offered lots of great music -- Jeff was thrilled that we were blacksmithing very close to the bluegrass band!  You should have seen him trying to keep time with his anvil -- it was rather funny since he's not known for his musical ability. 

One of the great aspects of the festival was that the children were sent on a scavenger hunt when they arrived; they were told to write down one thing that they learned from various demonstrators.  We got to do a tremendous amount of education, which is always our mission on these events.  We don't demonstrate blacksmithing to show off Jeff's talents but to teach people about the craft.  Thus, Jeff had brought material to make andirons but we quickly switched gears to make nails and other projects that can be completed quickly so the children could see a project from start to finish and get a fuller understanding of the craft. 

The only downside of the day was that it was the coldest morning to date and we forgot to pack gloves and other winter things.  It's the second demo in a row where I set up while bundled in a blanket! On the flip side, though, once the fire got started, we were one of the warmest places to be!

No comments:

Post a Comment