Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Scenes from the Wye Colonial May Fair Demo

We had a lovely time at the Wye Colonial May Fair.   As Jeff described it so well afterwards, "It feels like we are demo'ing for family!"  We were very much looking forward to this demo and it lived up to our desires.  We'd been moving at a non-stop pace the week before, even to the point of Jeff flying home from business travel the night before the demo and us on the road to Wye parish in the wee hours of the morning, so it was very, very nice to have a demo that blessed us as much as we tried to bless others.  

The primary reasons we demonstrate blacksmithing are to teach and inspire, and the Wye fair is a wonderful venue for those purposes.  The fair is a community event, filled with folks who have come out to enjoy their community and each other.  The fair offers a concert, wagon rides, a May Pole dance, colonial demonstrators, tours of the historic church, kids' activities, a silent auction, a petting zoo, and plenty of great food.  I ate better at the fair than I had all the past week!

Since attendees seem to be there to spend the day, they have time to visit with us and learn a bit about blacksmithing..... and we get to learn all sorts of things as well.   I have plenty of notes to investigate further (i.e. CHOW, Londontown and "A Taste of History" to name a few).  The kids even got to make char cloth -- how cool is that?!  I was especially interested in char cloth since I'd learned about it during outdoor cooking demonstrations working as an interpreter at Mount Vernon.  I didn't make the char cloth with the kids, since I was busy interpreting for Jeff, but I did find time to discover that starting a fire with flint and steel is much harder than the pros make it look!

We were even able to take our dog along with us.  It was Xander's first demo, and he took the opportunity to be blessed at the Blessing of the Animals service.   He needed it, since he ate my phone earlier in the week! He was great at the demo, though, although he wasn't thrilled at his first experience with a fife and drums band.  


Jeff demonstrated making a variety of pieces, such as leaves on hooks, trivets, colonial-style nails, and candle holders.  We also brought along a child-sized anvil and hammer, along with aluminum, so visitors could experience hammering without the heat.


We are looking forward to the first Saturday in May next year.  Please mark your calenders now!

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