Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Funny Reenactment Photo -- Cannons are LOUD!

I knew the cannon was going to fire...I was ready....yet still totally surprised when the cannon fired.  As you can see, I jumped!  These are the times when it'd be really great to have a tripod.  :-)  Actually, this would be the perfect advertising photo for a tripod company!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Welcome, Summer!

Black-eyed Susans make me happy.   Somehow, these seeds overwintered in a garden box.  I'm not sure why we would have planted Black-eyed Susans in such a small place, but we definitely enjoying them now.    

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Scenes from Banneker's Colonial Market Fair

We were contacted two days before the Banneker Colonial Fair, as they were in sudden need of a blacksmith.  We had kept the weekend open, and were happy to help out.  It was a lovely event, and we were so glad to have been a part of it.   We'd never heard of Benjamin Banneker previously, and what a loss that was.  We are grateful to have learned about this amazing man!







Saturday, June 14, 2014

Demo'ing at Raiders and Invaders in Leonardtown

We had a lot of fun demo'ing at the Raiders and Invaders festival in Leonardtown, Maryland, this past weekend.  This was our first 1812 demo of the season and it was a great start!

 It was a lot of fun to hear "The British are coming!!!" throughout the day and see the various theatrical performances.  The festival was laid out over most of the downtown area, including all the way to the wharf, so there was something to see everywhere you looked.

The people who came to the event were super friendly and we enjoyed getting to know them.  It was also wonderful to look up and see one of Jeff's students in the audience -- if he'd had his costume, we'd have loved to have him work with us for the day.

 We demo'd at the edge of town, greeting most of the visitor to the fair.  Because our friend Vince was forging with us for the day, we were able to have 2 anvils going all the time, along with the "kid-friendly" anvil (with aluminum that doesn't need to be heated to bend).

 As our 1st 1812 demo of our summer season, I got to try out my Regency-style costume for the year and realized that I desperately need a spencer and a few other additions to my outfit!   I was very sun-burnt by the end of the day (despite sunscreen) and have a new understanding of the Regency-style dresses.  Walking down the street in the afternoon on a break while Jeff continued to forge, I heard a little boy describe me as a "funny princess" to his mother-- I had thought it was because of my long dress, sunglasses and camera, but it might have had more to do with my red back in the long dress!

What a fun day!  Many thanks to the people of Leonardtown and the organizers of Raiders and Invaders!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stop the Presses! We're Adding onto the Schedule and Demo'ing at Banneker's Colonial Fair THIS Weekend

We were contacted just yesterday about demo'ing at Benjamin Banneker's Colonial Market Fair this coming Saturday and Sunday.   While we had counted on a weekend "off", the very nice folks planning the event were in desperate need of a blacksmith since their prior arrangement had suddenly canceled.   Plus, our lawn doesn't need to be mowed that badly!  :-)

Well, we have the outfits....we have the trailer w/ the complete set-up....we certainly understand the importance of having a blacksmith at an event...and we love to teach.  So, we'll be there!   The current plan is for us to demo 12-3 on Saturday and 10-3 on Sunday.  Please come out and see us!

From the official website:

Mark your calendar and make arrangements to attend The Friends of Benjamin Banneker’s fifth annual Colonial Market Fair, a celebration of 18th century history and early American life.  This year’s event promises to be the most spectacular in Oella’s history!  Festivities will take place at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum located at 300 Oella Avenue, Catonsville, Maryland on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15 from 10:00 to 4:00.  Admission is free.
Retrace the footsteps of Benjamin Banneker and let local historical re-enactors and craftsmen astound you with exhibitions that will keep family members of all ages entertained.  Watch a blacksmith, a woodwright, and a corn broom maker at work.  Try your hand at dipping candles, making bobbin lace, weaving, carding wool, and other colonial activities.  Say “good day” to the Revolutionary War surgeon, colonial surveyors, a book binder, and a doll maker.  Play colonial games while listening to the tunes of a fife and drum corps and a dulcimer maker.  Dance master Thomas Spilsbury will teach the latest country dances and members of the Capriccio Catch Club will entertain you with popular songs.
Meet Benjamin Banneker (portrayed by Bob Smith) inside of his reconstructed cabin and learn about his many achievements as a scientist, mathematician, author, and more.  On Saturday from 12:00 to 4:00, Janice Curtis Greene, an accomplished griot, will portray Phyllis Wheatley, America’s first African American poet.  Introduce yourself to her and get a glimpse of slave life in colonial America through the eyes of this iconic genius.  The Friends’ very own Virginia Schurman, will play Martha Ellicott Tyson, who will share the latest community news and discuss the role her family played in founding Ellicott City.
Take a guided hike through Banneker’s farmstead, a portion of the Park and Museum’s one hundred forty-two acres of protected streams and woodlands, a must for birdwatchers and hikers alike!
Feel free to arrive wearing your own stylish colonial garb and join others in discussing the latest 18th century gossip as to whether or not the patriots should take up arms against the British redcoats.  This year in addition to our many colonial re-enactors, we welcome Relay Foods, the Howard County Historical Society, and Ellicott City’s own LaLa’s Hot Dogs.  Watch American history unfold with these and many more re-enactors and exhibitors at the Colonial Market Fair where you and your family can unplug and reconnect with stories from our nation’s past and create memories for generations to come.

Forging a Brand -- A Unique Wedding Present

Jeff was recently honored to be asked to make a unique wedding gift -- a brand of the happy couple's initials.  If you come to many of our demos, you might hear that Jeff is not enamored with making 20 of an item to stock up inventory, but he LOVES new projects that allow him to learn and expand his blacksmithing knowledge.  This was such a project.  Jeff tried a variety of ways to forge this piece and ended up chatting with a friend and learning from his expertise.  There are always new things to learn! This particular project has led Jeff to buy a new welding set, so he is very happy to have taken on the job!  He is more than ready for the next branding iron he is asked to make!  :-)

The final product was amazing, and we wish the couple much joy in their marriage! We are very happy to have been a part of their celebration.