Blacksmithing for June First Friday

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Mid-America Arts Alliance celebrates Missouri Folk Arts Program with First Friday Blacksmithing

M-AAA is pleased to present the Missouri Folk Arts Program’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and the Blacksmithing Association of Missouri for First Friday June 7 from 5:00–8:00 p.m. at 2018 Baltimore in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. We will be hosting an exhibition of forged objects in our downstairs Convening Space from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., and a demonstration of blacksmithing in our parking lot from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The exhibition will feature a selection of forged tools, historical objects, and decorative objects. Some are in their final state, some are mid-completion. Some are trade items from BAM’s bi-monthly meeting, prompted by new topics and traded by members when they meet. It will be on view from 5:00–8:00 p.m. in our Convening Space. Outside, we will feature three blacksmiths in what’s known as a “Hammer In”: Bernie Tappel and his grandson Alex will be working on a coal forge, and Mike McLaughlin will be working on a propane forge. The action takes place from 5:00–7:00 p.m.

In 1983, a dozen Missouri-based blacksmiths joined together to establish the Blacksmith Association of Missouri (BAM). Encouraged by Barry Bergey, Missouri’s first state folklorist and first Traditional Arts Apprenticeship (TAAP) program coordinator, BAM co-founder Bob Patrick was one of two smiths to administer an apprenticeship through the TAAP program. This established the relationship between BAM and TAAP early on, which has yielded thirty-six apprenticeships taught by sixteen master blacksmiths and helped sustain the art of blacksmithing in the state of Missouri.