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13 November 2014

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You are in: Cornwall > History > Historical Events > Cornish Blacksmiths

Tradditional Blacksmith's Workshop

Cornish Blacksmiths

The art of the Blacksmith is an ancient trade that's been with us since the times of Greek and Roman Mythology. Hammering and forging metal, has been the role of the Cornish blacksmith for many years as BBC Cornwall's Ross Ellis found out.

The ancient art of the Cornish Blacksmith is a skill that for many years has been required by people throughout the country. Now modern Blacksmith's are worried their skills could be dying out but it's not because of a lack of work.

Blacksmiths in Cornwall are often in high demand for their unique skills but the type of work offered by many blacksmiths today is for modern fabrications as opposed to the traditional services practiced by a town blacksmith.

David Tigwell operates as a traditional Blacksmith in Cornwall where he repairs and newly fabricates; gates, railings, hinges, door latches and basically anything that can be formed from metal.

Dan's workshop.

Dan's workshop.

When speaking about his ancient trade, David says: "It's something I can do easily, because I've practiced it for so long, if somebody asks if I can do something, I know I can do it".

As well as a Blacksmith by trade David is a keen cyclist and is known to create bicycles himself during his spare time and even has a home-made, metal exercise bike in his workshop.

Dan Harding who Ross spoke to uses his trade in a much more contemporary manner. Dan recycles used motor parts particularly from old Volkswagen cars to create household items such as candlesticks and fire tools from engine parts.

When speaking of the decline of the traditional blacksmith Dan commented: "traditional blacksmiths are getting fewer and farther in between. The ones that are surviving are doing very specific iron work that only a blacksmith can do. Other ones are branching into fabrication".

last updated: 30/06/2009 at 09:48
created: 29/06/2009

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