Footscray’s Maribyrnong River will ring with the sound of hammer hitting anvil during the fifth biennial Blacksmith Festival on 19 and 20 June. With the support of the Maribyrnong City Council this year’s festival will bring together blacksmiths from across Australia to showcase this not-so-lost trade.

Artist blacksmith Will Maguire will lead a four-day collaborative sculptural challenge involving thirteen blacksmiths, working in teams, to forge a sculptural seat. The final two days of the challenge will take place live during the festival.

The Festival has called out to blacksmiths to explore the creative possibilities of 150mm of steel and copper. The #150mmchallengeAus exhibition hosted in the Gabriel Gallery next to the festival site will reveal the results of this fiery call to action. The concept behind the challenge originated at Hereford College of Arts (UK) and became a viral social media sensation.

The hugely popular fire-free kid-smith zone is back to welcome kids under 12 to experience the joy of hammer and anvil. For those wanting to try their hand at traditional forging for the first time, Waterside Metal Art Studio is hosting ‘give it a go’ sessions for total beginners. Denise Axelsen from Townsville, QLD will also lead total beginners in a special women’s blacksmithing workshop.

This year’s festival is the perfect place to enjoy the winter solstice with friends. Relax around a fire pit in the festival bar, enjoy a wood fired pizza hot from the oven or some of the best Indian fare in town.

To find out more about this fabulous festival visit their website


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