On 28-29 May 2022, the banks of the Maribyrnong River will come alive as blacksmiths converge to share their passion for fire and metal with the Footscray community at this family friendly event. With the support of the Maribyrnong City Council’s Festival City Program this year’s festival will bring together blacksmiths from across Australia to showcase this not-so-lost trade.

    Waterside Metal Art Studio will host 30-minute ‘give-it-a-go’ sessions where those with no experience at all can try their hand at traditional forging. The hugely popular fire-free kid-smith zone is back to welcome kids under 12 to experience the joy of hammer and anvil. 

    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.

    Following last year’s enormous success, the Blacksmiths Festival Association has invited blacksmiths to explore the depth and breadth of the creative possibilities of 150mm of steel and copper bar. The 150mmChallenge concept originated from a student assignment set by lecturer Ambrose Burne at Hereford College of Arts (UK) and became a viral social media sensation. This year’s sculptures will form part of the main festival arena along the river.

    Female blacksmith veteran Denise Axelsen will lead total beginners in a special women’s blacksmithing workshop while Robbie Alderson from Organic Iron Studio will guide participants through the process of smelting in Earth to Iron.

    For blacksmiths and the interested onlooker, the Blacksmith’s Festival is the perfect place to gather with new and old friends around the fire as we head into the colder months. To find out more check out the festival website


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