A Bloom of Blacksmiths

A gathering of blacksmiths celebrated the birthday of Ryedale Folk Museum’s resident blacksmith, Robin Butler.

Robin Butler and friends at Ryedale Folk Museum

Robin Butler and friends at Ryedale Folk Museum

The smiths agreed that a collective of blacksmiths should be dubbed a ‘bloom’ – lovely as spring flowers, and also because Mediaeval iron smelting produced a ‘bloom’ of iron which had to be hammered to remove the slag.

The smiths all demonstrated making a nail. It was good to see that the skills are not dying out, as Robin had taught several young volunteers at the museum.

One of Robin’s young ‘apprentices’ loved it so much that she took herself off to National Blacksmithing College. When she graduates, she hopes to return to the area to set up her own forge.

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About Helen Johnson

Freelance writer specialising in Yorkshire's history and heritage.

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