Thursday, July 28, 2011

Short on funds - COME FOR A DAY

- The CanIRON 8 organizing team did its best to offer a high quality conference, yet attempt to keep the registration cost as low as we could.

But we all realize that not everyone can manage to attend the full four days.

Remember that you can purchase a single day admission pass at the registration desk!
This is ideal for those who may not be able to get time off work, have family commitments on this holiday weekend, or are just tight on funds.

A one day pass costs $85 (+ HST)
OABA members get a $10 discount

Here's what is happening - day by day:
Click on this to get a full size copy you can print off

Its not too late to make plans for attending on FRIDAY - when programming runs from 9 am to 9:30 pm. This is by far our most information packed day of CanIRON 8

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getting to CanIRON 8

- We hope you are coming!

Fergus Ontario is just north of the city of Guelph, to the west of Toronto.

The main access highway is Number 6 - which runs straight through town. It also takes you within about four blocks of the Wellington County Sportsplex site.

The 'dirt simple' directions are :
* Get to Highway 6, take it into Fergus.
* Bleyside Ave crosses Highway 6 at on the south side of Fergus. Turn east on to Bleyside.
* The CanIRON 8 site is the Centre Welllington Community Sportsplex, a large complex on your right hand side, about 1 km along Bleyside.
* The main CanIRON 8 grounds are to the rear - follow the banners (and smell of coal smoke!).

If you need more detailed directions, check the information prepared for you on the CanIRON 8 Maps & Directions page.

Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


- Remember that CanIRON 8 offers registered members not only the chance to SEE - but also to DO.


This separate area (the red & white tent) has one 'masters' forge plus six additional forge work stations. These stations have a coal forge, anvil and basic set of hand tools.)

1) Three hour long sessions run Thursday afternoon, plus both morning & afternoon of Friday / Saturday, plus Sunday morning.
2) Those interested should already have basic level forge skills as a minimum. Although some basic level tools are available, those wishing to participate are strongly suggested to bring their own personal hand tools. Forge suitable clothing and safety glasses are a requirement.
3) Participants will be chosen by lottery before each session. Names will be drawn from those submitted, to occur after the evening meal, the night before a particular session. Those names will also be posted on the central notice board.
The exception will be Jake Powning's session on Thursday afternoon. Those interested should gather at the Workshop area for the class start at 1:30. The draw will take place at that time.

Of course others will be free to observe these sessions from outside the rope line.

Jake Powning

Thursday : 1:30 - 4:30

Basic Bladesmithing

6 students, intermediate level

Mike McCarthy

Friday : 9 - 12

Laminating for Tool Making

6 students, intermediate level (forge welding experience not required)

Kelly Smyth

Friday : 1:30 - 4:30

Forging Tongs

6 students, basic level

Brian Russell

Saturday : 9 - 12

Gate Elements 1

6 students, intermediate level (different class than Gate 2)

Paul Allen

Saturday : 1:30 - 4:30

Forging an Acanthus Leaf

6 students, basic level, a materials fee may apply

Brian Russell

Sunday : 9 - 12

Gate Elements 2 / Assemble

6 students, intermediate level (different class than Gate 1)

In the evenings (Thurs/Fri/Sat) The SIX work stations will be available for pick up work, inspiration, or just plain messing around. There will be teaching supervision provided in the evenings from 7 - 9 pm only.�

Monday, July 25, 2011

Come see - What is FREE !

Click for the larger version!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

the Gallery - See and Be Seen!

The Gallery at CanIRON 8 is one of the best ways to show all your peers and everyone else who attends – INCLUDING the public – just what you’ve been up to and what you can do.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the original object must be at least five times that!

Remember that with very few exceptions, ALL submissions will be displayed (single items, not multiple of the same item unless they are significantly different in technique or design.) We have a large space, so bring your work and let everyone see what you do!
Unsure? Email me, call me, ask

Thinking of bringing something but it isn’t complete yet?
Send me the information you have (name etc.) and number of pieces you think you might bring. Sending me the information beforehand does not mean that you are locked into bringing it.If you bring a different piece that is fine, just so that I get an idea of who is bringing work and I can start the tags!

If your piece fits the criteria for the “Joined by Joints” (work employing mechanical joins which are not welded brazed or soldered) additional category and you want it to be a part of this put it on the card and let me know!

You need to sign your works into the gallery at the beginning so that I know I have the right creator with the right piece and out of the gallery at the end so that I know that the right person is walking away with that piece. If someone else is bringing your work, send me an email or call me and let me know who to expect as the authorized person for the work you are submitting. I will make the process as quick and simple as possible. The in will be made simpler by you having and or/sending the filled out submission card beforehand, and I’ll make the out as simple and quick as possible. Remember that early drop-off could get you media exposure as the media will be being given a walk through after our media kickoff. (This means Thursday by about 11:30am or noon.)

The signing out is important to try to be sure that the right person walks away with your piece. If you’ve sold it during its display and someone else will be picking it up, or you can’t get there to do it and are sending a friend you need to inform the gallery as we will do our best not to release the work to an unauthorized person. As you sign out your work be sure to check for messages – the public and other members will be able to leave you information, questions, requests at the gallery. All messages will be in sealed envelopes for you to pick up. All works must be picked up from the Gallery by 5pm on Sunday, July 31.

Most importantly – BRING YOUR WORK.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have already sent me information about the works they intend to bring, to encourage everyone to bring work and send me information (or questions or concerns), and to thank everyone for their help and support in this huge undertaking.

I hope you all have a great time at the conference and I look forward to seeing you and your work!

For more details, see the Gallery segment of the CanIRON 8 web site.

Kelly Probyn-Smith
Gallery Co-Ordinator


- In case you missed the final published schedule (July 12) there were some final additions to fill the last gaps - in what was already a pretty packed demonstration schedule:

DAVID ROBERTSON - Saturday, 9 to 12 AM - 'Beyond the Basics'

David operates Hammer & Tongs, and is widely know via his membership list at This forge work experience goes back to the early 1980's. He is one of the best known teachers of introductory and intermediate blacksmithing in Ontario. David's demonstration session will be ideal for those who are looking to expand 'beyond the basics', illustrating more complex shaping techniques for those who have gotten serious about their blacksmithing hobby and want to progress to the next level.

MICHAEL MCCARTHY - Thursday, 8 to 9:30 PM - 'A Sculpted Head'

Mike is one of our featured demonstrators. He has offered to present an additional short session at CanIRON 8. He will be demonstrating how three dimensional punching can be used to create a specific decorative terminal, a sculpted face / head. He says the form 'looks like an old man's face to start, then you fold it over and it looks like a human head from one angle, and almost like a horses head from another.' Of certain to be of interest to those who like to work with punch work techniques.

DAVE KRITZ - Thursday, 8 to 9:30 PM - 'Copper Leaves'

Dave is a local Ontario smith. He often demonstrates to the general public, but this will be his first major to fellow blacksmiths. Dave has developed some cold working techniques using copper tubing and sheet. He will be illustrating these methods - which can make nice additions to your smaller forged projects.

ROBERT WAGNER - Sunday, 9 - 12 AM - 'the Historic Forge'

Robert will be undertaking a display and demonstration of his War of 1812 styled portable charcoal forge. This is part of our free public outreach programming. Come take a look and where blacksmithing in Ontario started - and how far we have come.

Only FIVE more days!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A look at the GROUNDS

So this is a rough to scale layout of the Sportsplex grounds - and how CanIRON 8 will be set up.

On this diagram, NORTH is the BOTTOM. The access into the complex is from the bottom of this drawing off Belyside.

Our registration desk is in the center of the Sportsplex building. There is ample parking out front, so park and come in side to sort your membership.
From there, those camping can drive back behind the building via the access roads shown on the map to either the tree covered (for tents) or open area (for RV's or tents). There are plenty of available spaces, the allocation is 'first come - first pick'.
Those staying off site, or just have day admissions (or even just watching the free public aspects) should park to the REAR of the main building.