Dozens of blacksmiths from all over the country are converging on Hastings for a live forging event at the Stade Open Space over the weekend of July 8 - 10.
The thrill of seeing smiths shaping hot iron, the smell of coke fires and the noise of hammers on anvils will all combine to produce terrific theatre at the event, which is part of the ROOT1066 Festival of Contemporary Arts, which is inspired by the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
Hastings Sculptor Leigh Dyer, in collaboration with the British Artist Blacksmiths Association is producing parts for a new piece of public art. The free event will include opportunities for the public to try their hands at forging, including a fully safe children’s forge.
The blacksmiths will be at work from midday to 6pm on Friday 8, 9am to 7pm on Saturday 9, and 9am to 4pm on Sunday 10 July.
The parts will then be taken away and formed into the finished work called The Landing, which will be unveiled on Hastings seafront during the festival in September.
The decoration on the sculpture, which will rise like the prow of a Norman longboat out of the shingle, is inspired by the development of the English language through the integration of Norman French and the progression from a largely spoken to a written culture.
A time capsule will be incorporated into the top containing letters from local residents and businesses to friends, family and the community, to be opened in 2066 on the 1000th anniversary.
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