Exhibitions and Demonstrations

Learn more about the exhibitions and dempnstrations from local and international artists on display at Ferrous Festival 24.

Credit: Artwork Annie Higgins. Photo Peter Higgins

Forging Futures

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: Bloom Space, 37 Eign Gate, HR40AB

(Venue 2 on programme map)

Forging Futures is an exhibition marking thirty years of degree level Artist Blacksmithing at Hereford College of Arts, celebrating the practice, the product and the innovative lives forged by its graduates. The programme is rooted in skill and technical excellence. It also nurtures design and critical thinking, fostering innovative approaches to form, composition and the use of material as metaphor. Perhaps most importantly, it offers a foundation in values, laying a groundwork of possibility for future lives incorporating forged metal.

Forging Futures and its pending publication, showcase not only the art, the architectural work and the craft product of HCA alumna, but also the varied and creative lives they have forged to support it. Their focus, courage and dedicated engagement continue to shape the future of artist blacksmithing.

Credit: Artwork Dauvit Alexander

No Laughing Matter

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: Bloom Space, 37 Eign Gate, HR40AB

(Venue 2 on programme map)

No Laughing Matter considers the recent criminalisation of nitrous oxide (NOS) use in order to solve a nationwide littering problem. Using the discarded NOS cannisters as a source material for making objects, metalsmiths of all types were invited to submit their works in an open call, curated by Dauvit Alexander. The show has been curated with a light touch, attracting both emerging and established makers.

Dauvit hopes that the works presented encourage people to think about the way in which the legal system is used as a blunt instrument to deal with minor issues and about how the media can use moral panics to influence government policy.

Dauvit Alexander is a Senior Lecturer in Jewellery and Silversmithing at Birmingham's School of Jewellery and has an established practice in socially-engaged making and craftivism. His work is widely represented in publications and is held by both Goldsmiths' Hall and the British Museum.

Credit: Artwork - Douglas Pryor

Douglas Pryor - Chasing Limits

Date: 15th March – 17th March | Main Festival Opening Weekend

Location: Bloom Space, 37 Eign Gate, HR40AB

(Venue 2 on programme map)

Internationally renowned repoussé artist Douglas Pryor will be flying in from Sacramento, California  to demonstrate his approach to chasing. Repoussé is a technique where metal is shaped by hammering the reverse side to create a raised design on its front side. Chasing or embossing is a similar technique, but the hammering is done on the front side, sinking the metal inwards.

Pryor will take us through some of his most challenging pieces to illustrate how the perception of limitations changed through each piece. This is a unique opportunity to see this artist in the UK.


Masterclass 24

Date: 18th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: The Courtyard, Edgar Street, HR4 9JR

(Venue 3 on programme map)

Masterclass 24 is a collection of artworks and experimental pieces made by students from Hereford College of Arts’ Artist Blacksmithing degree. The pieces emerged from a recent masterclass given at the college by Peter Braspenninx of Phyre Forge. A graduate of the University of Michigan school of art and design (2004), Braspenninx is an artist, blacksmith, and educator.  His work focuses on building shape and line through visual connections, and joinery using traditional skills to make modern forms, and has been shown, collected, and published nationally and internationally.

The event was captured in a documentary photography essay by students studying on the Photography degree at Hereford College of Arts, which forms part of the exhibition.

Nowhere Forge

Date: 15th March – 17th March | Main Festival Opening Weekend

Location: Old Market, Hereford, HR4 9HR

(Venue 4 on programme map)

Simon Bushell is a travelling artist blacksmith and owner of The Nowhere Forge, a self-sufficient, sustainably powered mobile blacksmithing workshop.

Over the course of the festival, The Nowhere Forge will pop up at Old Market Shopping Centre to demonstrate the art and craft of blacksmithing.


Revealing Process

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 25-27 Maylord St,  HR1 2DS

(Venue 5 on programme map)

Revealing Process is an innovative exhibition, illuminating design and process at the Artist Blacksmithing degree programme at Hereford College of Arts. The course is at the forefront of education in forged metal design, contributing to a vibrant, international community of practice.

Displaying not only outcomes, but also spaces and practices generated by every level of student, the exhibition makes process visible, and reveals the teaching behind this dynamic programme. It is a chance to encounter new incarnations of traditional craft, to see through the eyes of emerging talent, and to witness creative method in action.


Spoons From The Wood

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 3 Trinity Square, HR1 2DR

(Venue 6 on programme map)

Spoons from the Wood is an exhibition of spoons made in the Herefordshire woods by participants in an event hosted by The Cart Shed. This charity provides therapeutic support and opportunities to heal, learn new skills, find friendship and a future, through woodland crafts.

Over six days in February and March 2024, students in the Artist Blacksmithing programme at Hereford College of Arts came together with Simon Bushell, a travelling artist blacksmith and owner of the Nowhere Forge, a self-sufficient, sustainably powered mobile blacksmithing workshop. Bringing the Nowhere Forge to The Cart Shed, Bushell and the students invited participants to try their hand at making spoons of steel, copper, hazel and willow, experiencing some of the earliest processes developed by humans, and sharing in the creation of this iconic form. The varied and creative outcomes are manifestations of this shared experience.


Fairford Forge Outreach Project

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 3 Trinity Square, HR1 2DR

(Venue 6 on programme map)

This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between The Ernest Cook Trust, the Quenington Sculpture Trust, and Hereford College of Arts (HCA), with the support of Delyth Done MBE, Head of the School of Materials and Design.

In June 2023, six undergraduates on the Artist Blacksmithing degree course at HCA travelled 60 miles from Hereford to Gloucestershire, together with six portable, coke-fired forges and six anvils, to The Ernest Cook Trust’s headquarters in Fairford. Here, they spent a week teaching forging skills to six school leavers from disadvantaged backgrounds whom the Trust is helping to gain employability awards, so that they can find work in practical, outdoor-based roles.

The experience gave the undergraduates the opportunity to teach their craft, while giving the school students a chance to test themselves and persevere, as well as offering a vision of a possible future. The exhibition tells the story of this rewarding encounter.


Bloombury Smelt Demonstration

Date: 15th March – 17th March | Main Festival Opening Weekend

Location: Trinity Square, outside Maylord Orchards, HR1 2DT

(Venue 7 on programme map)

A first for this year is an exciting live smelt revealing how natural materials become useable metal, ‘from earth to iron’.

Internationally renowned blade-smith, Owen Bush will build a clay furnace on-site, to create a ‘bloom’ of iron, using iron-ore and charcoal, transforming iron ore into metal.


Brutalist Sound Remastered

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 3 The Atrium Maylord Orchards, HR1 2DT

(Venue 8 on programme map)

This project is a collaboration between Rory Munro of Hereford’s New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) and Artist Blacksmithing alumni Rowan Lickerish.

Rory has been exploring the engineering challenges involved in creating large, forged metal sculptures by designing a scaled-up version of Rowan’s original work ‘Exodus’ from his Brutalist Sound collection.


Shelanu Women's Craft Collective

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 2 The Atrium Maylord Orchards, HR1 2DT

(Venue 9 on programme map)

New to Ferrous Festival, Shelanu: Women’s Craft Collective will be showcasing their jewellery and hosting workshops.  Supported by Birmingham’s Craftspace, Shelanu is a collective of migrant and refugee women who make and sell contemporary jewellery.

Meaning ‘belonging to us’ Shelanu’s members come from across the global diaspora, including: Pakistan, Hong Kong, India and Kurdistan. As well as learning new making skills and creating high quality work, the women are supported to improve their English, learn business skills and run workshops for the community.

Shelanu’s showcase will focus on their newest collection, Nurture, a range of jewellery made more sustainably, produced with guidance from internationally renowned jeweller Rachael Colley. This will be displayed alongside examples of the Collective’s previous collections.

Shelanu members will be leading workshops on Friday 15th and Saturday  16th between 11.30AM – 1.30PM and 2.30 –4.30 pm .

Using re-purposed costume jewellery and natural dyes, people can have a go at making their own piece of jewellery inspired by the Nurture collection. You are welcome to bring your own broken pieces of costume jewellery to use in the workshop. Book a slot at the venue

The Space Between

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 4 Gomond Street, HR1 2DP

(Venue 10 on programme map)

An exhibition of metal artwork that brings together 56 selected members of the international art jewellery group Precious Collective from 31 different countries, responding to the theme of The Space Between.

The curated works aim to spotlight art jewellery as a way of storytelling by challenging established concepts, material thinking, jewellery tropes and making languages.

The Space Between includes works by all 6 core committee members and celebrates the fact that nearly a third of the show is work by new members. Many of the selected works were made directly for the exhibition and have never been seen previously in any other exhibition.

The show began its journey at London’s Magan Gallery with 34 members, before more pieces joined it to travel to Munich Jewellery Week. After Ferrous 24, the show will be exhibited in France.


Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 1 Gomond Street, HR1 2DP

(Venue 11 on programme map)

The Gothenburg University Campus Steneby MFA in Applied Arts and Design is a material-based artistic course located in the beautiful natural landscape of Dals Langed, Sweden.

Since 2002, the course has challenged students to pursue their own projects while developing critical perspectives on society and contemporary debates.

By developing a personal language with the material though traditional processes such as blacksmithing, students are challenged to consider the relevance of contemporary metal art and their place within it.

The exhibition features former MFA Masters students who have dedicated their work to contemporary forged metal. The exhibition reflects the graduates' ability to navigate the balance between innovation and tradition within the realm of blacksmithing.

Every piece showcases the artists’ vision of contemporary artist blacksmithing and shows what impact the education received at Steneby has had on them.

Commonalities of Difference

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: 6 Commercial Street, HR1 2AJ

(Venue 12 on programme map)

The Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths is excited to partner with the 2024 Ferrous Festival for a special exhibition, ‘Commonality of Differences’.  This exhibition is a combination of our Founders, Governance Committee, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) Cohort and a small number of our UK affiliates. It is our hope that this first ever partnership with Ferrous Festival will raise awareness of the need to diversify this field and to foster the continuation of the efforts to uplift and support this mission. 

The Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths is committed to building equity and diversity in the field of blacksmithing. We offer mentorship opportunities, connections to educational and other resources, and special events that empower and support our community while reducing the social and economic barriers to this work.

A Hope For Peace

Date: 15th March – 24th March | 11am - 4pm

Location: Hereford Cathedral

(Venue 13 on programme map)

After Russia staged a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, artist blacksmith Serhii Polubotko was sent a humanitarian aid package for soldiers from his friend, Daniel Miklos. It arrived with a metal cross inscribed with the words, ‘For Peace and Hope for Ukraine’. The message resonated profoundly with Serhii, and he created a challenge to Ukrainian and international blacksmiths to create their own crosses in support of this hope.

Hereford Cathedral hosts A Hope for Peace, an exhibition of crosses from the original callout, featuring artists from 27 different countries, which are shown in the hope of inspiring peace across all conflicts in the world. As Serhii says, “For me, the cross has the meaning of intersection, conjunction, a point of meeting, vertical and horizontal, Kosmos and Earth, universal and individual.”

“We believe that our efforts make a little step towards peace and a better world.”