East Galway RootsWest Galway Roots

Iron Industry Exhibition and Furnace Festival Woodford

Iron Industry 17th and 18th century Exhibition Heritage Week

To coincide with the Furnace Festival in Woodford in August this year, an exhibition of a scale model of a water-powered 17th century blast furnace with samples of materials related to the blast furnace will take place at the Woodford Heritage Centre from Monday the 20th August 2018 to Sunday 26th August 2018.   There will also be posters on the principles of iron production, the history of the iron industry in the Sliabh Aughty area, in particular the 17th and 18th centuries iron industry in Woodford.

Furnace Festival, Woodford, Co. Galway 20 to 26 August 2018 Heritage Week

 The Sliabh Aughty Furnace Project is this year holding its third Furnace Festival in Woodford, Co. Galway. The idea of this year’s Festival is to re-introduce bloomery iron smelting into Ireland.  Woodford was the seat of blast furnace iron production from 1681 till 1780 and the event will take place in the field next to the bay which supplied water for the ironworks. 
 
From Monday 20 to Friday 24 August, Lee Sauder from the USA will be training up six Irish people, two groups of three, in the art of bloomery iron production.  Only local materials, iron ore, charcoal and clay, will be used.  Lee, arguably one of the best bloomery smelters in the World, has been smelting iron directly from the ore for twenty years and has over 200 smelts under his belt.
 
On Saturday 25 August, the trainees will carry out their first independent smelts.  Other teams of seasoned smelters will be making blooms in a variety of furnaces.  There are now about 30 smelters committed to participating from as far as Poland, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and the US.  This means ten (10) to twelve (12) furnaces will be blazing away - RTE's Nationwide is also due to film this event on Saturday 25th August !
 
The day after, 26th August, Irish blacksmiths will be given the opportunity to get acquainted with home-grown bloomery iron.  As opposed to the training part, the weekend events are open to the public.
 
After the event, the trainee smelters have committed to carrying out further smelts, at other events or on their own, and there are plans to make the Furnace Festival a recurring event.
 
If anybody is interested in attending or would like more information check our website www.furnaceproject.org/ or contact Paul Rondelez (prondelez[at]yahoo[dot]com or 00353 (0) 851239550) or Monica Hynes - galwayroots[at]gmail[dot]com or 00353 (0) 909749309

 

 
 

Select Language