For working practioners we have created an opportunity to team up and work collaboratively under the guidance of experienced artist blacksmiths to forge a sculpture designed by Canada’s renowned blacksmith, Jake James.

This year we are also introducing a special workshop for women interested in trying blacksmithing for the first time, while Master Bladesmith Shawn McIntyre will be take a class through the pocess of creating their own hand-forged knife.

Intereted? See below for more info and ticket purchasing links…


World renowned blacksmith
Canada's Jake James
is coming to Australia!

Jake will be leading a collaborative sculptural project at this years Blacksmiths Festival. The sculpture: “Many Hands” is based on themes of migration and native flora, and will be permanently mounted on the Waterside Metal Art Studio forge on the Festival site to become part of the public art landscape along the Maribyrnong River.

Participants will work as part of three teams of three blacksmiths, with Australia’s own Ben Beams, Pete Mattila and Will Maguire as forging team leaders. This will be a unique experience, working alongside some of the most exciting smiths in the country, each team completing elements of the sculpture that will come together as one piece at the end of the event.

Participants in the masterclass will be involved in planning and preparation on Thursday 25 April and forge as part of the team commencing on Friday 26 April and over the two public days of the festival (27-28 April).



Thursday 25th - Sunday 28th April 2019

• Introduction to Blacksmithing for Women

This one-day workshop will provide an overview of the practice: primary tools, safety precautions, creative possibilities and most importantly a hands-on practical experience in moving metal. Participants will learn that blacksmithing isn’t about brute strength, it requires finesse and patience to accurately shape steel. Learning to manage a coke fired forge, students will focus on the fundamental techniques involved in traditional blacksmithing: tapering, twisting, shouldering, punching, riveting and scrolling.

Upon completion of the course, students will leave with one or two forged coat hooks (depending on interest and time) which can be mounted to a wall for use. This workshop is intended only for individuals who identify as women, who have little to no experience working with steel and fire. The course is limited to 9 persons.


Wednesday 24th April 2019

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Belz is a metal artist from Stillwater, MN, USA.  She was a craft education intern at North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN, in 2016, where she assisted the school in reestablishing its blacksmithing shop. She was the resident sculpture artist with the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, in 2017 and has won numerous grants to aid in the production and development of her work. She has studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN; Penland school of Craft,  Bakersville, NC; and John C. Campbell folk school, Brasstown, NC. Currently she is one of two blacksmiths apprentices at the National Ornamental metal museum in Memphis, TN (2018-2020).   

Elizabeth explains while she was learning a diverse set of traditional and contemporary techniques, shaping and moulding both utilitarian and sculptural forms, one thing remained consistent: steel. The exploration of that material through numerous avenues of thought has manifested itself within her current body of work. This work explores the interaction between people and their given environments. Through the use of steel, an often utilitarian but equally refined material, Elizabeth creates new perspectives and moments of curiosity in the mundane or constant barrage of stimuli we navigate daily.



Blacksmiths Knife


Knife making is an art form! Let celebrated Master Bladesmith Shawn McIntyre take you on a journey into the artistry of bladesmithing and guide you in the design, forging and creation of your own simple and elegant blacksmith knife. 

Based in Melbourne, Shawn will teach this workshop with the assistance of the familiar Waterside crew.  For those of you who know of Shawn you would know that he is possibly the most qualified person in Australia. He received his Mastersmith ranking in 2008 and was fortunate enough to win the B.R. Hughs award for his "Quillon Dagger". You can check him out further on

Basic skills in blacksmithing and previous experience in metal workshop practices are highly recommended for those wishing to undertake this course.


Sunday 21st April 2019