Pupils from five schools in the Caernarfon area have visited ‘Gefail yr Ynys’ (The Island Forge) this autumn, to see a blacksmith at work and to create their own artworks in metal.
When Maesincla Primary School’s Year 5 pupils visited in October, they worked with Blacksmith Dylan Parry and artist Miranda Meilleur from Llanberis to explore metal-working skills. And when each learner was given an old-fashioned metal spoon, and was then invited to change it in whichever way they wanted to, they were delighted to start on the work!
With expert assistance from Dylan and Miranda the workshop began by heating the spoons with a flame and cooling them in a bucket of water – this softened the metal, making them easier to shape and beat with a hammer. With 14 children hammering metal with great enthusiasm, the Forge was filled with noise and excitement! Over the course of a afternoon’s session, the spoons were transformed into a variety of beautiful shapes, then decorated with drilled holes and stamped lettering to bring them to completion.
Bethan Page, Co-Project Manager for Stamp Caernarfon, working with Addo said “It was so exciting to see the children being creative, and to observe how much they enjoyed using metal-working skills. They were so happy as they took their completed artworks home with them!”
The other four schools have now also visited the forge – Ysgol y Gelli, Ysgol Yr Hendre, Ysgol Penisarwaun and Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen. All were made possible through Arts Council of Wales ‘Go and See’ grants.
Gefail yr Ynys is part of Stamp Caernarfon, a project that involves working with the community to regenerate the town through the arts. Stamp is part of the Arts Council of Wales’ ‘Ideas, People, Places’ scheme and is supported by Gwynedd Council and managed by Addo.