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Blacksmiths to gather at frontier fort

CHARLESTOWN-During the weeked of May 21-22, the Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, N.H., will feature a Blacksmith Weekend for Vermont and New Hampsire blacksmiths.

The Hammer Alliance, a newly formed group of blacksmiths, will be be displaying the craft of blacksmithing spanning a limited time-line, focusing on traditional methods using charcoal, bitumenous coal, and propane and will forge both iron and mild steel into traditional shapes and forms to create items for the gift shop at the frontier fort.

Although the Granite State Hammer Alliance is currently small, it is quickly picking up new members and others interested in this traditional craft. The group will be setting up adjacent to the Fort's blacksmith shop with various styles of forges, anvils and equipment.

Most blacksmith groups meet only amongst themselves, however, the Hammer Alliance is focused on demonstration and education using traditional methods and styles of blacksmith, and showing how these traditional techniques can be applied to modern forging.

Many modern blacksmiths are producing more cost-effective items with electric welding and industrial style tools, and are not practicing the older ways. The Alliance's goal is to keep these traditional techniques practiced over many centuries alive, and ensure these traditional ways are not forgotten.

Members of the Alliance in Vermont and New Hampshire have both volunteered and worked at fort in the past, and are supporting the new sponsorship and efforts to keep the Fort at No. 4 alive and educating our young in the 18th century way of life of which blacksmith played a necessary and integral part.

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