Blacksmith Demonstration Grabs Attention of Barnstable County Fair Visitors

Blacksmiths Dale Benson of Wareham (Left) and Ken Kurtz of California (Right)

FALMOUTH- The art of being a blacksmith may be dwindling down as the years roll on, that does not mean however that the masters of this craft are not trying to inspire the next generation into joining the noble profession.

That is exactly what is happening at this year’s Barnstable County Fair.

Located in front of the East Gate at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds, the New England Blacksmiths exhibit is hard to miss, as it is the first attraction many see when they make their way inside the Fairgrounds.

Anaheim California Native Ken Kurtz, one of the creators on tap for this event, says he hopes that by providing live sculpting performances, and showing the younger generations his finished work, they will be inspired to join the craft.

“I’ll take a little horseshoe nail and I’ll make a little spoon out of it, or I’ll make a little heart out of that nail. I take a piece of 3/8th inch round metal and I make a leaf, so the transition from a round piece of metal to a leaf is pretty radical, so it shows them the craft, the artistic side of blacksmithing,” said Kurtz.

The demonstrators push the red coal around the forge and look at the color of the rod iron to determine the temperature before hammering it on a beam to shape it, this in turn grabs the attention of audience members as the two furnaces glow red with fire when the sculptors push in their metal.

“It’s just fun, the kids are fun because they have never seen it… it’s something that they have never seen too often,” said Kurtz.

The first recorded case of blacksmithing dates back to the 1700’s. According to Kurtz, there are still schools around the nation who are certified to teach people how to learn the process.

For more information on the Barnstable County Fair and other exhibits, you can visit

By JOHN BONDAREK, CapeCod.Com News Center

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