Forging a win

Posted on 18th October 2011 | in Community

Blacksmith Stephen Lunn has won the World Forging Championships’ Team award in a competition held in Tuscany this summer. Stephen and his team beat blacksmiths from all over the world in the biannual event, with a piece entitled “From Stone Age to New Iron Age”.

“I met one of the organisers of the championships when I was at another event in Poland” said Stephen. “I had heard about it, of course, but I hadn’t thought of going, until he suggested I attend it.”

Stephen’s wife Susan said “The competition is held every two years in Stia, a beautiful village in the Tuscan hills. Everyone was so relaxed and friendly. It’s so popular that the whole town is used to accommodate everyone, and we actually stayed in a neighbouring village in a monastery complete with monks and nuns. We were there for a week and we were woken up by monastery bells every morning!”

Stephen had originally intended to enter the competition as an individual, but when two of his friends, blacksmiths Ian Moran from Birmingham and James Spedding from Norfolk turned up, they decided to re-register as a team.
“So we sat on the grass with cold drinks and ice cream and designed what we were going to make. There were two set sizes of steel to choose from, a big flat plate or long thin bars. We chose to use the bars.

The design theme was ‘Evolution’. Our time slot was 2.30 in the afternoon – it was very hot! But the forging went perfectly and we worked as a team perfectly. You’re judged all the time. It took us exactly three hours to make. We were very busy but not stressed. Some teams were collapsing from the heat.”

When it came to the awards ceremony the weather broke and torrential rain fell. “There were hundreds of seats and the ceremony was all in Italian. When the rain came down we all went to shelter under the trees. All of a sudden I heard something spoken in English, I heard ‘number eighty’ and then they played our national anthem. But because of the rain they never stopped and went on to award other people. So we didn’t get the plaque until the evening!”

You can see more of Stephen’s work on his website:

Anna Williams

Share this...
Share on facebook
Share on twitter