This series of workshops is cancelled due to psychotic leftist SCA board members imposing a dangerous clot-shot requirement on all participants. I will NOT subject anyone in any of my workshops to a deliberate act that harms or injures or permanently disables or kills them. Nor will I ever demand participants take any kind of unwanted medical procedure as a prerequisit of participation. Period. The moment we allow some viscous psychopath control freaks to be able to dictate that we take some medical procedure as a condition of our participation - there will be NO end nor any limit in numbers or severity of 'medical' precedures that will then be demanded of us in the future. Either the demands are ended immediately, or the tyrannical psychopaths will quickly pile on more and more demands forever. The easiest way to show these psychopaths to the door, is to simply walk away. Walk out. Shut them down. If the organization survives, then all of the psychopaths that supported their 'vaccine mandate' should be permanently banned from the organization and anyone that associates with those banned freaks, whether in the organization or outside of it, should also be permanently banned as well. Until then, quit. Send no more money for memberships or subscriptions. Don't attend their events. Shut them down. Ban the control freaks permanently.

New alternative workshops coming soon. These will be even better than the workshops that have been cancelled today.

CANCELLED: Calling All Aspiring SCA Blacksmiths! :CANCELLED

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WANTED: 4-6 new beginner level blacksmiths!!! To forge an iron age firedog for the made-on-site team competition at an upcoming annual Lillies War.

Capel Garmon Firedog.

Latest Update: January 16, 2022 - See Updates for January 24, 2022 in the Latest News page here:

Workshops & Seminars: For new smiths! No experience necessary. In fact it is best if participants have no blacksmith experience at all. The purpose of these hands-on workshops is to train a team of beginner-level SCA blacksmiths in all of the skills needed to produce a replica of the Capel Garmon firedog at a Lillies War event as a team project during the made-on-site competitions. Training will be held (tentatively) two weekends per month at the shop of Hans Schlosser. The schedule still needs to be arranged.

Photo (at left) of the Capel Garmon firedog is taken from the book Decorative Ironwork by Marian Campbell 0-8109-3241-5.  This is the style of firedog to be forged for this event.

From the Museum of Wales website:

height / mm:750.0

length / mm:1068.0 nose to nose

width / mm:300 (approx)

length / mm:865.0 (at base)

Training new SCA-smiths through hands-on classes and workshops. Blacksmiths will be assembled into 3 teams (two smiths per team) for this project.  Workshops will include tool-making, forging small animal heads, scroll-making, forge-welding, striker team forging of large bars. Professional fire tending methods for the coal fire will be taught. Basic forging techniques such as punching, drawing, upsetting, tapering, riveting, fullering, cutting, welding, collaring, slit punching (we can put a 1" hole in 3/4" iron bar for example), and twisting, layout, and forging parts accurately to fit a drawing or plan, will all be learned during a series of structured training workshops. Workshops will also include constructing portable forges and bellows for the Lillies War event, and students will keep the forges and bellows that they build. Cheap modern factory-made portable forges are not suitable for this project, we will be building our own portable forges and bellows before the Lilies War event.  Confidence in ones ability is necessary to handle large work and these classes and workshops will focus on building skills and confidence.

Tools and skills of the medieval blacksmith. Smiths who wish to participate in this project must become proficient in all tasks of the medieval blacksmith, and by proficient I mean that smiths must be able to perform those tasks at the journeyman level. New smiths can, and will, learn to produce high quality tooling and forged parts during this training. Don't let anyone bs you into thinking it isn't possible. The tools we will use to produce this firedog will be very similar to the tools used by smiths from the medieval period. This includes hammers and sledges, anvil, fire, bellows, tongs, punches, chisels and cutters, and a small assortment of crude hand-held iron tools and objects. Despite the seemingly limited tooling, ancient smiths produced some of the most elaborate and beautiful ironwork ever made. The Capel Garmon firedog is one such example, containing heavy forged elements to support the weight of the burning wood, decorative scroll-work, and a very fancy set of oxen heads capping each end post.

Blacksmiths will make most of the tools to build the firedog. Specialty tools and tongs will be needed and these will be made by the blacksmiths participating in the project. Junk tools from auctions are seldom ever adequate. We must make our own tooling to build this project.

Capel Garmon Firedog Photo from Davies Brothers Gatesmiths bookAt left is another photo of the Capel Garmon Firedog. The photo is taken from the book Davies Brothers Gatesmiths by Ifor Edwards ISBN 0-905171-22-5 copyright 1977. CLICK ON THE THUMBNAIL for larger view.

Be part of the first SCA-blacksmith team/group to build a project of this scope! As far as I can find, no other SCA smiths have attempted a project of this size and beauty. We will be the first! It will take smiths with very serious attitudes towards their work- more so than any other SCA project. The heavy frame members are forged from iron bars much larger than anything SCA smiths are accustomed to working with. Scrollwork must be accurately made to fit closely together as well as match the overall design. Parts are attached with a combination of fire-welding, riveting, and mortise and tenon work. Ox heads must look like ox heads when they are finished, and then welded into place! I know that this is a very ambitious project for brand new beginner-level SCA smiths, and I am confident that SCA smiths can produce a work of this complexity, size, and beauty. Join us and make history!

Workshop/Seminar Dates To Be Announced. Classes and seminars will begin (tentative dates to be announced) during late autumn (2022) and continue through winter, spring, and finish at the Lilies War- transitioning immediately into the group project to forge the firedog at the event site. The Capel Garmon firedog project will be part of a large blacksmithing exhibition at the Lilies War. Class and workshop dates will be posted on the Blacksmithing Classes page here:


Sources for more information on the Capel Garmon Firedog:

Best link to learn more about the Capel Garmon Firedog here:

The link above is the best that I have seen. The original firedog is on display at the Museum of Wales. If the link above stops working, then go to the website for the Museum of Wales to find the new location. This is a great museum. If you are going to Britain, I recommend visiting Wales and see this museum in person.

Also visit Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort to see group of reconstructed iron age round houses - with these same types of firedogs on display.

As of December, 2021, the Capel Garmon firedog was on display St Fagans Gweithdy gallery at the Museum of Wales.


More Links:   Book seller link - reprint available from the Antiquaries Journal vol. 19, from 1939

        about the village of Capel Garmon

        Wikipedia article about the village and burial chamber at Capel Garmon

        Wikipedia article on welsh art and history

        History of nearby village of Bro Garmon IMPORTANT description only of firedog

        excerpt the only excerpt concerning the Capel Garmon Firedog on that page-    dead link      dead link      dead link     dead link


Latest update 24-Jan-2022.

The author can be emailed at address in picture below:


Page created February 17th, 2005.

Previous Update: September 19, 2019.