Public Reception & Exhibit Planned for “Forged in Fire” Winners

MaceMattGuilford Art Center will hold a reception and temporary display of works by its GAC blacksmith instructors and “Forged in Fire” winners, Mace Vitale and Matt Parkinson, on Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 5-7pm. This event will celebrate their victories on the new History Channel series, as well as provide the public a chance to meet the winners, view a sampling of their craft and see the forge area. This event is free and open to the public.

GAC instructor and forge manager Vitale won the series finale episode on August 10; Parkinson, a frequent visiting instructor, won the first episode. Each “win” brought with it a $10,000 prize.

Mace Vitale has been teaching at Guilford Art Center, and leading its forge, since 2008. He offers a wide range of classes and workshops for all levels and abilities, including “Introduction to Blacksmithing” and workshops on hand-forged blades, paring knives, and bowie knives, as well as an “Open Forge” series for continuing students. He also runs a popular class in teen blacksmithing. Vitale has a background in architectural pre-cast concrete and is a Journeyman smith with the American Bladesmith Society.

Parkinson is a self-taught blacksmith and sword maker. He graduated from the manufacturing technologies program at Vinal R.V.T.S. where he learned forming, machining, fabricating metal, heat treating and metallurgy. His studio, Falling Hammer Productions, produces custom knives and swords, high-end railings, furniture, and hardware. At Guilford Art Center he teaches such workshops as “Fireplace Tools” and “Kitchen Knives.”

“All of us at Guilford Art Center are thrilled for Mace and Matt,” says Executive Director Maureen Belden. “They are consummate artisans and wonderful teachers, both dedicated to the perpetuation of their craft. We are so fortunate our students can work with them here at the Center and think it’s so cool that the History Channel put the spotlight on this form of artistry.”

Guilford Art Center is located at 411 Church Street, Guilford, Connecticut (exit 58 off I-95). For more information call 203-453-5947 or contact www.guilfordartcenter.org.