Washington College Academy teaching old Appalachian arts in modern times

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LIMESTONE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Washington College Accadamy in Limestone offers a variety of classes including metal-smithing, classes in glass, clay, and fibers, and mixed media.

One of their organizations is sharing their skills with the public.

The Washington College Academy Blacksmiths group meets once a month to show the public the art of an old trade.

Several students and members of the public came out to learn the Appalachian art from of blacksmithing.

“We formed a blacksmith group to meet out here at Washington College Academy to help them develop their folk school curriculum,” said Robin Lynch, a Blacksmith Educator at Washington College Academy.

He’s teaching a new generation some old traditions.

“Blacksmithing is kind of a lost art. So what we’re trying to do is promote the art of blacksmithing, give people the opportunity to whiteness some blacksmithing, and maybe even you know dive in and do a little bit of blacksmithing,” said Lynch.

Lynch has been a blacksmith for 18 years and says it’s a trade being embraced by the college and its students.

“Once you get past the first two or three days learning the techniques it’s not too hard to get the hang of it,” Lynch explained.

Heather Jones is the co-chair of the Education Committee at Washington College Academy and said the colleges goal is to feature fine arts and Appalachian arts and crafts.

“Having the blacksmith group come in and be here has been a blessing. We have been trying to revive and re-brand Washington College Academy and we’ve been trying to open up and have actually opened up an art school,” Jones said.

Jones said the interest of blacksmithing continues to grow.

“Every time they come out, the membership gets bigger. We’ve probably had ten people who have never been before. So it gives us a chance to bring people on campus, get them to see what’s going on,” she said.

The blacksmith group meets once a month at the college to do demos and teach anyone interested in blacksmithing the trade.

Those meetings are free and open to the public.

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