Photographers encouraged to capture the sparks at Cooneana

Dark blue flames, red hot steel, and sparks flying. This is the scene photographers are encouraged to capture during the Galvanized Festival of Heritage Evening Openings.

From Monday August 30 to Wednesday September 1, the Cooneana Heritage Centre will open each evening, with the centre’s community groups putting on presentations, demonstrations and workshops.

One striking display will be the Cooneana Blacksmiths who will be forging in the dark – creating a stunning opportunity for photographers.  

“At night, the colours you see in the forge are brilliant,” qualified blacksmith and shop master Martin Geddes said.

“We use a solid fuel forge – burning charcoal, coal and coke – with just a little bit of sulphur. The result is really bright, strong colours that change with the fire.

“You also have the millscale coming off when the metal is hit – someone described it to me as a very romantic scene. For me, it’s just a job that has got me out of bed every day for the past 26 years.”

Mr Geddes said the ancient art of blacksmithing was far from dead and people loved to watch the team forging and the coordination between a blacksmith, the striker and a fireman.

“I think it comes down to humans are fascinated with fire. It’s part of our DNA. I see people all the time just staring at the fire in the forge completely mesmerised until we start to work.”

Also on offer at Cooneana are felting workshops with the Spinners, Weavers, Fibre Artisans of Ipswich and the chance to chase some family history with the Ipswich Genealogical Society.

The Historical Motorcycle Club are presenting information sessions on motorcycle restoration, racing and the history of the club in the Ipswich area, while the Queensland Metal Artisans Collective will also be giving Forging Demonstrations.

Entrance to Cooneana for the evening program costs $6 and online bookings are essential for this COVID-safe event. To book visit: https://www.discoveripswich.com.au/tour/cooneana-heritage-evening/

The full Galvanized festival program is available at https://www.ipswichfestivals.com.au/galvanized/

Galvanized brings Council and community groups together to showcase the city’s rich history.

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