Cambria Iron Conference

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September 11th, 2021

At Center for Metal Arts, Johnstown PA

Inspired by the Past – Forging to the Future

I’m very excited to announce we will be hosting our first forging conference at the Center for Metal Arts in Johnstown PA. 

Our mission has always revolved heavily around three things, quality education, craftsmanship, and community. Our relocation to Johnstown, now three years ago, has allowed us the opportunity to grow and focus on these concepts.  

One of the main reasons we relocated to Johnstown is to offer these wonderful historically significant facilities to the greater forging community. Although we have opened the doors of this shop to the public to see and appreciate, the first step of a much larger vision of community involvement is hosting a yearly event with live forging demonstrations on the large-scale industrial power hammers.  

The refurbishment of this shop is a long and costly endeavor, but with the hard work of our staff and the support of our community, we have been able to refurbish and run the #3000 Chambersburg utility hammer. This milestone was very exciting, that hammer and the entire shop have sat silent and unused for twenty-six years and we are looking forward to sharing that excitement with you. Twenty-six years is both a really long and a short amount of time. In the context of the life of the hammers it’s a short amount of time, but to a blacksmith it feels like forever.


This year our featured demonstrator is Jake James.  Jake is an award-winning and British born blacksmith. He has almost two decades of success creating functional and sculptural work in forged metals.  Jake operates his forge from Vancouver islands inspirational west coast. His vision is to create an experience with forged metal where your interaction with his work becomes a sensory experience going beyond the realm of surface adornment.  From large architectural commissions to small and personal sculptural works, Jake designs from a leading edge of a craft that traces its lineage through all ages of human history.   


“My relationship with the material of my profession goes much further than the simple act of hammering it into shape. It is our control of Iron that has allowed the expansion of humanity across the planet, for good and bad, and that duality plays deeply into my thoughts and expression through my sculptural work.”
            Jake James


Hosting Jake and our first public forging demo in the historic Cambria Iron co. blacksmith shop is an event we have been excited about for quite sometime. This shop and the historically significant forging equipment and tooling have spent 128 years of their life serving industry. What these tools and this shop represent are American progress and industrial development, and for that they should be very proud. After being motionless and quiet for 26 years, we at CMA couldn’t be more excited for them to begin their new life as educational tools, outlets for fine craft, art, and creativity, and feel these new roles will do them justice during their second life.

Please consider joining us during the first Cambria Iron Conference. Registration is open with early registration discounts!  Feel free to contact us with any questions. Below you will find a schedule of events at CMA the day of the conference.  

Thank you 





Pete Mattila Photo by Scott Gelston

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