Cambria Iron Conference


Inspired by the Past – Forging to the Future

September 16th, 2023 | Center for Metal Arts, Johnstown PA

The Cambria Iron Conference is an event held at Center for Metal Arts in the historic Cambria Iron and Steel Blacksmith shop.

CMA’s mission is to renovate and refurbish the historic power hammers and tooling to make them available to be seen by the greater forging community and used by qualified professional blacksmiths. This event represents our first major step toward that goal by hosting an event open to the public and inviting a different artist every year to demonstrate.

Our goal for this event and this space are to keep the focus on forging, creativity, education, and historical preservation with the main demonstration taking place in the historic blacksmith shop on the industrial hammers. All of CMA facilities will be open to tour and we will have an exhibition on display as well as a smaller demonstration happening in our forging classroom.

Featured Demonstrator: Pete Mattila

This year our featured demonstrator is Pete Mattila. Trained as an Industrial blacksmith and welder, “Pete’s work celebrates complex histories in art, craft, and design as well as industrial expression. The material and processes used imply an encapsulated visual dialogue of energy and motion.” Pete's public demonstration and the conference will take place in the middle of a collaborative sculpture workshop he will be conducting at CMA, and the piece forged during the demo will be included in the sculpture created by the students and himself.

Pete Mattila

  Currently based in lutruwita/Tasmania, Australia. My work celebrates complex histories, in art, craft, and design as well as in industrial expression. […]

Read Bio

2023 Conference Tour Series

September 16th, 2023 | Center for Metal Arts, Johnstown PA


Join us Saturday September 16th  for the Cambria Iron Conference Tours. The tours will run alongside CMA’s third annual Cambria Iron Conference. Johnstown residents and the greater community will have the opportunity to experience a little piece of Johnstown’s rich industrial heritage. Tours will take place on CMA’s campus, 106 Iron Street, Johnstown, PA 15906. There will be two tours offered. Each tour will begin promptly at the time you select when you register, so please arrive a few minutes early to get situated. The tour will last approximately 1-1.5 hours.

The tour will include three demonstrations, two buildings, and the history of the Cambria Iron historic landmark.  Participants will get to experience the 3,000LB Chambersburg power hammer in action, one of the remaining large industrial hammers left inside the blacksmith shop, being used to forge sculpture with featured demonstrator Pete Mattila. Inside the Pattern shop there will be additional metal forging demonstrations.

After the tour, participants will be encouraged to check out the exhibition on display. The conference exhibition, from Core to Surface, a national juried exhibition showcasing contemporary forged work will be on campus at 102 Iron Street.

***Earplugs will be provided. It is highly recommended that each tour participant brings their own eye protection. Eye protection will be available to borrow if needed.


September 16th, 2023 (Schedule Subject to Change)

8:30 AM   – Opening remarks (Introduction & brief history of the Cambria Iron Company and Blacksmith Shop)

9:00 AM   – Demonstration begins (in Historic Blacksmith Shop)

12:00 PM   – Lunch break

1:00 PM   – Demonstration resumes

5:00 PM   – Demonstration ends

6:00 PM   – After party

8:00 PM   – CMA on campus facilities and buildings will be closed   

* After Party is BYOB and CMA fully expects all attendees to drink responsibly.

*Open Alcohol containers not permitted on site until 5:00 PM

People infront of Center of Metal Arts Smith Shop
from Core to Surface

from Core to Surface 2022

An exhibition of current forged metalwork showcasing the vast possibilities of design, technique, and self-expression through the lens of the forging process. Forging can be both incredibly technical and self-expressive. The combination of the two is what makes it such an exciting process for both artists and craftspeople working in the field today.

The mission of this exhibition is to showcase the broad range of what forging can offer from a sculptural and functional perspective or a combination of the two. Design and execution go hand-in-hand whether the work is functional or sculptural; the two concepts struggle to exist independently. This exhibition seeks people active in the craft whose work displays a keen sense of design and technique. Evaluation and acceptance of submissions will be strongly influenced by a demonstration of this harmony between the two in their work.

Join Us

Get inspired, learn new skills, and keep the forging tradition alive. Register now for the 2022 Cambria Iron Conference.

Cambria Iron Conference 2021 Gallery

Photos by Jarrod Bunk @jarrod_from_hope

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