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1

Mace Vitale

Mace Vitale (Photo by Jeff Cohen )

2

Matt Parkinson

Matt Parkinson (Photo courtesy of Guilford Art Center )

'Forged in Fire' Victors Reception, Display of Works

Published Sep 10, 2015 • Last Updated 02:30 pm, September 08, 2015

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Guilford Art Center (GAC) 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, Sept. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. 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 Aug. 10; Parkinson, a frequent visiting instructor, won the first episode. Each “win” brought with it a $10,000 prize.

Vitale has been teaching at GAC, 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 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 Technical High School, 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 GAC he teaches such workshops as “Fireplace Tools” and “Kitchen Knives.”

GAC is a non-profit school, shop, and gallery. It receives support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. Founded in 1967 as the Guilford Handcraft Center, the center evolved from the first Handcraft Expo, held on the Guilford Green in 1957. It currently serves more than 2,000 students in classes, presents juried and invitational exhibits of art in the center’s gallery and operates a shop of fine, handmade American crafts year-round. The center also presents the Craft Expo, held on the Guilford Green each year in July, that features works by more than 180 artisans from all over the country.

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

Information provided by the Guilford Art Center.

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