Wandering Wisconsin: The art of iron - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Wandering Wisconsin: The art of iron

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- It's an artwork that starts with a raging fire reaching temperatures of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and ends in museum galleries worldwide.

The art of forging is on display at Wausau's Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.  Dan Nauman, one Wisconsin's best known blacksmiths, is in town this weekend with a free interactive demonstration. 

Breaking down the art step-by-step, Nauman says he enjoys teaching and bridging the generation gap between adults who are somewhat familiar with the craft, and children who have little idea of what a blacksmith even is. 

"The younger generations, they think of an anvil as something you drop on Wild E. Coyote" Nauman told Newsline 9 after creating an iron fork during a demonstration this week. 

Woodson Art Museum Curator of Exhibitions Andy McGivern said this weekend's demonstrations and the accompanying exhibition impresses on people the skill and work required to make metal into useful products. 

"We take iron for granted because it's everywhere in our lives but to get a simple bend and a curve and to heat and manipulate the iron is much more difficult than I think a lot of people realize" McGivern said.

Running until the end of August, the Woodson Art Museum's "Iron" display includes several pieces of Nauman's work as well as other pieces of local and national origin.  "From the Forge: Dan Nauman in Residence" blacksmith demonstrations continue from noon to 5:00 p.m. each day this weekend. 

Online Reporter Rob Duns

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