The WingSmith Project

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Recently a few members of Devon Dowsers took part in the WingSmith project. In a traditional forge deep in the heart of Devon there is pure alchemy going on.

Two skilled and passionate artisans are bring some magic into the world. Nick Mussell (the Tanglewood Project) and Matt Coe ( Dingle Design) posed a question    “What if they we were able to create an aspiring sculpture made by members of the public to show their support for front line workers?”

WingSmith was born; the project to encourage members of the public to learn coppersmithing skills and forge a feather that would become an amazing sculpture.

The inspiration for the project Karen Stead-Dexter and her amazing birds of prey. Karen is a regular guest speaker at Devon Dowsers sharing her knowledge and wonderful bird medicine with our members. Karen arrived during our feather making with Rosie her Eagle Owl and George her Barn Owl, who watched over our smithing skills.

Nick and Matts vision to encourage ‘new apprentices’ to create two copper feather, one to add to the amazing sculpture, the other a unique keepsake as a permanent reminder of the day.

The original launch day was restricted to the new Covid guidance that came in, when the original plan was for an open venue which had to be shelved along with the attendance of ourselves to the event. Matt and Nick were resourceful as ever and came up with an alternative plan to use the permanent forge instead of the mobile and those of us that had already brought tickets, the opportunity to create our copper feathers.

Following their first forge day on 27th September despite all our hard work, there is still 384 feathers to go!

There will be more opportunities for you to forge your own two feathers so keep a look out for new dates coming up. You never know you may find yourself forging a feather with one of Karen’s birds watching on.

More information can be found on the project can be found at WingSmith and to meet the inspirational birds Kingfisher Falconry

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