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Blacksmithing | Mallory Battista

Learning Blacksmithing

Adding glass to a rebar trellis
Hooks for the pot rack.

I have always been interested in metalwork; as a kid I made sculptures out of bare copper and steel wire and as an adult I became fascinated with the idea of blacksmithing. I first met a local blacksmith, Steve McGrew, at the interstate fair, and I was thrilled to find out that blacksmithing is actually feasible to learn! My husband has been the biggest supporter and instigator in my pursuit of learning the craft. He surprised me with my first hammer and a two-day class with Steve for Christmas back in 2014. After that, I attended Columbia Fire & Iron (CFI) hammer-ins and eventually joined the board as the first web design and marketing chair. I have been lucky to learn from Steve, David, John, and Bill, and other smiths and knife-makers I’ve met since. I was upgraded to the VP of Communications and scored a big win for the club in 2018 when we were awarded a SAGA grant that enabled us to get 6 new anvils and a trailer to store and haul our equipment. 2019 was a record year for CFI with weekly demos at the E-G Farmers Market, workshops at the county library, record attendance from club members at the 10-day fair demo, and a functional public art piece, “Local Fruit,” a bike rack designed by David Kailey and me, and forged by myself and several CFI members. I would love to create more collaborative public art! I’m working on piecing together a shop in my small garage, and I volunteer teach and demo with CFI. I love how blacksmithing makes me think in a different way and hammering hot metal is fun.


Spokane Public Radio’s Chris Maccini’s interviewed me about the grant award and our winning proposal for mobile blacksmithing education. It broadcast on the December 27, 2018 episode of Northwest Arts Review, listen below!

SPR play button

Thank you Spokane Arts and Spokane Public Radio!

“Columbia Fire & Iron ramps up mobile blacksmithing program thanks to SAGA grant” Inlander Article

Blacksmithing at the Library Event 2019, Spokane County Library District

Learn more about Columbia Fire & Iron.