by the Wareham Forge

The muted ring of the hammer.
The nostalgic smell of coal smoke.
The ancient mystery of the blacksmith.

Smithing Demo
Settlement Period demonstration -
at McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg ON

There are not many traditional skills that draw a crowd they way a working blacksmith does. For older people, the smith rekindles childhood memories of a simpler time. For the children, there is the fascination of seeing glowing metal being shaped. For adults, there is keen interest in the technology and history of the trade. In our modern world, the blacksmith, once a necessity to the community, has all but disappeared. Outside of museums, there are few opportunities for people to see a smith in action. Here is an opportunity for your special event to have a demonstration that is distinctive and that will appeal to everyone.

Darrell Markewitz has been working metal for over 40 years, starting while a student at Ontario College of Art in the late 1970's. Like most smiths of his generation, he is largely self taught. His keen interest in history is combined with traditional skills. These facets were best combined during his five years at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, three of which were spent as primary blacksmith for this 1860's historic site. Exceptional abilities as a demonstrator were required, as hundreds of thousands of people visit Black Creek annually. He has been a regular featured demonstrator at the Home County Folk Festival in London and the Earth, Air Celtic Festival in Goderich.

Currently Darrell lives in the farm country of Grey county, just outside of Dundalk, Ontario. He operates a historic reproduction shop called the Wareham Forge. His work is on display in the Museum of Civilization in Hull, as part of the travelling exhibits 'Vikings - North Atlantic Saga' and 'Full Circle - First Contact', and is in daily use at many historic sites throughout Canada. He has demonstrated blacksmithing from Manitoba to Newfoundland in Canada throughout the USA and in Scotland and Northern Europe. As a specialist in the Viking Age, he has provided historical demonstrations at L'Anse aux Meadows NHS and 'Norstead' in Newfoundland.

Demonstrations consist of much more than just working metal. All work is done with traditional equipment, with complete forge set up for a number of historic periods available. Darrell acts a 'voice from the past, with costume and persona echoing the era. Demonstration becomes Education, as technique is blended to artifact which leads to social history. Questions from the audience are encouraged, which in turn directs the flow of conversation. Physical demonstration will make up 60% of the time, but its rare to find a gap in interaction with the audience. Typically the interpretation will run the entire time your event is in progress (usually it proves difficult to get any lunch!) For Medieval theme events, the entire interpretation will centre around the Norse, circa 1000 AD, with special emphasis on the Norse colony in Newfoundland, and the evolution of iron working technology.

What does a smithing demonstration look like ? - Set up at the McMichael Gallery in 2005.

Specialist technical demonstrations are also available for those involved in either the museum field or artisan blacksmithing.
Darrell has been involved in international projects in Scotland, Denmark and the USA. He has been a featured demonstrator at CanIRON 4 (Annapolis Royal NS) and 8 (Trois Rivieres PQ), at Artisan Blacksmith's events in Ontario, Michigan and Ohio. He is one of the core team leaders of the Early Iron series of workshop symposiums. He has presented lectures at academic conferences, at universities and to both the general publiic and specalist blacksmith and historical focussed groups.
(More information is available under Museum Services - Please ask for a detailed CV.)

Working copper at Fortress Louisburg
the 'Pioneer Blacksmith'
Viking Age: 'Buy a Sword?'
Iron smelting Demonstration
Demonstration Themes
Viking Age Sand Table style charcoal forge
Complete reproduction set for 1000 AD
Stress on Vinland and overall history
Settlement Period 1870's era portable forge Stress on the 'Pioneer Blacksmith'
Artisan Blacksmith either large table (coal) or gas (propane) forge Stress on contemporary artistic work
Bronze Casting in Sand Oxy-Propane torches OR all Viking Age Stress on technical aspects
Smelting Iron from Ore Historic based small bloomery smelter * Special fee for this larger demo

FEES: - 2015, revised 2018

$350 for set up and first day, $250 per extra day (plus 13 % HST for ALL Canadian locations)
Based on a 4 hour demonstration presentation.
No sales are undertaken, business cards only.
Note: this is based on a Central Ontario location, ask for rates to your location as travel costs apply.
Technical demonstrations may have additional costs related to specialized tools and raw materials.


Outside area on gravel or grass, minimum of 15 x 15 ft, roped off from the public (for safety).
Source of water nearby (for cooling tub)
Ability to move vehicle directly to area for equipment loading only.
Suggest space be away from food stalls and textile vendors, and is most effective at the rear of your area (as a crowd draw).
No extra tentage required.

References from past presentations can be supplied on request.


Additional information on demonstrations and lecture programs can be found
Educational Programs

The Wareham Forge
The Hamlet of Wareham, R.R. #2 Proton Station, Ontario
(519) 923-9219 //

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Continue for more information on the following topics:
Training in Blacksmithing
Instructional DVD
School Programs
Re-Enactors Supplies
Viking Age Reproductions
Museum Services
the Norse Encampment
Gallery of Past Work
Viking Game
Patron Sought
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All text , Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge
Images from various sources