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Friday, 22 August 2014

Young Cumbria blacksmith Eleanor strikes while the iron’s hot

THINGS are hotting up for one Cumbrian woman whose love for traditional craftsmanship is sending her back to school.

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making a point Eleanor Barden forging at Chris Brammall Ltd in Ulverston. She has started a four-year fabrication and welding apprenticeship, studying part-time at Furness College SUBMITTED

Eleanor Barden, of Grizedale, has been employed as an apprentice blacksmith by Chris Brammall Ltd, bespoke architectural, sculptural and metalworkers in Ulverston, since October last year.

She recently started a four-year fabrication and welding apprenticeship, studying part-time at Furness College in Barrow.

Over the last 11 months, the 23-year-old has worked under the guidance and watchful eye of Mr Brammall and his team creating specialist gallery pieces, including candlesticks, wall sconces and fire irons.

All pieces are created using traditional blacksmithing techniques – hot steel forged by hand over an anvil – but with each piece having a contemporary twist to complement any modern home.

Prior to joining the Chris Brammall team, Ms Barden attended Myerscough College near Preston where she started an apprenticeship in farriery – the art of horseshoeing.

Unfortunately, that was cut short when her boss became ill, but this did not deter Ms Barden from following her heart to find alternative work in a forge.

She said: “I have had a love for and owned horses all my life, so it seemed obvious to want to develop a career with them too.

“Traditional crafts are a real passion of mine so an apprenticeship in farriery proved a natural choice.

“Unfortunately things didn’t quite work out to plan but I was determined to pursue a trade which involved being in a forge and was lucky enough to join the team at Chris Brammall as apprentice blacksmith.

“The best thing about working for Chris Brammall is the diversity of the jobs which I’m involved with.

“Each [piece of work] is completely different and it helps keep things really interesting and exciting – especially when I get to work at the forge.”

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