For the 2015 festival, the Waterside Blacksmithing & Metal Art Association (WBMAA) was established by a volunteer team presided over by the illustrious stuntman/metalman Chris Anderson (husband of Melbourne sculptor Anne Anderson). The festival was held from 21-22 March, 2015 and once again provided the public an opportunity to come and view all aspects of the art of blacksmithing. A cohort of four merry blacksmiths led by the illustrious Patrick Pelgroms, were flown out from Belgium to attend the festival. Patrick and his team, supported by local artist blacksmith Jack Wylestone, ran a masterclass in Siberian axe making prior to the festival. This class was attended by Blacksmiths from all over Australia who each forged their own damascus steel billet into a traditional Siberian woodmans axe. During the festival blacksmithing enthusiasts partook in forging links, to add to a chain started at the 2013 festival. Some of Australia’s most accomplished blacksmiths gave a variety of demonstrations and talks. The Roslyn Smorgon Gallery, just up the hill from the studio, hosted the contemporary metal art exhibition FLOW and a variety of blacksmithing supplies, tools and products were for sale.
Visitor numbers to the festival were estimated to total over 2000 persons, many of who stopped to enjoy traditional Belgian waffles and a range of Belgian Beers served by the Belgian Club of Victoria. The Melbourne based gypsy band Babaganoush performed a class act and inspired many of us to participate in some fun circle dancing. It was a memorable two days, blessed with plenty of sunshine and enjoyed by blacksmiths and members of the public alike.