Four of a Kind: Elizabeth Brim talks local blacksmithing scene

Elizabeth Brim. Photo by Nick King

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Elizabeth Brim is a blacksmith and sculptor who teaches at the Penland School of Craft.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming blacksmithing event happening in the Asheville area that you’re looking forward to seeing?

Brim: Fire on the Mountain Blacksmithing Festival in Spruce Pine is a highlight of my year and is well worth marking on your calendar, even though it’s not until the last Saturday in April. There will be demonstrations by renowned metal artists and hands-on opportunities for people who want to try forming hot steel with a hammer. There will be forging competitions the public can vote on and a blacksmith’s art exhibit in the Spruce Pine Arts Council Gallery.  Because it’s a festival, there are lots of food and fun activities for people of all ages. It gets better each year and is free for everyone.

Outside of blacksmithing, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

When classes are running at the Penland School of Craft during summer and into fall, there are artist presentations almost every evening. Anyone can come see and hear artists talk about their work. Every other Thursday, there’s an auction of artwork to benefit the scholarship program. The Penland Gallery has outstanding exhibits and also wonderful pieces to buy and enjoy at home.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

I’m finishing an inflated steel pillow that Penland School has commissioned. The pillow will have names of the numerous instructors who have been selected to be honored annually as the Outstanding Artist Educator. This year, I have the honor of adding my name as well.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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