TV programme to feature Dorset blacksmith's work

Dorset Echo: CAST OF ONE: Blacksmith Simon Grant-Jones with his iron screen which will be featured on BBC4 tomorrow night CAST OF ONE: Blacksmith Simon Grant-Jones with his iron screen which will be featured on BBC4 tomorrow night

AN award-winning blacksmith will see his work on screen in a TV documentary tomorrow night.

Simon Grant-Jones is a contributor in the BBC4 programme ‘The Blacksmith’s Tale’ and a piece of ironwork that he made recently will feature in the film.

The Kingston Maurward College blacksmith and forgework tutor said: “When the BBC first called me, they just wanted information.

“They had no idea I was making this wrought iron screen.

“It was made for Kingston Maurward Gardens as a commission and is to reflect the period of Kingston Maurward House, around 1720.

“It just so happens that this fitted perfectly with the programme that the BBC was making on wrought iron.

“Traditional techniques are used throughout and everything is contemporary to the early 18th Century style of working.

“My inspiration for blacksmithing is a man named Robert Bakewell, who was working around 300 years ago.

“One day the producer called me again and said they would be reviewing a Bakewell piece in Derby, would I like to go?

“So we went to Derby and I reviewed the piece and hopefully that will be shown during the programme.

“The crew also came to another event at Finch Foundry, a water-powered forge in Devon, and that should be featured too.”

The screen took around 450 hours of work during two years to complete.

Mr Grant-Jones was named Show Champion with the piece at the North Somerset Show last week.

He said: “This was the first of ten shows which will take place this year. At each show, the champion receives ten points and the reserve gets four. The points are added up over the whole series of shows and whoever has the most points will be named National Champion.

“I was National Champion in 2010 and I’ve been Reserve Champion twice. I’ve got off to a good start and it would be really nice to win again.”

The screen will be used as a show piece until September, when it will be permanently installed in the formal gardens at the college.

The programme is the third in the ‘Metalworks!’ series and will be shown tomorrow on BBC4 at 9pm.

For details on Mr Grant-Jones’s work, visit simongrant-jones.com

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