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Beginner blacksmithing class offered at Sugar Grove Nature Center

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[August 19, 2013]  McLEAN -- The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association is offering a class for beginning blacksmiths at the Sugar Grove Forge, located at Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove. The class can be taken on Sept. 21 or Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. either day

If you have ever thought about trying your hand at pounding, bending and twisting metal, this one-of-a-kind, hands-on program is for you. Participants will work side-by-side with a blacksmith who will give guidance and encouragement every step of the way. By the end of the day, you will have one or two small completed projects to take home.

Anyone 16 and older is welcome to register. Spots are limited. In order to ensure a quality program and plenty of personal attention, there will be a maximum of eight participants per class.

Participants are asked to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants made of cotton or wool -- no shorts or open-toed shoes and no clothing or shoes (such as some athletic shoes) with nylon or other flammable materials. Safety glasses must be worn and will be provided if needed.

For additional information about the class, contact Bill Kauffman at 309-208-2505.

The cost is $40 for members of Sugar Grove Nature Center or Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association and $50 for nonmembers. Lunch, tools and materials are included in the fee.

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Registration and prepayment are required by Sept. 6 for the September class and by Sept. 27 for the October class. The registration form is available at Indicate preferred date on the registration form. For more information or to register, phone 309-874-2174 or email .

The mission of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association is to help people realize their dreams and aspirations of constructive and creative metalworking through participation in blacksmith demonstrations and training programs, by capitalizing on and sharing in the vast and varied experiences of the membership, and by using the association's library and video resources for blacksmiths.

Sugar Grove Nature Center is in historic Funks Grove, just south of Bloomington-Normal. For a map and directions, membership and program information, visit

[Text from file received from Sugar Grove Nature Center]

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