The West

Many may see blacksmithing as a thing of the past but the trade is far from finished.

And the ancient art of forging metal in fire will be on show when artisans come together for Perth Heritage Days in November.

Artisans Alley in the Perth Cultural Centre will be lined with working displays of old-fashioned crafts such as stained glass manufacturing, stonemasonry, bookbinding and letterpress printing to celebrate Perth's history.

"An important part of our heritage is not just the buildings but people and the crafts that have made those buildings possible," Heritage Perth executive director Richard Offen said.

"They're all historic, ancient crafts that have been handed down over the generations. It just fascinates people to know how these things are done."

Mullaloo retiree Bruce Whiley will be forging at Artisans Alley. He took up blacksmithing as a hobby 12 years ago at the Blacksmiths Association of WA's weekly workshops under tutor Malcolm Paine, a lifelong blacksmith in his 80s.

Mr Offen hopes to have more trades on display this year and appealed to people with specialised trade skills to get involved.

Perth Heritage Days will be held from November 17-18.

The free event includes tours of historic buildings such as the former Government Printing Office (now Curtin Graduate Business School), the Scouting Museum on Murray Street and Moana Chambers in the Hay Street mall, all open to the public for the first time.

The West Australian

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