Artist Blacksmithing

The 150mm Challenge

Exhibitions | 14 June 2023 - 23 September 2023

The 150mm Challenge is a celebration of process, material, and innovation in forged metal. The exhibition displays a curated selection of metal objects, chosen from over 400 pieces created by amateur and professional blacksmiths from around the world as part of the viral #150mmChallenge.

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The challenge originated as a project for students enrolled in the Artist Blacksmithing degree course at the prestigious Hereford College of Arts (Hereford, UK). Lecturer Ambrose Burne first conceived of the challenge as an exercise in imagination, and he tasked his students with transforming a small, rectangular piece of steel, measuring 150mm x 20mm x 20mm, into something amazing. His students tested the limits of the material and stretched their understanding of what is possible in the process. They began sharing their creations across social media, and the #150mmChallenge was born.

The viral challenge caught the interest of blacksmiths from around the world. Their efforts resulted in an exhibition that toured Europe to much acclaim. Featuring playful figurative models, functional tools, and abstract sculptures, the challenge encouraged a creative exploration of technique, form, and concept. This exhibition represents a sample of work inspired by the challenge, all created from a humble rectangle of steel.

Co-Curated by Steffan Jones-Hughes and Ambrose Burne, Produced by Delyth Done, Project Concept by Ambrose Burne, Hereford College of Arts