Trackrock Fall 2019

Sometimes we do a thing so many times that that while we still appreciate it as a whole, we lose the wonder of the little things going on around us.

With fresh eyes from our farthest visitors (Nebraska & Ft Lauderdale), I saw the Trackrock Hammer in this past weekend as I must have seen the first one we attended.  So much has happened since then, the evolution of a living event. My first impression of this event was always, those involved in doing this must love what they do.  That has certainly not changed even though I know them all better.  This amazing group of men & women believe in what they do and why.

It's fun! What it brings to the knife community is priceless.

Thursday is set up day.  A dozen or more trucks pull up and unload forges/anvils/tongs/grinders/hammers/propane or coke and a knifesmith that has already spent a day or two loading and driving to be here. Everyone pitches in to unload and get set up at that maker’s area.  This is repeated until every stage is set up and every forge fired up.  Meet and greet happens in between, business happens on the run while set up is being completed.

Friday is day 1 open to the public.  Typically a slower day for attendance because kids are in school, parents at work.  This gives the makers a chance to check out each other’s recent works, teach one another and learn.  Knowledge is freely shared and collaborations are born.  Some of the visitors, having been here before have come on Friday to get a little more instruction or advice on how to make a sheath for last year’s knife.

Saturday will be a long and hectic day and it begins with a celebration.  These amazing folks have put together a program that awards the young makers for their commitment.  These young folks began as a visitor making a nail knife but they caught the bug and the Families made the commitment with them.

They come to virtually every hammer in and soon they are on an anvil helping another youngster with their first.  They help with set up, with tear down, side by side with the adults.  This commitment has earned a few of them a new forge, anvil and tool package donated again by these marvelous folks. This year Miss Lilly was the recipient

It is about 930 on a Saturday morning and parking is full, visitors are at every station and the roar of multiple forges is making this old barn hum along like a beehive. Although all are welcome to get on an anvil, Saturdays are structured around the kids.  If you’re making something and a kid wants a try, the adults take a small break to start again when there is not a young face standing there with a gleam in their eye. 

Before long you’re seeing groups of youngsters playing in groups, comparing what they "built" and talking about how cool it is to make stuff!

After lunch they get out their raffle tickets and just like the adults they are eyeing the "iron in the hat" table for what they will get when it is their turn.  After a few mins you begin to see the makers handing tickets to kids that have never been there before,  "here, try your luck with these".  Every child has at least one turn at the table, the makers insist.  It could be a trophy as simple as a small lightly used SAK knife or a piece of steel they dream of being their next creation.

Here is where I should mention a round of applause to the parents and grandparents that set aside a day of what we all know is likely a hectic life, to bring a child here.  More importantly to allow them to participate, allowing them the opportunity to learn the very basics - a knife is a tool.  It has a purpose.  They ask the questions !  What will that one be?  Did you make that one?  Whats' it for?

The generations fall away and soon these young boys and girls have friends on the anvils.  They know the knife makers, if not by name, by the tools in their area. When the dates are announced for the Spring 2020 Hammer in, you hear small voices all over the barn saying...can we come back??

The amazing men and women behind this event share a bond rarely seen.  Never a harsh word, the sharing of new ideas and the joy of fellowship bring them back again and again.  The looks on those small faces makes the tired bones willing to do "just one more".

Thanks to our new visitors for bringing the wonder back to the forefront for me.   Thank you to everyon swinging the hammers here for allowing me to be a small part.

Stay tuned this week !!   I have some makers, some sellers and a few happening you will not want to miss !!


Tags: 2019, Fall, Trackrock

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I have about a hundred more pics to go through and as I said some real good news to share about makers found, events and knowledge.  I will have it all done by weeks end but for tonight I am still a little tired and still looking through multiple cameras, tablets and phones for the best of what we captured.  Have a Blessed Sunday evening folks and thanks again for being a part of iKC !

Great post Jan.

A hammer in is on my bucket list.

With my arthritis, I'd never be able to fully participate, but I'd sure like to experience one. 

You also have an open invitation!  You know we are just this side of the Smoky Mountains Park!
J.J. Smith III said:

A hammer in is on my bucket list.

With my arthritis, I'd never be able to fully participate, but I'd sure like to experience one. 

Very nice presentation/representation Jan! As always it's good to have you and Donnie participating and promoting the Trackrock Hammer-In event, helps make it just that much more special. Never knew when Mark, Chuck, John and I got together on a rainy weekend so many moons ago that this thing would get so big. I've been blessed beyond belief, even through some of the growing pains, to be surrounded by so many fine and willing friends that have kept this event alive and thriving. Thank all of you so much.

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