The Metal Museum is a great place to see artists in action. In addition to demonstrations and classes, our artists do projects of all types and scale from fireplace screens to andirons, chandeliers, iron railings and gates.
Open to the public since 1985, the Schering-Plough Smithy offers visitors the opportunity to see blacksmiths at work. Here special workshops are held by visiting artists as well as regularly scheduled classes. The Museum staff also does special projects for public and private clients. Commissions have included a weathervane for the Memphis Zoo, a sterling silver coffee and tea service for the trident nuclear submarine the U.S.S. Tennessee, a suit of Etruscan armor and weapons for the Memphis Wonders International Cultural Series, and trophies for the Memphis in May International Barbecue Cooking Contest. The Smithy was expanded in 1993, with funding from Schering-Plough and major tool and equipment donations from S. Fargotstein and Sons, to include a state of the art metals conservation facility. Conservation and restoration projects have included the gates at Graceland, the statue of Elvis Presley now housed in the Memphis Visitors Center, cemetery gates for the City of Pontiac, Illinois and bronze leaves for the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Stanley Lawler, president of Birmingham, Alabama-based Lawler Machine and Foundry, provided the funding for the foundry located west of the Schering-Plough Smithy. The foundry houses melt furnaces, a kiln and molding equipment for green sand casting. Lawler Machine and Foundry was founded in 1933 in Birmingham, and remains leading supplier of both cast and forged iron components to the ornamental iron industry. Lawler Machine and Foundry also cast the railings for the Metal Museum's Riverbluff Pavilion a site of many weddings and concert performances on the Mississippi River bluff.
Contact the Smithy staff at 901-774-6380 for information regarding commissions and repairs. Book a tour and get a demonstration by a professional metalsmith!