MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In Heritage Square, history meets the modern day.

There, skills long forgotten are second nature to Joel Miller.

“The blacksmith hammers iron, shapes iron, and were important in the old days when they didn’t have the hardware stores,” he said.

Every day fair-goers watch the process of heating and shaping metal into common tools, like fire pokers.

Right around the corner, a log of wood is hand crafted into elaborate bowls. Using the most basic tools, Roger Abrahamson shows fair-goers how they made dishware years ago: craving wood while it spins on a lathe.

Trades of years past include glassblowing. Artists at the fair show the painstaking process of creating bowls, jars and vases.

“To see that process — where it’s not made by a machine — is so rare nowadays,” said Jenn Justad, a glassblower, “because everything is made by a machine mostly,”

Molten sand is constantly reheated and shaped, and even the slightest mistake can ruin the whole project. But a finished product is always an accomplishment

Here fair-goers are reminded of the effort that goes into hand crafted products while appreciating skills of the past.

“It’s keeping our heritage alive,” Miller said.


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