On Friday 9th November 2017, Dr John Murray of the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, attended the East Midlands Heritage Awards 2017, where he received an award for his virtual reality blacksmith project.
Dr Murray and his team, Andrew Cardwell and Liam Wilson, students in Games Computing at the University, received a Heritage Lottery Fund for a Virtual Reality blacksmith project, which aimed to revive the process of traditional blacksmith crafting techniques and craftsmanship for a new generation.
The project was shortlisted for an innovation award (and won), in partnership with the Blacksmith museum Friends of Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
A short clip from the blacksmith simulator can be seen below.
Heritage crafts played an important role for the local community, but many, including blacksmithing, have been in decline since the early 20th century. The project will hopefully pass on the knowledge and skills that were held by blacksmiths to help conserve the craft.
Geoff Taylor, from Chain Bridge Forge, said: “We aim to allow people to try blacksmithing for themselves without the need to use dangerous and heavy equipment, or indeed without many years training as an apprentice. This project will allow schools to bring back exposure of these crafts to pupils in a new, modern and safe way.”
Find out more about the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln.