Mumford wins state award

Mumford wins state awardPictured: “Warrior Princess” by Mike Mumford


Local artist-blacksmith Mike Mumford won second place in the People’s Choice awards competition for the California Blacksmith Association’s spring gallery show, held in Placerville last weekend.

His “Warrior Princess” piece earned distinction through popular vote out of more than 100 entries in the gallery.

“This event is the premier showcase for blacksmiths in California, an annual gathering, show and competition,” said Mumford. Blacksmiths from not only California, but also around the world were in attendance.

“I was both proud and humbled to be recognized by my fellow blacksmiths, as well as to be part of the three winning entries.”

Mumford’s “shadow sculpture” was inspired by a photo sent to him by a friend. He said he struggled with the idea for about three years until the design idea popped into place for him last fall.

“The design idea for Warrior Princess is a little girl playing on a rocking horse, along with a friend who is playing paper dolls,” said Mumford. When the image of the two shadows are combined, it depicts what is in the girl’s imagination — a warrior astride a horse, holding a sword aloft.

He works primarily in the medium of forged steel in the traditional manner of a blacksmith — shaping hot steel with hammer and tongs on an anvil.

Mumford operates RoadRunner Forge, is the editor of California Blacksmith Magazine and teaches monthly blacksmithing classes at his shop. See his work at

Story First Published: 2018-04-20