Scottish Blacksmith Stacey Hibberd Revives Traditional Craft

Introducing Stacey Hibberd, the 32-year-old Edinburgh native who’s breathing new life into the time-honored skill of blacksmithing.

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Residing in Newhaven, Stacey once harbored dreams of veterinary life, yet her passion for history and equines steered her towards the anvil and forge instead.

Her hands have restored the metalwork of numerous city landmarks, with a career-defining moment crafting the roundels for King Charles’ coronation.

Stacey remarked, “Little me would be pretty shocked at my current role—I was dead set on veterinary science. Horses were my world, and although I never owned one, I was always close to them.”

“I wanted to work with horses but riding at a professional level was out of reach—lessons were too expensive. So, me and mum started exploring other horse-related careers,” Edinburgh Live reports her as saying.

“We chanced upon a farrier at a country show when I was 11. He was demonstrating shoeing and his passion really sparked something in us. That’s when we began looking into farrier apprenticeships.

“But as I got deeper into the craft, it was the metalwork that truly captured me, leading me to conservation blacksmithing for Historic Environment Scotland,” she continued.

In her chat with Edinburgh Live, Stacey, a Newhaven local, shared that her appearance on construction sites often surprises people, but she’s quickly accepted into the fold.

“People have this image of blacksmithing as just hammering metal, but it’s so much more. It’s a dive into history, a creative journey to embody ideas. And there’s a lot of unseen work that makes a significant impact,” she explains, inviting people to join Edinburgh Live’s Whatsapp Community for updates.

“The blacksmith community has been nothing but supportive, always willing to lend knowledge and assistance,” Stacey added. “Even on construction sites, any initial surprise at seeing me is short-lived, and folks go out of their way to make me feel included. I count myself lucky to have such a positive experience, unlike some women in trades.

“The biggest hurdle? Navigating portaloos on site, especially during that time of the month—they aren’t exactly designed with women’s sanitary needs in mind.”

In 2023, Stacey’s renowned craftsmanship was showcased in gifts for King Charles III, including a piece for the Stone of Destiny’s box.”

“There’s a lot I’m proud of in my heritage career,” Stacey shared. “But making the roundels for the King’s coronation stands out.

“A HES stonemason crafted a clay model of the roundel, which was then scanned for a 3D pattern. I cast it in pewter and finished it with 23.5-carat gold gilding applied by a HES painter.

“We produced both small roundels for the King and a larger one for the Stone of Destiny’s box.”

Stacey concluded, “Blacksmithing is a rare skill—creating custom, unique pieces isn’t something most encounter daily. My role has taken me across the country and to some remarkable places.”

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