The forge and metalworking festival in Étouars and the knife and cutlery celebration in Nontron!

Two annual events that are very popular amongst cutlery lovers will be taking place soon in the Dordogne (a department in France). The forge and metalworking festival in Étouars will be taking place during the last weekend in July and the knife celebration (Fête du couteau) in Nontron will be celebrating its 21st anniversary the following week.

The forge and metalworking festival in Étouars and the knife and cutlery celebration in Nontron!

Forge and metalworking festival in Étouars

A historic forging and metalworking hub

Individuals who are passionate about cutlery and knives of all types will be gathering in Étouars in the Périgord for the forge and metal working festival’s 4th anniversary, which will be taking place Saturday July 30 and Sunday July 31, 2016.

Going on a day trip to find out about the metalworking and forging professions is an original idea for your summer vacation.

This festival is located in the North of the Dordogne department. During the festival the association 3F3M will be giving diverse demonstrations that will bring you back in time to the golden age of forging. During the 13th and 14th centuries this French department was an important steel working hub where numerous blacksmiths worked with diverse types of steel.

The Royal Marine’s canons that were mounted onto the boats in Rochefort’s arsenal were created in Étouars and Nontron before the metalworking industry was slowly taken over by other regions that created competition in the sector.

An extensive program

During this two-day event in Étouars, visitors and vacationers will be able to learn about the different metalworking and forging techniques that are used to create cutlery. The following lists some of the activities that are scheduled:

  • Workshops about bloomery furnaces, blacksmithing with bronze and tin and refining white cast iron
  • Demonstrations on pouring cast iron using a blast furnace, making cutting tools, ironworking and quenching knife blades
  • Artisans and associations will exhibit their work (Route des Tonneaux et des Cannons, Compagnie Périgord Limousin)
  • A demonstration about a type of antique oven called a “wootz”
  • Workshops on creating iron and much more…

Other activities are programmed such as a guided visit of Étouars’ forges, a chance to meet distinguished figures in the forging and cutlery fields (Michel Lemans, Mikael Sabatier, Frédéric Fiévez, Patrick Cretenoud, Pascal Renoux, Philippe Bachmair) as well as metalworking specialists (Max Monet-Descombey, Simon Pellequer, Charles Torres), various activities designed for kids and conferences about iron and metalworking.

Find more detailed information about this festival’s program on their official website!

The knife celebration (fête du couteau) in Nontron has organized a series of hands-on workshops in partnership with the metalworking festival in Étouars that will be taught by professionals August 1 – 5, 2016. Certain workshops are open to individuals age 16 and up and others for age 18 and up.

Cutlery will be held in esteem at the knife celebration in Norton, France

Norton will be placed in the spotlight after Étours!

After the festival in Étours, cutlery lovers and collectors can go to Nontron to enjoy the knife celebration, which will take place the following week. There will be countless stands where hundreds of renowned international cutlers will showcase their wide selection of knives: from traditional kitchen knives for everyday use to pocket knives and folding knives, artistic and traditional knives, knives from specific regions, military knives and much more.

This celebration also has several workshops and demonstrations programmed that will allow the public to learn about the sophisticated manufacturing processes that are used in the cutlery sector. Curious visitors will be allowed to take part in hands-on workshops about forges and even create their own knives using ancient forging techniques! The workshops teaching how to engrave knife handles were wildly popular in previous years.

One of this celebration’s highlights will be an exhibit of the late Éric Plazen’s work accompanied by a film about this famous cutler. Both the exhibit and film will be open to the public throughout the entire event.

A brief overview of the cutlery celebration’s program

  • All weekend long: the artisan’s boutique will be showcasing a permanent collection of artistic knives (PEMA)
  • The cutler’s room: conferences and workshops (From sculpting flint to Cro-Magnon man with Yannick Kepinski)
  • Introduction to forgery for children with Michel Lemans
  • Knife making with the Confrérie du Couteau association from Thiers,
  • Engraving knife handles and much more

Entry fee: 1-day pass: 5€, 2-day pass: 7€ (free for children under 16 months)
Date and time: Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7, 2016 from 9:30 AM – 7 PM.
There will be food and drink available as well as workshops, food tastings and music.

For more information
Telephone: 05 53 56 00 08
Email: lafeteducouteau at

The knife celebration’s official website.

If you happen to visit the Dordogne this summer and attend these major cutlery events feel free to give us your feedback on our Facebook page! Thank you!