Retired Bishop Jim Curry has honed a new skill.
“Part of our responsibility as the blacksmiths and toolmakers is to keep this going,” said Curry, heating up metal in a 2,500-degree forger.
“It’s thousands of years old. It’s pretty basic,” said Curry. “You use a hammer against hot metal to reshape it. You use a hammer and an anvil.”
What’s unique about his work is he’s using the metal from long guns from local buy back events and transforming them into instruments, jewelry and gardening tools.
Since 2017, Curry and Swords to Plowshares North East has repurposed unwanted guns turned over from the streets and from inside of homes. They’ve made about 150 tools.
“Most of them we give away to school groups and community gardens.”
Curry will show off how he does it Saturday at the Keefe Community Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The center uses the tools in their community garden. Volunteer Brenda Campbell says having the tools is heartwarming.
“It’s because we’re taking those weapons and being positive with the negative,” said Campbell.
The center started a community garden this summer to help supply the food pantry with fresh produce. Campbell wants to see more people turn in guns for good.
“Please to it. Oh my God please do this,” she said.
Swords to Plowshares has partnered with Hamden, New Haven, Bridgeport and Guilford.
Guilford Chief Warren Hyatt praised the Song Foundation and Swords to Plowshares for their work in Guilford. And he reminds people they don’t have to wait for a buy-back if there’s an emergency.
“They can turn them in to the police department anytime they want if they feel it’s a safety issue in their home,” said Hyatt.
And there’s a good chance it will be put to good use.