Metalsmithing workshops are designed to develop students’ skills in metal working and to encourage them to explore their individual interests in this diversified field of study. Building upon fundamental techniques, students progress to create work both functional and artistic, serving to increase an awareness of our tactile world and the work that goes into making it.
The Blacksmithing shop is outfitted to support 6 people working in the shop at a time. Beginner through advanced students will be accommodated with tools, tongs, hammers, and propane and coal forges during workshops, studio rentals and events.
Beginner Level I: Little to no experience
General shop protocol and safety issues will be introduced to begin this class. Students will learn fire starting and management of coal forge fires to achieve optimum working temperatures. Hammer and anvil use to perform the basic techniques of drawing out, tapering, hot cutting, upsetting, bending, and curling will be covered. Students will develop skills and confidence to work independently on basic blacksmithing projects suggested by individual instructors.
Beginner Level II: Beginner with level I experience or equivalent
Beginning with safety and shop protocol, students will review knowledge and skills learned in the Level I class. Building upon these skills, students will be introduced to basic metallurgy including hardening, tempering, and forge welding. Techniques of splitting, punching, and riveting will be taught to round out students’ basic skill sets. As students progress in ability and confidence, they will be encouraged to pursue individual projects and interests with the assistance of the instructor.
Intermediate Level III: Advanced beginner with level II experience or equivalent
Building upon introductory classes or prior experience, students will explore more advanced techniques and projects which will allow them to work independently while enjoying the benefits of professional instruction. Individual instructors will suggest and assist with these more technical projects such as, but not limited to forge tongs, knives, and traditional hardware.
Intermediate Level IV: Intermediate with level II experience or equivalent
In this class, students will work on smithing projects developed and taught by professional blacksmiths. These projects will enhance and inform students’ abilities learned in previous classes or instruction, allowing them to further their interests and skills. This level class will provide students with instruction in specialized fields of blacksmithing dependent on personal preference.
Bladesmithing Workshops With Jordan LaMothe
Jordan LaMothe began pursuing his interest in blacksmithing at age 14, taking a class and setting up his own forge in his parents’ barn. Now, Jordan is a full-time bladesmith, making a wide variety of knives, axes, and swords. He holds the Journeyman Smith ranking in the American Bladesmith Society, and was a champion on History Channel’s bladesmithing competition Forged in Fire. Jordan is also a vocalist and a saxophonist, and holds a BA in music from Williams College in Mass. He lives on a small farm in Hebron, NY, and hauls his family’s firewood with a team of oxen.
Hunting Knife Workshop
Friday thru Sunday, October 25-27, 2019, from 10am to 5pm
This is a fast-paced class that covers the fundamentals of making a high-quality, forged knife without the use of expensive grinding and heat treating equipment. Students will develop their hammer control and filing technique and learn about the metallurgy behind proper heat treatment, as they complete a hidden-tang, hunting knife with a guard and a hardwood handle.
Intermediate and up. Students should be familiar with basic forging processes.
Chef Knife Workshop with Jordan LaMothe
Friday thru Sunday, November 15-17, 2019, from 10am to 5pm
Everyone likes a good meal, but you can’t prepare a good meal without a good knife! Over the course of three days, students will craft their very own chef knives while learning principles of knife design and heat treating and developing their skills at forging, grinding, and finishing. Special attention will be given to the blade and handle geometry required to make an ergonomic and efficient cutting tool.
Beginners and up.