G. Gardner

W. Apgar

A. Franklin

2017 BLACKSMITHING WORKSHOPS


Click the register now button below to view session-specific pricing and/or to enroll in a workshop.




June 12–16

Irons in the Fire

Instructor: Glenn Horr

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Dive headfirst into blacksmithing! Enhance your skills in functional metalwork! Instruction will include building and controlling forge fires and basic forging skills: drawing out, twisting, tool making, forge welding, punching, and scroll work. You will finish a few small sample items.

Glenn Horr has been creating hand-forged metalwork since 1977. After working in forged metals for more than 39 years, Glenn finds that the design possibilities of decorative and functional ironwork still seem endless. Always finding enjoyment in making things with his hands, Glenn has been interested in metals and forging since taking a high-school shop class. He is primarily self-taught and continues to add to his repertoire of skills by attending blacksmithing conferences. Using traditional techniques, Glenn creates functional and decorative work in steel as well as copper, brass, and aluminum. He enjoys working with materials that are so rigid in one form, yet they yield to hammer and anvil when heated in the forge. Metal can be moved into different shapes and textures, and he likes to reflect his fluidity in his finished work.


June 19–23

Copper Drinking Vessels

Instructor: Glen Gardner

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Create small copper vessels suited for the consumption of chilled beverages and spirits in this hands-on metalsmithing class. A series of demonstrations will provide students with different strategies for designing and fabricating jiggers, cups, tumblers, and tankards. Topics will include pattern making, raising, forming, soldering, tinning, patination, and other surface enhancements. The class, which is open to anyone (even teetotalers!) interested blacksmithing, metals, and/or jewelry will use equipment from the metals and blacksmithing studios.

Glen Gardner began working with metal in the late sixties. From 1972 to 1976, he was resident blacksmith at Peters Valley Craftsman in Layton, New Jersey. In 1977, Glen built a forge and studio in the mountains of North Carolina, located near the Penland School of Crafts. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1992 and since that time, has maintained a metals studio there. Glen is a sculptor/metalsmith, and the work he produces ranges from purely sculptural to functional. Public works of sculpture, contemporary weathervanes, jewelry, and interior design are represented in his vast body of work. He works in all metals, including bronze, silver, gold, and iron. Preferring to use hammers, chisel, files, and anvils, he does almost no foundry work. Since beginning his career at Peters Valley Craftsmen, he has taught workshops in a variety of settings, including Penland School of Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Society of Contemporary Craft, as well as workshops at several universities across the country.


June 26–30 | Teen Week

Blacksmithing for Teens

Instructor: Matt Yeomans

All Levels, Grades 9–12

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Learn the basics of creating functional works of art with a hammer and anvil. We will focus on the basic tools and techniques of blacksmithing, as well as developing safe and responsible work habits. From decorative items to functional blacksmithing tools, you will have the opportunity to hand forge a wide range of projects.

Matthew Yeomans is a recent graduate form the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with degrees in adult education and art education and has studied multiple disciplines within the arts. He has spent the last eight years working with Touchstone Center for Crafts teaching blacksmithing workshops and working as a studio assistant to maintain the Hart Moore Blacksmithing Studio. Beyond his work with Touchstone, Matthew is also a featured author on the website, Instructables, where he writes articles and tutorials for his various woodworking and metalworking projects.


July 10–14

Forged Fashion

Instructor: Ellen Durkan

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Come and forge something wearable! We will focus on forging organic-based forms that fit on the body and will be directed toward individuals’ designs. Forge something to fit your arm, neck, and chest; or find inspiration in the shapes you forge, figuring it out as you go. Don’t worry we won’t be hot fitting anything! You will have the option to add leather, using various rivet and grommet attachments.

Ellen is an adjunct professor at Delaware College of Art and Design and is owner of Iron Maiden Forge, a blacksmith business. By the way, she has all of her tools, does not show horses, makes swords, and her granddad was not a blacksmith. She found metal while she was in college and never thought it would become her career. Ellen created “forged fashion,” which combines the blacksmithing and fashion worlds. She is continually inspired by craftsmanship and new techniques, as it pushes the technical level of her work up a notch every time she works. She continues to show in galleries, while the fashion aspect has taken her down an exciting and very different runway. Ellen has an expanding jewelry line, which makes her work more accessible to the public. After all, not everyone is in need of a metal corset!


July 17–21

From Forge to Bench

Instructors: Zach Lihatsh and Dan Neville

All Levels

$645 Member | $675 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Focus on the use of forged steel and formed brass to create functional kitchenware. Students will be exposed to two different studios and instructors, spending half of the week in the blacksmithing studio and the other half in the metalsmithing studio. In blacksmithing, we will cover handle design, basic forging, and punching steel. In metalsmithing, we will cover forming and planishing brass. Demonstration and conversations about contemporary design will provide the knowledge to all participants to complete their projects.

Zachary Lihatsh is an artist, designer, and blacksmith. He gathers much of his inspiration from the desert landscape, abandoned mines, and remnants of bygone industry. Born and raised in the Northeast, Zach now calls Tucson, Arizona his home. He received his masters’ degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He has taught blacksmithing at the high-school and college level. His work has been published in The Anvils Ring, Hephaistos, as well as multiple design publications. He has taught and exhibited his work both nationally and internationally.

Dan Neville received his BFA in metalsmithing from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and recently his MFA degree in metalsmithing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Dan has taught at numerous schools and universities, including the University of Gothenburg in Sweden; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; and Austin Community College in Texas. Dan has exhibited his work extensively at venues such as the Metal Museum in Tennessee, the Evansville Museum in Indiana, and the Tsubame Industrial Materials Museum in Japan. Dan has been awarded several research grants through the Windgate Foundation and is a 2016 Niche Award finalist.


July 24–28

Forging and Finishing a Tomahawk

Instructor: Marc Yanko

Intermediate–Advanced

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Learn various techniques and processes used in forging and finishing a variety of types of tomahawks. We will discuss the history of the tomahawk as well as types and usage, focusing on the types of tomahawks that were produced by an American blacksmith in the eighteen hundreds. We will cover all aspects of making a finished tomahawk, including forging the head, hand-finishing techniques, and making and using specialty tools; as well as shaping and fitting the haft (handle) and other components, final finishing, assemble and ornamentation.

While in elementary school, Marc Yanko began working with metal in his father’s shop. As an active blacksmith for more than 25 years, his interest has expanded to include fabrication, casting, and forging. His work has included knife making, tomahawks, architectural work, metal sculpture, and furniture created from recycled materials. Marc has demonstrated and taught at many venues, including: Buton Century Village, SOFA Quad State Roundup, and Touchstone Center for Crafts. Marc is a long standing member of Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA), and a member and past president of Western Reserve Artist Blacksmiths (WRABA). His education includes art, architecture, and engineering. He is owner and operator of Creek Bottom Forge in Chardon, Ohio, and does freelance metal work for various companies in northeast Ohio.


July 31–August 4

Introduction to Bladesmithing

Instructor: Andrew Meers

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Design and create a small scale utility knife. We will primarily focus on learning and practicing the forging and shaping of blades. We will discuss how to select alloys, the heat treating process, as well as handle design and construction. While you can expect to leave with a forged and heat treated blade, the main goal of the workshop is to learn basic bladesmithing processes, and if time permits—complete a knife.

Originally from the Boston area, Andrew Meers has a BFA in sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and received his MFA in blacksmithing and metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Currently residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Andrew recently earned his American Bladesmithing Society Mastersmith rating. Andrew is a former artist-in-residence at the National Ornamental Metal Museum. He has taught workshops at the Appalachian Center for Crafts, the National Ornamental Museum, and Penland School of Crafts.


August 7–11

Tools for the Home: Design for Daily Use

Instructor: Greg Gehner

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Starting with an overview of forging basics, we will consider and then apply methods of designing and making objects for the home, both inside and out. These objects may include, but are not limited to: bookends, grilling tools, candlesticks, racks, hooks, stands, bottle openers, and fire tools. We will examine the creation of desperate, but design-related objects in a series and how to achieve uniformity with multiples. Emphasis will be on forging and mechanical connections, though fabrication will be discussed as well. Layout, setup, joinery, and taking your forging skills to the next level will be goals of this class while making some fun, utilitarian, and graceful items for your home.

Greg Gehner received a BFA in metalsmithing and blacksmithing from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In 2005, he established Transit Forge in northwestern Pennsylvania, where he generates a variety of sculptural, functional, and architectural metalwork from his shop in Cambridge Springs. Commissions and unique design have included furniture, railings, signage, lighting, and numerous utilitarian objects. His work synthesizes traditional forging skills and industrial fabrication techniques with a contemporary aesthetic.


August 14–18

Sixteenth Century Padlock with Sliding Hasp

Instructor: Thomas Latané

Intermediate–Advanced

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

With an antique example as inspiration, you will forge and fabricate a sixteenth-century style padlock and key. This type of lock has a sliding hasp, which is released when the key draws the bolt from the staple on the hasp. We will incorporate the following metalwork techniques: forging, chiseling, chasing, filing to fit, and filing to create ornamentation. We will use forge welding, forge brazing, tenons, dovetails, and rivets for assemble. Various warding options will be presented.

Thomas Latan√© has concentrated on traditional hand-forging techniques since setting up a backyard forge in the early 1970s, and continues to be more fascinated by the things smiths were able to accomplish centuries ago rather than the potential of modern power equipment. Since 1983, Thomas and his wife have operated a shop in Pepin, Wisconsin where they repair antiques and produce their own work, using historic design motifs from various traditions. Thomas has demonstrated at numerous ARTIST-BLACKSMITH’S ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA (ABANA). conferences with the Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths and taught at Touchstone Center for Crafts since 1999. He was the 2013 Memphis Metal Museum’s Master Metalsmith.


August 21–25

Keep it Together: Joinery for Furniture

Instructor: Abraham Pardee

Beginner–Intermediate*

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Construct a small piece of forge steel furniture using traditional joinery, including rivets, mortises and tenons, and forge welding. You will also make some tooling for punching holes and forging tenons, then execute the same basic design while being given plenty of opportunities and ideas for individual embellishments that will make each piece unique. You will leave with a finished piece of furniture to grace your home.

*Some forging experience is required.

Abraham Pardee graduated with a BFA in metals in 2010 from Appalachian Center for Crafts. He then worked for blacksmith, Caleb Kullman, in western Colorado; spent two years in the apprentice program at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee; through-hiked the Appalachian Trail; worked a season on a small organic vegetable farm in Connecticut; and spent a year in Philadelphia forging stainless and bronze for blacksmith, John Rais. At the beginning of 2016, he opened up his own studio in Sparta, Tennessee and is producing commission and speculative work full time.


August 25–27

FUNdamentals of Blacksmithing

Instructor: Jody Best

Beginner–Intermediate

$325 Member | $355 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Sunday

No fears, no worries! FUNdamentals of Blacksmithing guarantees good times and promises enthusiastic instruction that is simple, essential, and the perfect introduction to a craft that may seem daunting when watched from the shop door. Venture in and get your hands dirty. This workshop will provide clear steps that will make it easy to succeed in a new endeavor. We will start with an introduction to all tools and techniques needed to get started with ornamental ironwork. You will learn to build a coal fire in a forge and how to bend, twist, and taper steel. All trade secrets will be revealed and many tips, ideas, and resource information will be provided. You can expect to complete several individually forged projects over the course of the weekend.

Jody Best has taught beginning blacksmithing courses at Touchstone Center for Crafts for over 15 years. She maintained a full-time, open-to-the-public blacksmithing studio at Penn Alps in Grantsville, Maryland, and currently has a shop at home, where she works on commissioned projects and forges ornamental and functional items. Jody has done large-scale fabricated sculptures for trail towns along the Rails-to-Trails bike path, but her primary interest and focus is hand-forged ironwork with attention to clean lines and interesting design. Jody is the director of the Confluence Creative Arts Center and is an experienced teacher, homeschooling parent, craftsperson, gardener, and cook—plus she does the laundry! She will share all her skills with students who enroll in her classes, but they are on their own for washing clothes.


September 1–3

Make the Tools for the Job

Instructor: Mark Aspery

Intermediate–Advanced

$325 Member | $355 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Sunday

Before you can do the job, you need the tools, and since most of the tools a blacksmith needs are not available commercially, we will make them! We will focus on completing a leafing hammer, after we make the tools required to punch and drift the hole, together with the correct heat treatment. The use of the power hammer for some moves is available to those interested, but the skills will be taught at the forge and anvil. We will move on to other hand tools, if time allows.

Mark Aspery is a British smith and a certified journeyman with the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, a guild started in London in 1324. Currently an associate of the company (AWCB), he is also a certified farrier with the American Farriers Association (AFA). As owner and operator of the Mark Aspery School of Blacksmithing, Mark travels North America, teaching classes and giving blacksmith demonstrations. He is the author of The Skills of a Blacksmith, a series of “how to” books, and currently the editor of Hammer’s Blow, a journal published by the Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA).


September 8-10

Troubleshooting Creative and Technical Problems in Blacksmithing

Instructor: Anna Koplik

All Levels*

$275 Member | $305 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Sunday

*Students should have at least an advanced beginner skill level, with basic knowledge of tools and techniques. It will be especially helpful if you have experience working with a coal forge.

Are you having creative and technical problems in blacksmithing? We will cover research and development, design concepts and layout, and of course, troubleshoot those blacksmithing problems. Not only will there be group discussions, but also opportunity to individually review and discuss with Anna any unfinished projects that you bring from home.

Anna Koplik was born and raised near Princeton, New Jersey. She graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in jewelry, and has studied blacksmithing and bladesmithing at Peters Valley School of Craft and New England School of Metalwork. Anna has worked as the blacksmithing assistant at Peters Valley School of Craft, the blacksmithing technician at Touchstone Center for Crafts, and as an apprentice at Atlas Forge in Hopwood, Pennsylvania.


September 15–18

An Introduction to Welding Techniques for the Artist

Instructor: Mark Atkinson

All Levels

$375 Member | $405 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Monday

Gain exposure to multiple welding processes, including MIG, TIG, Arc, brazing, soldering, and cutting, in this introduction to metal fabrication for the metal working artist. You will have the opportunity to create a sculpture or project of your choice.

Mark Atkinson was an underwater welder and commercial diver for more than 25 years. During this time he was exposed to multiple welding techniques in some of the harshest environments on the planet. As an accomplished metal artist and blacksmith, he has utilized his unique skill set to create original sculptures by combining age old, metal-working techniques with modern fabrication practices.


Touchstone Center for Crafts
1049 Wharton Furnace Rd.
Farmington, PA 15437
T: 724.329.1370
T: 800.721.0177 
F: 724.329.1371
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software