The Iron Bridge: Design, Creation, and Use of Specialized Metalsmithing Tools

  • 15 Jun 2014
  • 4:00 PM
  • 21 Jun 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • Touchstone Center for Crafts
  • 12


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
This workshop is closed.

June 15–21
The Iron Bridge: Design, Creation, and Use of Specialized Metalsmithing Tools
Glen Gardner
Intermediate–Advanced| $500
Weeklong Workshop

Once upon a time, the ability to make tools was a basic requirement for every artisan. While the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century lessened this burden, it also marked the steady decline of this once valuable skill set. For the artist/metalsmith, tool making can become a pathway of discovery and enlightenment. Rediscover the virtues of making your own personalized tool sets! Steel can be a harsh taskmaster, but by working in the forge, we will learn how to tame this beast to our wills. Demos will include the making of a variety of tools involved with the forming, raising, and chasing of sheet materials. You should expect to complete at least one small hammer and several chasing and repoussé tools.  



Glen Gardner began working with metal in the late sixties. From 1972 to 1976, he was resident blacksmith at Peters Valley Craftsmen 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 work 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.
> Weeklong workshop dates include check-in and check-out.
> Sunday, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Check-in at Blaney Lodge
> Sunday, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Meet and Greet at the Dining Hall
> Monday, 8:30 a.m.: Orientation at the Dining Hall
> Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Programming in Studios
> Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Check-out
Students are welcome to work in studios after the posted workshop hours as long as the instructor or appointed staff member is present. Unfortunately, due to liability risks, students are not permitted to work in the studios without one of these forms of supervision. While staff members and instructors will often be found in the studio during evening hours helping students, they are not obligated to be present after the posted workshop hours. Students are also encouraged to participate in evening activities such as studio demonstrations and the Thursday evening auction. Touchstone asks that all students respect the campus-wide quiet time of 11:00 p.m.
Touchstone Center for Crafts
1049 Wharton Furnace Rd.
Farmington, PA 15437
T: 724.329.1370
T: 800.721.0177 
F: 724.329.1371
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