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Pennsylvania’s Premier Craft School

724-329-1370

Blacksmithing Workshops

2021 Workshop Season Update:

Touchstone is pleased to be able to offer a modified 2021 workshop season. Based on best practices related to Covid-19, workshops will run at a reduced capacity of 6 participants, all multi-occupancy lodging has been converted to single-occupancy, and mask and social distancing protocols will be strictly enforced. Our updated cancellation policy* can be found​​

HERE and our Covid-19 Policies and Procedures* can be found​​ HERE *Subject to change.

 

NEW! Updated Artist Residency Program in 2021!

To learn more please CLICK HERE.

2021 Registration Is Now Open!

Register early, class size is limited, workshops will fill quickly.

JUN 21-25 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Forging FUNdamentals

Instructor: Andy Upright

Beginner-Intermediate
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$35-$65 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​​

This Workshop Is Full

Sign Up for Waitlist

 

Explore the FUN in the fundamentals of forging. You will start with lighting a coal fire and work through the principles of moving hot metal. Learn about the various tools in the shop as you forge functional or sculptural pieces.  Explore your creativity and walk away with finished pieces.

Andy custom makes window grills, gates, railings, and sculptural ironwork in and around Philadelphia. He studied with and alongside other metals artists at John C. Campbell, Tunnel Mill Crafts and other schools and taught workshops at Peters Valley and assisted at Penland School of Crafts. He has exhibited work at The Satellite Coffee Shop, Gush Gallery and The Sculpture Gym. Andy is also a featured artist in the recently released book, Ironwork Today 4: Inside & Out (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.)

Instructor website: andyuprightmetalworks.com
Instagram: @uprightmetalworks

JUN 28-JUL 2 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Bladesmithing Fundamentals:
Hunting Knife

Instructor: Jordan LaMothe

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$80-$110 Materials and Studio Fees
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This Workshop Is Full

 

The hunting knife is an excellent project to learn and practice the fundamentals of bladesmithing. Throughout the five days of this course you will forge, heat treat, grind, and finish your own blades, furnishing those blades with finger guards and hardwood handles. You will gain a solid understanding of hidden-tang knife design and construction and begin to develop a critical eye for what makes a good knife. In the end, you will leave with a completed knife.

Jordan makes a wide variety of knives and swords, from “user” knives for the kitchen and field to presentation blades and teaches regularly at several craft schools. Jordan holds the Journeyman Smith ranking in the American Bladesmith Society and was a champion on History Channel’s bladesmithing competition Forged in Fire, season 4, episode 7.

Instructor website: jordanlamothe.com
Instagram: @jordanlamotheblades

JUL 12-16 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Heat, Hammer, Repeat

Instructor: Greg Gehner

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$85-$115 Materials and Studio Fees
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Have fun forging, try new things, and challenge yourself! Repetition is a useful design element as well as a path to hone skills and create muscle memory. You will begin by practicing forging on variations of small household objects. Discussions and demonstrations about design, layout, and connections will follow and lead to more challenging techniques and forging practices. By the end, you will have designed and completed a rack of hooks, fire tool set, three-legged stool, or suitable project in consultation with the instructor.

Greg started his career in blacksmithing at Southern Illinois University 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 have included furniture, railings, functional and architectural work for Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the Erie Art Museum and City of Erie Pennsylvania, and both the Brew House and Wigle Distillery in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. His work synthesizes traditional forging skills and industrial fabrication techniques with a contemporary aesthetic.

Instructor website: transitforge.com
Instagram: @ggehner

JUL 18-23 | TEEN WEEK | 6-DAY (SUN-FRI)

Blacksmithing for Teens

Instructor: Anna Koplik

All Levels (Ages 14-17)
$615 Tuition
$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

Join other teens learning the basics of forging beautiful steel objects in a fun, enthusiastic, and inclusive environment! Throughout the week Anna will guide you through proper techniques of swinging a hammer at the anvil and working a coal forge, while covering forging techniques such as tapering, twisting, bending, and spreading steel. These basic skills and techniques will allow you to complete a variety of projects and create your own unique works of art and functional objects. Be prepared to get dirty and have fun!

Anna has a passion for teaching blacksmithing and showing beginner smiths the many different possibilities the medium has to offer. Her personal work focuses mainly on tool and utensil making, combining functionality with a refined, delicate aesthetic. Anna attended Pratt Institute (BFA in Jewelry) and has worked at Peters Valley School of Craft, Atlas Forge, Touchstone Center for Crafts, Spirit Ironworks, Inc., and Center for Metal Arts. She has taught blacksmithing at a variety of craft schools including Peters Valley and Touchstone.

Instagram: @arkoplik

ALL TEENS INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN TEEN WEEK MUST FILL OUT A TEEN WEEK APPLICATION REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU ARE APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIP CONSIDERATION. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

JUL 26-30 | EDUCATORS’ RETREAT | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Forging Ahead

Instructor: Anna Koplik

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$30-$60 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Come learn the art of blacksmithing in a fun, enthusiastic, and inclusive environment! Pound out the stress of the year as you learn to properly swing a hammer at the anvil, work a coal forge, and have fun forging hot steel! Throughout the week techniques such as tapering, twisting, bending, and spreading steel will be covered in order to give you the skills to complete a variety of projects. In the end, everyone will walk away with their own hand forged objects and the skills and knowledge to forge ahead and continue exploring blacksmithing.

Anna has a passion for teaching blacksmithing and showing beginner smiths the many different possibilities the medium has to offer. Her personal work focuses mainly on tool and utensil making, combining functionality with a refined, delicate aesthetic. Anna attended Pratt Institute (BFA in Jewelry) and has worked at Peters Valley School of Craft, Atlas Forge, Touchstone Center for Crafts, Spirit Ironworks, Inc., and Center for Metal Arts. She has taught blacksmithing at a variety of craft schools including Peters Valley and Touchstone.

Instagram: @arkoplik

AUG 2-6 | NATURE WEEK | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Organic Designs in Metal

Instructor: Glenn Horr

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$55-$85 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Explore and be inspired by the natural surroundings of Touchstone with expert guidance from Powdermill Nature Reserve Environmental Educators and Naturalists.  Once inspired, Glenn will guide you through forging leaves, flowers, vines, and even some small critters. Techniques such as drawing out, twisting, scrolling, and working with chisels will be covered. In addition, tool making will be demonstrated and discussed as a means to develop your designs. You will have fun transforming bars of steel into lifelike organic forms inspired by the week’s natural setting.

Glenn grew up in West Virginia and has been forging metal since high school. Glenn is a well-sought after instructor and was the 2005 Touchstone Artist of the Year. He has been sharing his knowledge and making custom forged work since 1978. Glen demonstrates for various blacksmithing groups and curated FORGED! The Art of Fire and Metal at the Morgan Arts Council ICE HOUSE Gallery in 2017.

AUG 9-13 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Ornamental Hacksaw Frame

Instructor: Tom Latané

Intermediate to Advanced  
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$40-$70 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Be inspired by history and push your design into the future. Forge and file a hacksaw frame incorporating decorative elements inspired by saw frames used by locksmiths and surgeons in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Your own creative variations will be encouraged. Get technical – the large collar in the octagonal center section will be forge-welded and the smaller beads will be filed; the bolster at the handle will be forge-brazed to the ferrule as well as the frame. 

Since picking up a hammer in the early 1970s, Tom has been more inspired by what was accomplished by hand tools more than 200 years ago than the potential of modern power. He and his wife have had a shop in Pepin, WI since 1983, repairing antiques and producing their own creations employing design vocabularies from various historic traditions.

AUG 16-20 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Utensil Forging

Instructor: Nathanael Weiss

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$45-$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Design, forge, and embellish your own one-of-a-kind utensils! Learn about utilitarian design, fundamentals of forging, and simple embellishment as you explore spreading, punching and drifting, piercing, file decoration, and methods of cold connection.

Nate works in a variety of metals with a focus on clean forging and light embellishment, creating refined utilitarian objects. A south-central Pennsylvania native, he forged his own education at craft schools such as Touchstone, Penland, and Peters Valley where he had the opportunity to hone his skills as a blacksmith and instructor.

Instagram: @nathanael_Weiss 

AUG 28-30 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Animal Heads and the
Tools to Create Them

Instructor: Randy McDaniel

Experienced Beginner – Advanced  
$410 Member | $440 Non-Member
$45-$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Learn about the tools required for forging animal heads and faces and how to make your own tools using easily available, inexpensive scrap steels. Use those tools to create a variety of heads and faces in hot steel. Even those who say they are not creative will soon learn otherwise! You will leave with a variety of tools and samples plus the understanding and skills to create many more.     

Randy, the author of A Blacksmithing Primer and more recently Hydraulic Forging Press for the Blacksmith, has been forging hot metal for over forty-five years. He has taught basic and advanced workshops for more than 40 years at many of the top colleges and schools as well as blacksmithing groups nationwide.  Randy was also a lecturer and demonstrator for ABANA’s International Conference at Alfred, New York in 1990, at LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 2002, and the upcoming 2020 conference in Saratoga, NY.

Instagram: @drgnfly4g

SEP 4-5 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)

Beginner Bladesmithing:
Forging an Iron Age Knife

Instructor: Jared Ondovchik

All Levels
$300 Member | $330 Non-Member
$50-$80 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full
Sign Up for Waitlist

Forge your own Iron Age Knife while learning the skills of a bladesmith. No prior experience is necessary as Jared will guide you through the process step by step. Over two days you will learn hammer techniques, basic tool terminology, and the fundamentals of heat-treating a carbon steel knife. At the end of the workshop you will leave with your own hand-forged knife.

Jared is a blacksmith and bladesmith from Pittsburgh, PA. He is the owner and operator of Artifact Metalworks LLC and his blades are sought after by collectors around the country. Jared has been instructing bladesmithing workshops at Touchstone for several years.

Instructor website: artifact-metalworks.com
Instagram: @artifactmetalworks

SEP 11-13 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Raising, Japanese Style

Instructor: Glen Gardner

All Levels
$410 Member | $440 Non-Member
$45-$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

The Japanese method of raising metals is known as Tsuiki (sue-e-kee). While similar to Western techniques used to form flat sheets into vessel forms, the tools, ergonomics and process of Tsuiki is distinctly different. The process is both bold and direct, and hollow forms can evolve rapidly once the basics are learned. In this hands-on workshop, you will be introduced to the basic tools and methods of the Tsuiki process with the intention of producing a copper bowl or cup.

Practicing artist/metalsmith with a career spanning over 45 years. Glen now maintains a studio in Pittsburgh, Pa. where he continues to explore the infinite possibilities of working directly with metals. Since beginning his professional career at Peters Valley in 1972 he has also enjoyed teaching in workshop settings including those at: Penland, John C. Campbell Folk School, Arrowmont School of Arts &Crafts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Society of Contemporary Craft (Pgh), and Touchstone Center for Crafts.

Instagram: @glen.s.g

SEP 18-19 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)

Kitchen Tools

Instructor: Dan Neville

All Levels
$300 Member | $330 Non-Member
$35-$65 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Build your skills with this excellent opportunity to learn a broad range of metalworking techniques and to leave with something that will last a lifetime. During this workshop you will create functional kitchenware objects through forging and fabrication techniques. Learn hand forging and power hammer processes to help with tapering and isolating material. Planishing, layout, and cold connections will also be covered.

Dan received his BFA in metalsmithing from Wayne State University in Michigan and recently his MFA in metalsmithing at Southern Illinois University. 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 and other organizations. Dan is currently the Associate Director of the Center for Metal Arts.

Instructor website: nevilleforge.com
Instagram: @nevilleforge

SEP 25-27 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)

Organic Blacksmithing

Instructor: Nick Ireys

All Levels
$410 Member | $440 Non-Member
$45-$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Blacksmithing is the best metal working discipline to create organic shapes. Learn to form metal using heat and force to create natural elements. Whether you focus on ornamentation for a functional object or a sculpture that mimics nature, this class with give you the space to experiment with your forging skills and develop new ones. Learn how to take a basic piece of steel and give it life – transforming it into an organic shape completely different then when it started. Depending on skill level, you will have the chance to make your own unique project or select from several sample projects provided.   

Nick is a metal sculptor working in Baltimore, MD who uses a unique style of combining metal and glass to create organic objects both sculptural and functional. He has extensive journeyman experience traveling and working around America and Europe. Nick received a BFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MFA from Southern Illinois University. He has taught at University of Gothenborg, Estonian Academy of Art and Southern Illinois University as well as participate in shows such as the American Crafts Council show, The Philadelphia Museum Craft show, Craftforms, and Niche Awards.   

Instructor website: nimetaldesign.net
Instagram: @nimetaldesign

Workshops are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Many fill quickly. Please register at least 15 days ahead of the start of any workshop so that we can count you in! Touchstone makes the determination of whether a workshop will run 14 days in advance of all workshops’ scheduled start date, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time. 

A processing fee of $15 will be added to 1-5 day workshops.

Nonrefundable COVID-19 Fee: A $10 (1- & 2-day workshops), $15 (3-day workshops), and $20 (5-day workshops) COVID-19 fee will be charged per participant, per workshop during the 2021 season to help offset the extraordinary additional and increased expenses to Touchstone for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, disposables, and other costs directly related to ensuring health, safety, and social distancing requirements as outlined by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This fee is nonrefundable.

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2021 Student Guide.

Touchstone Center for Crafts prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or association preference. Touchstone Center for Crafts also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to its facilities and programming.

Mission Statement: Touchstone Center for Crafts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Touchstone Center for Crafts stands in solidarity with the Black community and condemns all acts of racism, discrimination, and senseless violence. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to dignity, respect, and equality without fear. As an organization, we commit to listen and learn and to grow. We will continue to work to empower people to use art as a means of expression, a way to build community, and a powerful voice for change.

Touchstone Center for Crafts · 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. · Farmington · PA 15437

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