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Touchstone CENTER FOR CRAFTS

Pioneering Craft Education for 50 Years

Blacksmithing Workshops

2022 Workshop Schedule

Register early - studio capacity is limited; workshops will fill quickly!

 

2022 Workshop Season Update:

Touchstone is again offering a modified workshop season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please review our COVID-19 policy* and our cancellation policy* prior to registering for any workshop.

*Subject to change, check back for up-to-date information. Registered participants will be notified of any changes.

MAY 9-23
2-Week Artist Residencies

 

Touchstone's Artist Residency Program provides time, creative space, and support for emerging and mid-career artists to explore new ideas and bodies of work in any media that we can accommodate. The beautiful 150-acre campus and community of artists offer the perfect environment for makers seeking to change artistic direction or reinforce their current body of work.

Click to Learn More

 

Weeklong Workshops: JUNE 20 - AUGUST 19

Ellen Durkan Forged Fashion

JUN 20-24 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Forged Fashion: Body Adornment
Instructor: Ellen Durkan

 

All Levels
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$70-$120 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

Forge a piece of metal art to be worn on the chest or neck! Throughout class, we will combine different forging and forming techniques using bar stock. We’ll focus on creating balanced symmetry in steel by repetition of form. Forged fashion helps participants to design an object that becomes personal and alive when worn on the body. Demonstrations will cover various organic design elements inspired from Ellen Durkan’s personal work.


Ellen Durkan is an artist blacksmith from Wilmington, Delaware. Through her Iron Maiden Forge business, she creates wearable “Forged Fashion” art that she presents through performance runway shows. While working on her graduate degree in Fine Arts, she found metal working intriguing, which led to her current body of work. Her metal work started as forged stationary “metal dresses” in which she would place a nude figure. Her current body of work is still inspired by the human body, but it is inspired by the concepts of emotional vulnerability. She enjoys creating pieces to fit the complex forms of the figure and how each piece takes on a new presence with a new wearer. She creates forged work to decorate the body as visual and metaphorical armor.

 

Website: ellendurkan.com
Instagram: @ironmaidenforge

 

Nick Rossi Handmade Knife

JUN 27- JUL 1 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Eastern Chef Knife Start to Finish
Instructor: Nick Rossi

 

All Levels
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$60-$120 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

This class is full. Sign up for the Waitlist

 

Don't want to wait? Consider Basic Bladesmithing with Andrew Meers!

 

In this workshop, you will complete one 6-8” carbon steel eastern inspired chef knife with an exotic wood handle. Every aspect of kitchen knife design will be covered including forging, basic metallurgy, finishing, handle construction and sharpening. The goal will be for every participant to leave with a razor-sharp kitchen knife ready to be put to work. Forging experience is helpful, but this class would be appropriate for participants with no experience, but a willingness to embrace the challenge. 


Nick Rossi has been making knives since 1997 and teaching bladesmithing since 2006. He operates Rossi Knives out of his Vassalboro Maine studio focusing on honest, beautiful, handmade kitchen and outdoor cutlery. Nick teaches workshops all over the country and finds great joy in helping people to make functional art that they can use every day. Nick is a member of the Maine Craft Guild, the Maine Crafts Association, the New England Bladesmith Guild and holds a rank of Journeyman Smith in the American Bladesmith Society. 

 

Website: nickrossiknives.com
Instagram: @nickrossiknives

 

Nick Ireys Face Sculpture

JUL 11-15 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) | EDUCATORS' RETREAT
Hot Metal Modeling Clay!
Instructor: Nicholas Ireys

 

No Experience/Beginner
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$40-$90 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

Learn to move hot metal like modeling clay! You will first learn to hold and swing a hammer to move the material using heat and force. With those basic skills, you will be able to design and forge a unique project within your own skill level. We will be using all the tools in the shop, including power hammers and welders. The outcome of this class is to form a basis of skills to be comfortable using heat and force to shape steel, all while creating pieces to take home and be proud of.


Nicholas Ireys is a metal artist in Baltimore, MD, where he specializes in metal sculpture, architectural ironwork, and historic restoration. He has a sculpture degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from Southern Illinois University in blacksmithing. Much of his metalworking skills came from a 10-year journeymanship that took him to six different countries. Nick has taught at such institutions as the Estonian Academy of Art in Tallinn, the University of Gothenburg in Das Långed, Sweden, and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. His work focuses on the natural forms that can be achieved in metal using the forging process. While creating visually beautiful objects, Nick seeks to conceptually address the impact of personal perception and self-reflection, and how that self-image affects our interaction with the world we live in.

 

Website: NImetaldesign.com
Instagram: @NImetaldesign

 

Nathaneal Weiss Hooks and Tools

JUL 17-22 | 6-DAY (SUN-FRI) | TEEN WEEK
Blacksmithing for Teens
Instructor: Nathanael Weiss

 

All Levels (Ages 14-17)
$75 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

Click here to download the Teen Week Application

In this five-day workshop, you will go on an exciting journey that will provide you with basic blacksmithing knowledge. No prior forging experience needed! Through traditional methods, you will learn to taper, spread, isolate, punch, drift, and rivet a project to chart a course for success. An emphasis will be put on fundamental hand skills, design foundations, and fun!


Hailing from South Central Pennsylvania, Nathanael (Nate) Weiss is a metalsmith whose passion for metalwork began as a teenager. With an education from craft schools such as Penland, Touchstone, and Peter’s Valley, and with experience ranging from architectural ironwork to goldsmithing, Nate has cultivated a unique metalworking skillset. Focusing on traditional forging techniques, Nate’s aim is to create one-of-a-kind objects that invoke a sense of wonder and that are meant to be passed on.


Instagram: @nathanael_weiss

 

Stephen Yusko Collateral Cathedral

JUL 25-29 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Bits and Pieces
Instructor: Stephen Yusko

 

All Levels
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$90-$140 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

Learn methods of working with forged, formed, and fabricated steel to create elements for functional objects and/or sculpture. Finished projects are not necessarily the goal, though finished work is not discouraged… Think of this class as an exercise in making found objects. Through demonstrations and discussions about thoughtful design and function, we will work to create objects that balance the industrial history of steel with a gracefulness of form.


Stephen Yusko creates sculpture, furniture, and vessels in his Cleveland, OH, studio using mixed material combined with forged, machined, and fabricated steel. Yusko has taught at several schools and universities, including Haystack School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and SUNY Purchase, where he was a Windgate Artist-in-Residence; and served on the Board of Trustees for the Haystack School. He is currently on the Board of Trustees for La Caravana Escuela. Yusko has exhibited his work widely, including the Metal Museum and the Ruthin Craft Centre (Wales, UK), and has received three Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Awards and a Cuyahoga County Creative Workforce Fellowship Award.

 

Website: stephenyusko.com
Instagram: @stephenyuskostudios

 

Glenn Horr Leaf Hooks

AUG 1-5 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) | NATURE WEEK
Organic Designs in Metal
Instructor: Glenn Horr

 

All Levels
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$45-$95 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

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Find inspiration in the natural surroundings of Touchstone by forging leaves, flowers, vines, and even some small critters. You will learn techniques such as drawing out, twisting, scrolling, and working with chisels. Additionally, tool making will be demonstrated and discussed to develop your designs further. Have fun transforming bars of steel into lifelike organic forms.


Known for his attention to detail and fine craftsmanship, Glenn creates a wide range of functional and decorative hardware for homes and enjoys working with other designers on special commissions. He has been sharing his knowledge and making custom forged work since 1978. Glenn demonstrates for various blacksmithing groups and has shown his work in numerous craft shows and exhibits, most recently in Re-Joined: A Collection of Forged Works, in Johnstown, PA.

 

Website: Glennsforge.com
Instagram: @Highlandforge_wv

 

Anna Koplik Hammers

AUG 8-12 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Toolmaking for Blacksmiths
Instructor: Anna Koplik

 

Intermediate
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$80-$130 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

Learn the art of toolmaking and boost your skills and self-sufficiency as a blacksmith! In this workshop, you will be guided through making many fundamental tools of the trade. We will cover everything from tong forging and fit up to hammer making and handling. Leave with your own hand forged tools and the skills to make more on your own.


Anna graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Jewelry and has worked as a blacksmith at Peters Valley School of Craft, Atlas Forge, Touchstone Center for Crafts, Spirit Ironworks, Center for Metal Arts, and Davis Metalsmiths. She travels often, working as a journeyman smith and teaching blacksmithing workshops. Anna has a passion for educating and showing beginner smiths the many different possibilities blacksmithing has to offer. Her personal work focuses mainly on tool and utensil making, and combining functionality with a refined, delicate aesthetic.

 

Website: annarkoplik.com
Instagram: @arkoplik

 

Andrew Meers Hamon Kitchen Knife

AUG 15-19 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Basic Bladesmithing
Instructor: Andrew Meers

 

All Levels
$620 Member | $650 Non-Member
$60-$110 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

Learn the basics of bladesmithing during this five-day workshop! Over the course of the week, you will design and forge a small-scale utility knife. You can expect to leave with a forged and heat-treated carbon steel blade, and, if time permits, you will learn to refine and complete the details of your very own knife.


Andrew Meers is a bladesmith and metalsmith. He received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and his MFA from Southern Illinois Carbondale. Andrew earned his Mastersmith rating from the American Bladesmithing Society and is a recipient of the B.R. Hughes Award. He has been an instructor at Penland School of Craft and New England School of Metalwork, and he is a former artist-in-residence at Penland and the National Ornamental Metals Museum.

 

Website: andrewmeersstudio.com
Instagram: @mr.meers

 

(724) 329-1370

Register Now Become a Member Contact Us Sign up for our Mailing list

All workshop participants must be 18 years or older except where indicated.

Workshops are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Many fill quickly and have wait lists months in advance – don’t wait to register! Registrations for onsite workshops should be made no later than 15 days ahead of the workshop start date so that we can count you when making workshop determinations, ordering materials, etc. Touchstone’s onsite workshop determinations are made 14 days in advance of their scheduled start dates, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time. Virtual workshop registrations should be made at least 8 days ahead of the session as determinations are made 7 days in advance of the scheduled start time, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time.

 

A processing fee of $15 will be added to 1-5 day onsite workshops and community wood firings.

 

Nonrefundable COVID-19 fees are charged to each participant per onsite workshop: $20/5-day workshop, $15/3-day workshop, and $10/1- & 2-day workshops. These fees help to offset the additional and increased expenses to Touchstone for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, disposables, and other costs directly related to ensuring health and safety for all. This fee is nonrefundable.

 

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2022 Participant Guide.

Weekend Workshops: AUGUST 27 - SEPTEMBER 26

Makena Henriksen Bar Tools

AUG 27-29 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)
(Up)Setting the Bar: Forged Beverage Utensils
Instructor: Makena Henriksen

 

No Experience/Beginner
$445 Member | $475 Non-Member
$30-$80 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

In this workshop, participants will learn to forge small functional items for the kitchen or bar, with an emphasis on beverage utensils such as bottle openers, corkscrews, and bottle stoppers. Participants will be introduced to the foundational techniques of forging (tapering, upsetting, bending, twisting, punching, and drifting) through a series of projects, with the opportunity to focus on an object or process of their choosing. 
 
Makena (Mak) is a metalsmith and maker from the Pacific Northwest whose work is inspired by the forested shores of the Salish Sea. After a 2-year apprenticeship in Seattle, Mak left the West Coast to pursue the lifestyle of a journeyman blacksmith, traveling the country to expand their familiarity with forging and fabrication by working in various shops and studios. Mak has worked seasonally in the Hart Moore Blacksmithing Studio at Touchstone Center for Crafts from 2019-2021. Mak also runs Nettlefire Forge, crafting small items for the home and homestead. 
 
Website: nettlefireforge.com
Instagram: @nettlefireforge

 

Jody Best Metal Sculpture

SEP 3-4 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)  
FUNdamentals of Blacksmithing 
Instructor: Jody Best


No Experience/Beginner 
$320 Member | $350 Non-Member 
$50-$100 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

No fears, no worries! This intensive and fun workshop will leave you enthusiastic and informed about the fundamentals of blacksmithing. We will cover everything in clear and incremental steps that ensure beginning blacksmiths experience success in this new endeavor. All trade secrets will be revealed. You will first learn how to build and manage a fire and quickly progress to using the tools and techniques needed to complete a variety of hand-forged projects. This class will cover all the basics: tapering, bending, and twisting. You can expect to complete several individual projects of your choice. 
 
Jody Best has been forging metal since 1989. She is an experienced and enthusiastic art and blacksmithing educator who has taught at Touchstone since 1996. She maintains a blacksmithing studio on her farm near Confluence, Pennsylvania, where she works on sculpture, functional items, and the occasional tractor. She has been a resident artist at Spruce Forest Artisan Village, a featured demonstrator at regional and national blacksmithing conferences, and has exhibited her work in several galleries. 
 
Instagram: @oldfarmmakerplace

 

Elizabeth Brim Mamas Hat

SEPT 10-12 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)  
Out of Your Element 
Instructor: Elizabeth Brim


No Experience/Beginner 
$445 Member | $475 Non-Member

Please check back for Studio Fees and Materials List

 

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This is a kind of “Sampler Course” for participants who think they might want to try Blacksmithing. Participants will be introduced to basic forging techniques (shaping hot steel with a hammer) and also welding with a torch. The goal is for everyone to go home with a small coat rack, and an understanding and appreciation of why forging hot steel is so seductive.
 
Elizabeth Brim is a studio artist living and working in Penland, North Carolina. She received an MFA in Printmaking before studying Clay and Metalworking at Penland School of Crafts. She found Blacksmithing in the 80’s and decided to focus on learning how to express her ideas in that medium. She is known for making steel look like soft fabric. You can find her videos on YouTube about some of the techniques she uses and how she thinks about her work in iron. 
 
Website: elizabethbrim.com
Instagram: @halfroundbastard

 

John Rais Firey Fire Tools

SEP 17-18 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)  
Fire Tools, Forged by Design 
Instructor: John Rais  


All Levels 
$320 Member | $350 Non-Member 
$55-$105 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

REGISTER NOW

In this workshop, we will cover the design and making of fire tools such as pokers, shovels and tongs. Demonstrations will include fire welding, splitting, riveting, efficient forging and design. Time will be spent on inventive solutions and styles of making. Participants will become more proficient and comfortable with the forging process as well as develop an eye for line and details. 
 
John Rais has an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been a blacksmith artist since 1998, where he designs and creates one of a kind forged metal art. He has had many solo and group shows. His work is regularly featured in numerous publications, and books.   
He is also in many permanent collections including Yale Art Galleries and the National Metals Museum. John lives, works and teaches in Philadelphia, PA. 
 
Website: johnraisstudios.com
Instagram: @johnraisstudios

 

Interested in expanding your craft? Consider this workshop from our Metals & Jewelry offerings!

 

SEP 17-18 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)  
Contemporary Chains 
Instructor: Katie Rearick 

 

All Levels 
$320 Member | $350 Non-Member 
$75-$125 Materials and Studio Fees

Download Materials List

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

Learn how to develop and design your own linkage system to create a necklace and/or bracelet. You will be introduced to a variety of designs and techniques to make contemporary chains and explore clasp designs. You will learn the basics of sawing, filing, annealing, soldering and forming. Surface design and finishing techniques will also be taught. This workshop is suited for students of all levels. 

 

Jared Ondovchik Assorted Knives

SEP 24-26 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)  
The Hand-Forged Knife
Instructor: Jared Ondovchik  

 

No Experience/Beginner 
$445 Member | $475 Non-Member

Please check back for Studio Fees and Materials List

 

Register Now

Come and learn basics skills of bladesmithing all while forging your own handmade knife. No prior experience is necessary as Jared will guide you step by step through the process. Over the course of three-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 Ondovchik is a full time blacksmith/bladesmith in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He made his first knife 11 years ago and fell in love with the process. While knives are still his primary focus, Jared enjoys hand forging whatever someone might request if him.  
 
Website: artifact-metalworks.com
Instagram: @artifactmetalworks

 

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.

(724) 329-1370

Register Now Become a Member Contact Us Sign up for our Mailing list

All workshop participants must be 18 years or older except where indicated.

Workshops are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Many fill quickly and have wait lists months in advance – don’t wait to register! Registrations for onsite workshops should be made no later than 15 days ahead of the workshop start date so that we can count you when making workshop determinations, ordering materials, etc. Touchstone’s onsite workshop determinations are made 14 days in advance of their scheduled start dates, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time. Virtual workshop registrations should be made at least 8 days ahead of the session as determinations are made 7 days in advance of the scheduled start time, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time.

 

A processing fee of $15 will be added to 1-5 day onsite workshops and community wood firings.

 

Nonrefundable COVID-19 fees are charged to each participant per onsite workshop: $20/5-day workshop, $15/3-day workshop, and $10/1- & 2-day workshops. These fees help to offset the additional and increased expenses to Touchstone for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, disposables, and other costs directly related to ensuring health and safety for all. This fee is nonrefundable.

 

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2022 Participant Guide.

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 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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