Iron Workshops at Penland

Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.




summer session 1

may 25 - june 6, 2014


Eric A. Ryser, Emily’s Box, acid-etched pattern, forged

and fabricated steel, Prismacolor, 6H x 9G x 5H inches


Eric A. Ryser
Methodical Making

This workshop will be a study in building vessels from ferrous and nonferrous metals. We’ll explore many types of vessels and consider the overall objective--either physical or metaphorical--of the container and its contents. Students will have a chance to create a body of work while exploring the forging and fabrication skills needed to make three-dimensional objects. We’ll cover construction, texturing, joinery, overall fabrication, and basic design principals while creating a detailed and analytical vocabulary for object making. All levels. Code 01I

Studio artist; teaching: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Kansas State University, Appalachian Center for Craft (TN); exhibitions: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), National Ornamental Metal Museum (TN), Fuller Craft Museum (MA), Marianna-Kistler Beach Museum (KS); work published in Metalsmith, The Anvil’s Ring, and Ironwork Today 3 by Jeffrey B. Snyder.






summer session 2

june 8 - 20, 2014


Shingo Furukawa, Untitled (Balloon and Feather),

steel, brass, copper, found objects, found materials,

16 x 16 x 10 inches




Shingo Furukawa
Get a Move On!

This workshop will focus on using existing mechanisms--bicycle parts--to create sculpture that moves. We’ll reduce the sophisticated physics and mathematics of mechanical movement down to an uncomplicated, “Oh look, that works!” We’ll cover the principle of transmission of power (not as scary as it may sound), and then translate simple movement into expressive motion through connections and cam actions. Not too tight, not too loose. Technical instruction will be available as needed when new skills are required to realize your vision. All levels. Code 02I

Studio technician at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, motorcycle builder; exhibitions: Mobilia Gallery (MA), Rhode Island College, New Bedford Whaling Museum (MA), Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston), Artspace (NC), East Carolina University (NC), Newport Art Museum (RI); work published in Metalsmith, the Boston Globe, and 1,000 Rings (Lark); motorcycle featured in Cafe Racer Magazine. Shingo is currently more interested in building motorbikes than art, and he is in a sincere and desperate search for an artificial heart for a collection (please notify if you have a used one sitting around).






summer session 3

june 22 - july 4, 2014


Peter Ross, Compass and Caliper,

forged-wrought iron, 12 inches

Peter Ross
A Cure for Stiff Joints

This workshop will explore several of the moving joints found in traditional tools: box-joint pliers, fireplace tongs, compasses, even blacksmith’s tongs. We’ll also make specialized tools. These pieces involve careful forging to shape as well as filing and surface embellishment. Students will work together in pairs, taking turns as smith and striker. Some forge welding may be involved, depending on the project at hand. Familiarity with making and using punches and drifts will be helpful. Intermediate/advanced: students should be comfortable forging to an accurate dimension and drastically hand-forging bars I-inch square and above. Code 03I

Studio artist; master of the blacksmith shop at Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years; specialist in reproduction 18th and 19th century hardware and tools; teaching: Haystack (ME), Campbell Folk School (NC), Touchstone (PA), Peters Valley (NJ), New England School of Metalwork (ME); frequent demonstrator at ABANA conferences.






summer session 4

july 6 - 18, 2014


Pamela J. Wallace, A Few Bundles, plaster,

fabric, resin, forged iron, 16 x 16 x 5 inche

Pamela J. Wallace
Sculpture, Installation, & Form

Creating artwork in response to environment and site can offer an experience rich in expressive possibility. The goal of this workshop is to create individual sculptures or parts for installations. We’ll focus on working with steel but also explore other media and materials as well as contexts for presentation. We’ll cover sheet-metal forming, welding, riveting, forging, and soldering steel. Bring your ideas for site-specific installation or sculptural elements. These will generate excellent opportunities for discussion and problem solving. All levels. Code 04I

Studio artist; teaching: State University of New York-New Paltz, Bard Prison Initiative (NY); exhibitions: John Davis Gallery (NY), Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art (NY), Kobalt Gallery (MA), National Ornamental Metal Museum (TN), Chapman Cultural Center (NY); representation: John Davis Gallery (NY).






summer session 5

july 20 - august 5 , 2014


Elizabeth Brim, Gothic, etched, fabricated,

and inflated steel, 12 x 14 x 3 inches



Elizabeth Brim
Basics of Forging

Students in this workshop will learn the basic techniques of forging, fabrication, and welding through demonstrations and practice. Assignments will ensure the development of skills needed to make expressive and well-crafted sculptures and functional objects in steel. We’ll use ancient, traditional ironworking techniques to produce unique, innovative, contemporary work in metal. Beginning; experienced students welcome. Code 05I

Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), Penland; exhibitions: solo at Gregg Museum of Art & Design (NC), master metalsmith exhibition at National Ornamental Metal Museum (TN), Mint Museum (NC); North Carolina Arts Council fellowship, Bealer Award from Artist Blacksmith Association of North America; collections: National Ornamental Metal Museum (TN), The White House (DC); former Penland core fellow and studio coordinator; created and facilitated two national iron symposia at Penland in the 80s and 90s. Elizabeth has created a body of sculptural work in steel that interprets feminine imagery such as high-heeled shoes, aprons, tutus, and pillows using traditional and innovative blacksmithing techniques.





summer session 6

august 10 - 22 , 2014


Andrew Meers, Carissa’s Pendant, stainless steel, gold,

Damascus steel, inlaid, 1G x 1 x 1G

Andrew Meers
Introduction to Pattern Welding

This workshop will cover basic to advanced forge welding along with patterning and finishing techniques. Students will become familiar with forge welding as they develop patterned materials, which will enable them to design objects using Damascus steel. The workshop will include basic patterning styles (such as twisting and laddering), bias forging, complex patterning, multi-bar composites, and mosaics. All levels. Code 06I

Artist in residence at Appalachian Center for Craft; teaching: National Ornamental Metal Museum; American Bladesmithing Society journeyman smith; National Ornamental Metal Museum residency; representation: Blade Gallery (Seattle), Town Cutler (San Francisco).






summer session 7

august 24 - 30 , 2014


James Austin, Firesteel, fine silver, mild steel

and 1075 steel, 2 x 3 inches



James Austin
Silver Overlay for Blacksmiths

Koftgari (a.k.a. damascening) is an ancient technique used to decorate iron utensils and fittings with pure silver, gold, and copper. It is performed by peening soft metal wire onto the hand-textured surface of iron or steel. The process requires only simple hand tools and it results in strikingly vibrant decoration. Students will learn basic koftgari technique and apply it to their own small articles forged in the smithy, endowing them with an air of historic worth and beauty. All levels. Code 07I

Studio artist; completed a traditional blacksmithing apprenticeship in Germany, graduating as a distinguished journeyman; also trained for a year with a master woodworker doing historical building restoration; teaches workshops at his home studio in Oakland, CA.





fall concentration

september 21 - november 14, 2014


Rebekah Frank, Untitled, three ring, steel,
18 x 6 x 4 inches

Rebekah Frank
Drawing in Steel

This workshop will use the entire iron studio—with instruction in blacksmithing, welding, and fabrication—to push the limits of drawing in steel. With an emphasis on line rather than volume, we’ll create perimeters to enclose spaces as we make sculptural images in two and three dimensions. While building skills you will have the opportunity to explore your personal gesture and the characteristics of steel—combining them to make objects, sculpture, drawings, or installations that are uniquely yours. All levels. Code F00i

Studio artist; teaching/lectures: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Texas State University, Penland; exhibitions; Velvet da Vinci (San Francisco), National Ornamental Metals Museum (Memphis), Galeria Ra (Netherlands), Espace Solidor (France), Caroline Van Hoeck (Belgium); collections: Cranbrook Museum (MI), Frankel Foundation (MI).



spring concentration

march 8 - may 1, 2015


Andy Dohner, Carrot Study,

forged and fabricated steel with rust,

black finish, 30 x 6 x 4 inches

Andy Dohner
Forging Fundamentals, Extended Version

This workshop will focus on the fundamentals of shaping steel with an emphasis on creating functional or sculptural objects using traditional and unconventional techniques. We’ll begin by learning the basics of forging, including drawing a taper, joinery, tool making, and extensive power hammer use. We’ll also review basic elements of structure and design along with surface and finishing techniques. Our goals are for students to develop an understanding of being a maker, to acquire the skills needed to realize their individual projects, and to have fun pushing processes to their limits. All levels. Code S00I

Architectural blacksmith, welder, fabricator; teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), New England School of Metalwork (ME), The Steel Yard (TX), Penland; exhibitions: National Ornamental Metals Museum (Memphis), Madison Morgan Cultural Center (GA), Penland Gallery.