Iron Workshops at Penland

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






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.