Iron Workshops at Penland

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



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.







SUMMER session 1

May 24 - JUNE 5, 2015


Chris Porcarelli, Sound, 4.12 Are Fading into

Nothing, steel, wood, nylon, rubber, 9


Chris Porcarelli
Illuminating Sound in Metal

This workshop will be an investigation into the properties of sound and metal. (But it is not a music workshop.) We’ll create in the space where visual and auditory aesthetics overlap with sculptural forms. How this expresses itself will be determined individually and will be supported by instruction and the great potential of the iron studio. Pieces may be intended for galleries, gardens, soundscapes, experimental percussion, or whatever suits your fancy. Topics will include listening, sketching, and metalworking techniques needed to create and develop sounds, such as tuning through forging, fabricating, cold forging, tempering, designing with visual and audio ratios, and whatever else is needed to support class interests. All levels. Code 01I

Studio artist, member of Not Quite artist collective (Sweden); teaching: Hereford College of Arts (England), Steneby Metal Instrument and Sound Workshop (Sweden); installations: Konstepidemin Cultural Center (Sweden), Nääs Slott (Sweden).

SUMMER session 2

JUNE 7 - 19, 2015

Susan Bleach and Andrew Townsend,

An Adaptable Migrant, steel and salvaged objects,

106 x 85 x 32 inches



Suzie Bleach & Andrew Townsend

Design and create an animal sculpture of your choice—bird, fish, insect, reptile, mammal—using steel and found objects/materials. Along the way you’ll learn a variety of practical skills using anvil and bending jig, MIG welder, gas torch, hammers and mallets, nibbler and tin snips. More experienced students will be free to improvise and experiment while beginners will be able to follow a step-by-step process. Demonstrations, reviewing works in progress, and appropriate shop practice will underpin each day’s progress. The design process will be informed by images of animal anatomy and examples of sculpture from a selection of eras and cultures. All levels. Code 02I


Collaborating studio artists; Australian National University residency; Sculpture by the Sea people’s choice award (Australia), Sculpture on the Edge first prize (Australia); commissions: Australian Capital Territory government, Newcastle Museum (Australia), Canberra Grammar School (Australia).

All workshops in Session 2 will be taught by artists

from Australian National University.


SUMMER session 3

JUNE 21 - July 3 2015

Vivian Beer, Anchored Candy #6, formed and fabricated steel,

bolts, gun blue patina, automotive finish, 42 x 60 x 21 inches

Vivian Beer
Metal Furniture

This workshop will be an intensive in designing and building metal furniture. Demonstrations will cover drafting, scale modeling, pattern making, welding, hollow construction, jig making, forging, hand hammer control, finishing, and surface development. We’ll work with everything from the hand hammer to the TIG welder, hydraulic press, and slip roller. We’ll touch on proportions, ergonomics, style, and history. We’ll fill your toolbox with new ways to approach the planning stages of furniture making. Slide shows, demonstrations, and constant sketching will bring you toward your individual goals, whether they are sculptural, functional, technical, or conceptual. The iron shop will be our creative laboratory. All levels. Code 03I

Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Anderson Ranch (CO), Peters Valley (NJ); collections: Renwick Gallery (DC), Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC).






SUMMER session 4

July 5 - 17, 2015


Maria Cristalli, Floor Lamp (detail), forged steel,

wire, lampshade

Maria Cristalli
Forging a Sculptural Lamp

Lamps are a great format for exploring form within function. We’ll shape steel using the tools of the iron studio: forges, anvils, hand tools, power hammers, presses, and welders. We’ll cover basic forging along with a variety of forming and texturing techniques. Students will use these tools and their imaginations as they create original lamps with a modern aesthetic. We’ll make table or floor lamps using basic wiring for a standard socket. All levels. Code 04I


Studio artist; teaching: Penland; demonstrator at California Blacksmith Association conference, Northwest Blacksmith Association conference, Western States Blacksmiths conference; exhibitions: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Mighty Tieton (WA), Semantics Gallery (WA); commissions: MTA Arts for Transit (NYC), City of Bellevue (WA), Cardwell Architects (WA), Bernie Baker Architects (WA).







SUMMER session 5

July 19 - August 4, 2015


Paige Hamilton Davis, Bowl on Stand ,

steel, 12 x 8 x 8 inches


Paige Hamilton Davis
Blacksmithing & Metalsmithing Basics Plus

This will be a great workshop for learning a broad range of basic techniques, including hot and cold forming of steel and other metals, welding, riveting, wrapping, finishes, design, and aesthetics. Plenty of one-on-one time. It will also be a good class to practice and hone techniques and skills you may already have. This is a blacksmithing and metalsmithing workshop focused on sculpture and functional objects. (It’s not a tool or knife making class.) We’ll work hard, problem-solve, make pieces, have conversations, and enjoy the opportunity to use Penland’s extraordinary iron studio.All levels. Code 05I


Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), Campbell Folk School (NC); demonstrator at ABANA and Caniron conferences; work in current traveling exhibition from the Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia); gallery representation: Blue Spiral (NC), Penland Gallery; collections: Gallery of Art and Design at North Carolina State University.







SUMMER session 6

August 9 - 21, 2015


Heiner Zimmermann, Liquide,steel, 18-1/2 x 4-3/4 x 1-1/2 inches

Heiner Zimmermann
Contemporary Metalwork

Students in this workshop will begin by engaging with the natural surroundings of Penland, learning to see form, proportion, line, and composition. From this inspiration we’ll develop our ideas in metal. Through this process each student will create a small body of work that will be sculptural in nature, whether the pieces are functional or nonfunctional. Demonstrations will cover forging and fabrication techniques as needed. There will also be presentations on contemporary blacksmithing, design, business practices, and other topics. Fundamental blacksmithing and fabrication skills required. Code 06I

Professor in Arts and Crafts Metal Gothenburg University (Sweden), External Examiner Hereford College of the Arts Blacksmithing (England), Examiner Academy for Design and Craft (Germany); Studio artist since 2002 (Germany); public, private and gallery assignments, over 40 lectures and workshops worldwide, publications and over 40 international exhibitions.


SUMMER session 7

August 23 - 29, 2015

Erica Gordon, Cut Nail Neckpiece,steel, thread, dimensions vary

Erica Gordon
Brave New World

Using the modernist art jewelry of Alexander Calder and contemporary avant-garde work as a visual stepping-off point, we’ll create sculpture for the body. Exercises in forging, tooling, joinery, welding, silver soldering, and creative finishing will lead to more complex projects of your design. You can expect multiple, quickly-paced daily demonstrations and encouragement to experiment, collaborate, and discuss. Artists who work in other media but are curious about working with steel are encouraged to attend.All levels. Code 07I

Studio artist and proprietor of the belt buckle company Steel Toe Studios; teaching: Haystack (ME), Penland; exhibitions: Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (NYC), CODE design fair (Denmark), Origin: The London Craft Fair; work published in American Craft and The Complete Modern Blacksmith (Ten Speed Press).