Iron Workshops at Penland



We have eliminated the early-registration lottery. We will begin accepting registration for 2018 summer workshops at 9:00 AM EST on Monday, January 8. Registration for full-pay students will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will continue until workshops are filled. Spaces are reserved in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by February 17.

Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Classes include topics such as traditional blacksmithing, forging and forming steel and iron, metal sculpture, working with found metal, finishing techniques, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Iron/Specials Spring Concentration
March 11-May 4
Christina Shmigel
Sculpture with Fierce Intention

Who am I as an artist? What distinguishes me as a maker? How do I work beyond what I know? Develop a serious body of work in sculpture/installation while digging deep into what gives you pleasure, purpose, and meaning. Through a guided series of riddles and playful explorations, you’ll investigate the why. Technical demonstrations (as needed) will assist you with the how. Guest instructors Mike Rossi (steel) and John Watson (wood/plaster) will each join us for a week of material improvisation. Students may work in any medium in object- or space-based sculpture. Penland’s iron studio will be transformed into a sculpture studio for this workshop. For artists with an ongoing studio practice in any material. Studio fee: $275. Code S00I

Christina: Studio artist; former Penland resident artist; teaching: Webster University (St. Louis), frequent Penland instructor; exhibitions: Ukranian Museum (NYC), Duolun Museum of Art (Shanghai), Laumeier Sculpture Park (St. Louis), St. Louis Art Museum. Mike: principal of Rossi Metal Design (Philadelphia) making unique architectural works, furniture, and sculpture; teaching: Ox-Bow (MI), Haystack (ME), Bryn Athyn College (PA), Kalamazoo College (MI); Windgate Artist in Residence at State University of New York-Purchase. John: Studio artist: teaching: Webster University (St. Louis), Belmont University (TN); exhibitions: Vanderbilt University (TN), hemphill Fine Art (DC); co-author of Living the Dream…The Morning After Art School (Kendall Hunt Publishing).

Christina Shmigel, "Foreigner’s Cabinet of Chinese Curiosities," traditional Chinese medicine cabinet, mixed media, 82 x 54 x 22 inches
Mike Rossi, "Mass Effect: Argosy," forged steel, maple, 6 x 12 feet
John Watson, "Rift," wood, 60 x 60 x 60 inches
Iron Summer Session One
May 27–June 8
James Viste
A Worthy Vessel

In this workshop we’ll manipulate ferrous materials through a combination of general forging, low-relief die-forge production, and application and fabrication techniques to create functional and/or sculptural vessels. We’ll emphasize the observation of other craft materials such as clay, wood, fabric, and leather as a possible inspiration for our work in steel. All levels. Code 01I

Studio artist and manager of Edgewise Forge (Detroit); teaching: College for Creative Studies (Detroit), New England School of Metalwork (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), Penland.

James Viste, "Arc Wave of Scutes," forged and fabricated steel, 4 x 5-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches
Iron Summer Session Two
June 10–22
Erica Moody
Fabricating & Forging Utensils

Combining jewelry and larger metalwork fabricating techniques, we’ll explore ways to create utensils in brass, copper, and steel. Demonstrations and experimentation will guide students in making their own eating and/or serving utensils which may be practical or purely sculptural. Techniques will include cold and hot forming (forging, sinking), cold and hot connections (riveting, silver brazing), finishing (angle grinding, hand filing, burnishing), and combining different materials (metals or found materials such as wood and bone). All levels. Code 02I

Studio artist and owner of Magma Metalworks (ME); teaching: Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design (MA), WoodenBoat School (ME), Wentworth Institute of Technology (MA), Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (ME); exhibitions: CRAFT Gallery (ME), Penland Gallery.

Erica Moody, "Serving Utensils," brass, each 7 inches long
Iron Summer Session Three
June 24–July 6
Roberto Giordani
Sculpture Project

This workshop in metal sculpture will begin with group work on a project designed by the instructor to help students understand sculptural forms and assembly systems. Working with paper and scale forms, students will learn to efficiently build larger works in steel and other metals, gaining knowledge of forging techniques and the design process for large sculpture. Demonstrations will cover different forging and assembly techniques depending on the nature of the group project and individual projects. Forging, layout, and metalworking experience required. Code 03I

Studio artist; teaching: Hereford College (UK), Center for Metal Arts (NY), Claudio Bottero School (Italy), Forja Viva (Spain); Cascadia Center for Arts & Crafts (OR); demonstrations: Artist Blacksmith Association of North America, Northwest Blacksmith Association, California Blacksmith Association.

Roberto Giordani, "Plastiche a Mare," stainless steel, 15 x 35 x 9-1/2 inches
Iron Summer Session Four
July 8–20
Marjee-Anne Levine
Foundry: Craft & Concept

This workshop will be an introduction to foundry practices: exploring the technical, aesthetic, and conceptual aspects of cast metal sculpture. Together we’ll investigate the process of lost-wax ceramic shell investment using both cast bronze and cast iron. We’ll emphasize safety and the proper use of tools and equipment, and we’ll fuse these methods with the overall practice of sculpture to gain technical proficiency and grow as artists. Students should expect to complete at least one cast metal object depending on scale and complexity. All levels. Code 04I

Manager at Sincere Metal Works (MA), adjunct professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design; twice co-chair of National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art & Practices (AL); exhibitions: New Mexico Highlands University, Jacoby Arts Center (IL), Fosdick Nelson Gallery (NY).

Marjee-Anne Levine, "An Ironcaster’s Self-Portrait," 60 x 16 x 9 inches
Iron Summer Session Five
July 22–August 7
Shawn HibmaCronan
Steel Sculpture

Starting with the basics, this workshop will cover a range of precise metal fabrication and forming techniques, as well as many tips and tricks for working wisely (i.e. safely and efficiently) with a variety of tools to create thoughtful, playful, engaging, and refined sculptures or maquettes for larger works. After a few assignments to get our minds warmed up, we’ll dive into demonstrations and individual ideation with 2d sketches on paper and full-scale chalk on the floor, quickly moving to wireframe mock-ups and constructing final sculptures. Techniques will include cutting, welding, drilling/tapping, forming sheet and bar stock, patinas, and finishing. All levels. Code 05I

Studio artist; teaching: The Crucible (CA), California College of the Arts teaching assistant; residencies: Autodesk Pier 9 (San Francisco), Museum of Arts and Design (NYC); exhibitions: San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (CA), Oakland Museum of California; commission for the San Francisco International Airport.

Shawn HibmaCronan, "Angler," wood, steel, cast iron, light bulb, 8 x 3 x 10 feet
Iron Summer Session Six
August 12–24
L. Japheth Howard & Alice James
Forge = Direct Positive Action

No matter where you are in your metalworking journey, this workshop will inspire progress. Demonstrations will offer examples, discussions will teach observation and problem solving, and practice will lead to continuous improvement. We’ll begin with assigned forging projects to warm up or explore new skills and then quickly move to individual projects. Challenge yourself in a supportive environment built on the instructors’ more than fifty years of combined forging experience. Come prepared to work hard, think critically, and laugh often. All levels. Code 06I

Japeth: blacksmith and curator at Canadian Museum of Making; teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), Touchstone (PA), Penland; National Ornamental Metal Museum residency (TN). Alice: studio artist; teaching: Peters Valley, Touchstone (PA); demonstrations: Northeast Blacksmith’s Association, ABANA.

L. Japheth Howard and Alice James, "Moon Residence Newell Post," steel, 36 x 5 x 5 inches
Iron Summer Session Seven
August 26–September 1
Andrew Meers
Basic Inlay

Fine-metal inlays are a way to add decorative elements to iron surfaces. In this one-week introduction to inlay and overlay, students will have the opportunity to practice a combination of Eastern and Western techniques. Using hand hammers and chisels, students will learn to embellish iron surfaces with fine-metal wire and sheet and mechanically attach these dissimilar metals. The class will cover both flush and raised inlay and carving detailed forms. We’ll use patination and finishing processes to highlight and unify the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals. All levels. Code 07I

Penland resident artist; teaching: Tennessee Tech University, National Ornamental Metal Museum (TN), Touchstone Center for Crafts (PA), Penland; certified master bladesmith by the American Bladesmithing Society; exhibitions: North American Mokume-gane Artists (Japan); collections: National Ornamental Metal Museum.

Andrew Meers, "Ball of Yarn," steel, sterling silver, gold, 8 x 1/2 x 1/4 inches