Iron Workshops at Penland
Penland offers 1 to 8-week workshops taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include 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 Summer Session 1
May 29–June 3
Forging Steel: Blacksmithing Basics
In this workshop we’ll use the time honored ingredients of earth (coal), fire, and water to forge steel into useful objects such as fire tools, forks, spatulas, spoons/ladles, and, if time permits, cooking vessels. We’ll cover all the fundamentals: fire maintenance, steel selection, forging heats, drawing out, spitting, upsetting, spreading, planishing, forge welding, and finishing completed pieces. Beginning level.
Studio artist; professor emeritus from Mohave Community College (AZ); collections: Metal Museum (TN), University of Georgia, National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum (Chicago), West Dean College (UK); teaches and demonstrates nationally.
Iron Summer Session 2
June 5–June 17
In this iron casting workshop, we’ll use our superpowers, as artists, to create works that will give a little hope back to the world. We’ll harness the process of metal casting and transform iron with straight fire! As a community of makers, we’ll generate designs for metal casting, develop multi-part resin-bonded sand molds, learn to run an iron furnace, pour iron, and walk away with finished castings. If you don’t know what your superpowers are, then step into the fire and let’s discover them together. All levels.
Assistant director of sculpture facilities at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; former shop foreman at Keen Foundry (Houston); teaching: Northern Illinois University, Estonian Academy of Fine Arts (Estonia), teacher of several mold-making workshops at Sloss Foundry Cast Iron Art conferences; exhibitions: Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), Mary and Lee Block Museum (Chicago), New Mexico Highlands University, advocate for underrepresented artists.
Iron Summer Session 3
June 19–July 1
Daniel Souto and Stephen Yusko
This workshop will explore inventive uses of material through creative problem solving. Students will work with forged, formed, and fabricated steel to create functional objects and/or sculpture. Techniques will include sheet and hollow forming, tube and pipe forging, hot and cold connections, and pattern and texture development on steel. Through demonstrations and discussions about design and function, we’ll work to create objects that balance the industrial history of steel with gracefulness of form. All levels.
Daniel: studio artist, founder, and executive director of La Caravana Escuela, a craft-based educational project empowering remote communities in Venezuela; other teaching: Haystack (ME), Souto Studios (Venezuela).
Stephen: studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Cleveland Institute of Art, ThinkCraft Symposium (OH), Peters Valley (NJ), Touchstone (PA); Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Award (OH), Cuyahoga County Creative Workforce Fellowship (OH); exhibitions: Metal Museum (TN), FORGE, International traveling exhibition (UK and USA). publications: 500 Metal Vessels (Lark Books), Metalsmith, American Craft.
Iron Summer Session 4
Truth in Fabrication
In this workshop we’ll use the fabrication tools of the iron studio to make sculpture and functional pieces. Introductory projects will cover layout, cutting, grinding, forming, welding, and finishing. Then students will be free to design their own work with the goal of leaving with well-considered, completed projects. All skill levels and interests welcome. Together we’ll find the truth in fabrication.
Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Anderson Ranch (CO), Penland; North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, South Arts Fellowship; former Penland core fellow and resident artist; exhibitions: Seager Gray Gallery (CA), Blue Spiral 1 (NC), James Gallery (PA), JHB Gallery (NYC); collections: Yale Art Museum (CT), Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Arkansas Art Center.
Iron Summer Session 5
Techniques to Ideas
I believe that art comes from skill. This workshop will begin with a focus on the seven most important forging techniques: drawing down, shrinking, bending, upsetting, swaging, punching, and forge welding. Each will be demonstrated in detail and then immediately applied by making simple objects. In the second part of the workshop, themes and motivating examples will be used to stimulate ideas. The best ideas will be sketched, modeled in plasticine, and realized in iron. As the workshop progresses, it will become more challenging—participation will lead to increased skill level. The days will follow a clear, predetermined structure, but students are invited to contribute their own ideas for content. All levels.
Owner and manager of the historic water-powered hammer forge in Sennwald, Switzerland; teaching: University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale, Metal Museum (TN), Bondi Design (San Francisco), Cascadia Center for Art (OR).
Iron Summer Session 6
July 31–August 12
Boxed | Unboxed
This workshop will play with containers and what they are intended to hold. A quick survey of reliquaries, keepsake boxes, time capsules, storage containers, etc., will launch the class. This will be followed by an introductory project to build skills, including basic forging, welding, fabrication, surface design, and finishing. Students can then expect to finish two or three tabletop-scaled pieces of their own design. Demonstrations will cover various techniques depending on student project needs. Regular group conversations and feedback will challenge and encourage the development of your projects. All levels.
Studio artist; teaching: Cranbrook (MI), Penland; exhibitions: Lappenraanta Museum of Art (Finland), Atelier Teresa Lacerda (Portugal); residencies: Monson Arts (ME), LES Art Center (GA), Baltimore Jewelry Center (MD); collections: CoDA Appledorn (NL), Cranbrook Art Museum (MI), Stuart and Maxine Frankel Foundation (MI), Rotasa Foundation (CA); representation: Ornamentum Gallery (NY).
Iron Summer Session 7
Have Fun with It, Folx!
Try your hand at blacksmithing or expand your current skills in this fun and supportive workshop. Guided, beginning-level projects will include wall hooks and cooking tools as we cover skills such as tapers, scrolling, and chisel use. Experienced students can push their projects further. There will also be the option of a fun forging challenge open to all. If you have some experience and would like to use this workshop to try out new ideas and expand your skills, come join us. Open to all levels and all folx.
Studio artist; teaching: Pratt Fine Arts Center (Seattle), University of Washington; demonstrations: Northwest Blacksmith Association, Western Reserve Blacksmith Association; exhibitions: Metaformation at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), Measured Making traveling exhibition (Italy, England, US); solo exhibitions: Pratt Gallery (Seattle), Equinox Studios (Seattle).
IRON SHORT SESSION
September 25 – 30, 2022
Spoons, Spatulas, and More!
Learn how to make hand-forged spoons, spatulas, and other utensils. We’ll cover the basics of forging, forming, bending, and riveting steel and brass. Students will be encouraged to explore various decorative techniques and designs as they make their own unique and functional hand-forged objects. This beginning level workshop will be great for those new to blacksmithing or for people with some prior forging experience who want to build skills.
Artist fellow at Peters Valley (NJ); journeyman architectural blacksmith, tool and utensil maker; teaching: Touchstone (PA), Peters Valley (NJ), Haystack (ME), Center for Metal Arts (PA), Brookfield (CT), She-Weld (NY), Dragons Breath Forge (CT).
IRON FALL CONCENTRATION
October 2 – November 11, 2022
Fabrication: Volume I
This workshop will focus on the fundamentals of steel fabrication with an emphasis on design: both functional and sculptural. We’ll begin with exercises and assignments emphasizing proper fabrication technique, design, critical thinking, and problem solving. We’ll build off of these exercises weekly, establishing a skillset that will support personal exploration. Demonstrations will include, but not be limited to, technical drawing and layout, basic sheet-forming, MIG and TIG welding, grinding, sanding, finish work, and patination. Students will leave with new skills and a thorough understanding of steel fabrication. All levels. Note: This is not a forging workshop.
Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Penland; residencies: Penland Core Fellowship; exhibitions: Blue Spiral 1 (NC), Signature Gallery (GA), MINT Museum (NC), Metal Museum (TN); representation: Blue Spiral 1, CultureObject (NY); collections: University of Arkansas at Little Rock.