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.
Register for Workshops
Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.
Summer scholarship information; summer scholarship application deadline is February 15.
Please read this note about our session schedules.
Iron Spring Concentration
March 5 – April 28, 2023 (8 Weeks)
Forged and Finished
Participants in this workshop will create objects that balance the industrial history of steel with a gracefulness of form. Building on a solid base of fundamental forging, forming and fabricating techniques, students will expand their visual vocabulary through creative problem solving and by exploring inventive uses of material. Techniques covered will include pattern and texture development, sheet and hollow forming, tube and pipe forging, hot and cold connections and finishing. All levels.
Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Cleveland Institute of Art, Peters Valley (NJ), Touchstone (PA); residencies: SUNY Purchase (NY), San Diego State University (CA); 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), Metalsmith SNAG JAMS, American Craft.
IRON SUMMER SESSION 1
MAY 28–JUNE 2, 2023
Hand Hammer Essentials
Starting with building a fire and getting acquainted with the tools, we’ll explore the basic elements of forging iron. We’ll focus on gaining control of hand tools at the anvil for thoughtful and successful forgings. Daily demonstrations followed by individual practice to refine skills will lead to the creation of small, functional household items. Processes covered will include tapering, spreading, upsetting, mass isolation, fullering, punching, and drifting. This workshop will be perfect for the first-time blacksmith or for those who want a forging refresher. Beginning level.
Owner/operator of Transit Forge (PA); teaching: Center for Metal Arts (PA), Touchstone (PA); representation: Contemporary Craft Pittsburgh (PA), Carnegie Museum of Art Store (Pittsburgh); recent exhibition: Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh); publications: 500 Tables (Lark), 500 Chairs (Lark), From Fire to Form: Sculpture from the Modern Blacksmith and Metalsmith, Ironwork Today 3 (Schiffer).
IRON SUMMER SESSION 2
JUNE 4–16, 2023
Forging and Fabricating Utensils
We’ll combine basic forging, metal fabrication, and jewelry techniques as we create utensils, mostly of brass, copper, and steel. Demonstrations and experimentation will give students the opportunity to make their own eating and/or serving utensils for practical use or as sculpture. Depending on student interests, techniques covered may include cold and hot forming (forging, sanding, cutting, sinking), cold and hot connections (riveting, wrapping, silver soldering, brazing), finishing (sanding, hand-filing, texturing, burnishing), and combining materials (different metals and/or found materials such as wood, bone, scrap metal, etc.). All levels.
Studio artist, architectural metals fabrication shop owner; teaching: Haystack (ME), Center for Metal Arts (PA), Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (ME), Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design (MA), Woodenboat School (ME); Haystack Open Studio Residency; exhibitions: Penland Gallery, Haystack Gallery (ME), Meeler Gallery (ME), CRAFT Gallery (ME), The Bascom (NC).
IRON SUMMER SESSION 3
JUNE 18–30, 2023
Feed the Beast
Make a family of metal sculptures while dealing with the inner beast: The Ego. Are you ready to go beyond making one-off pieces and develop a personal style, but you aren’t sure where to start? I will guide you through each step of finding a unique voice, including concept development, material exploration, and writing an artist statement. We’ll work with hand- and power-hammer forging, cold forming, filing, grinding, etc. The workshop will include demonstrations, individual exercises, discussions, artist talks, and photography sessions. Students will complete five to nine studies and an accompanying statement that should lead to a new body of work. Intermediate/advanced level; basic forging skills required.
Associate professor at University of Gothenberg Campus Steneby (Sweden), lecturer at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design (Sweden); founding member of LOD, a metalsmithing cooperative and gallery (Stockholm); representation: Gallery Sebastia Schildt (Sweden); collection: Swedish National Gallery.
IRON SUMMER SESSION 4
JULY 2–14, 2023
Damascus: Pattern-Welded Steel Fabrication
This workshop will teach the basics of designing and constructing pattern-welded steel. We’ll use new and updated techniques and procedures: specifically, we will not use welding flux, everything will be done dry to ensure higher success rates. We’ll thoroughly survey the basics as well as the material’s aesthetic potential and functional possibilities. Each student will be able to make objects and/or explore the material based on their interest and skill level. However, this is not a knife-making workshop. All levels.
Master bladesmith, CEO of Hammersmith Knives & Publications; American Bladesmith Society instructor; adjunct professor at MassArt (Boston) for 25 years; work published in multiple magazines; many of his students have become masters in their own right.
IRON SUMMER SESSION 5
JULY 16–28, 2023
This workshop will be a basic introduction to kinetic sculpture: it’s easy! Students will learn the fundamental principles of mechanical movement and use simple components to create sculptures that move. We’ll cover basic fabrication and welding, but this will not be a technique-oriented workshop. Instead we’ll explore movement as a tool for communicating ideas. All levels.
Studio technician and occasional lecturer at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth; exhibitions: Monique Rancourt Artisan Gallery (MA), Metalwerx (MA), Six Years Smitten (NM, NC, CA), I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now! (NC, MA), Rhode Island I.M.A.G.I.N.E.s.
IRON SUMMER SESSION 6
JULY 30–AUGUST 11, 2023
Forged By Design
This workshop will use blacksmithing (hand- and power-hammer forging) and fabrication techniques (welding, riveting, bolting, etc) to create thoughtful sculpture and useful objects. We’ll start with introductory challenges, and then move into self-directed projects while participating in design exercises and discussions. We’ll also cover finishing techniques, including bringing color to steel surfaces. Throughout, we’ll consider the context of our work, and investigate the potential of blacksmithing in a 21st century studio practice. We’ll work hard, have fun, and create many new objects! All levels.
Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Ox-Bow (MI), Bryn Athyn College (PA), Kalamazoo College (MI), Penland; Windgate Artist in Residence at San Diego State University (CA) and Purchase College (NY); has an extensive personal library, two cats, and would like to get a dog.
IRON SUMMER SESSION 7
AUGUST 13–18, 2023
Paige Hamilton Davis
This workshop will demonstrate and apply basic forging techniques with a focus on sculpture. We’ll emphasize efficient work methods, simple tooling, and developing individual vision and design. Each student will be attended to and challenged according to their abilities. Bring your experience to Penland’s beautifully-equipped iron studio and make something new. All levels.
Studio artist, designer; teaching: Haystack (ME), University of North Carolina, Penland; work in various collections including the Gregg Museum at North Carolina State University.
IRON FALL SHORT SESSION
SEPTEMBER 24 – 29, 2023 (four studio days)
From Fire to Form
Learn the fundamentals of blacksmithing by making small functional objects. Using techniques such as tapering, twisting, scrolling, punching, splitting, riveting, and forge-welding, we’ll explore the amazing plastic properties of hot steel to give it shape and purpose. We’ll begin with simple items (hooks, bottle openers) and basic tool-making (chisels, punches) and then move to projects that use joinery to connect components (candlesticks, pot racks, etc.). Whether you’ve never forged before or are looking to review skills and expand your repertoire, this workshop will be a fast-paced survey of forging with an eye toward smart design. Beginning level.
Professor at American College of Building Arts (SC); teaching: Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), Campbell Folk School (NC), Eureka Springs School of the Arts (AR); exhibitions: Best of Tennessee Craft (TN); collections: City of Cookeville (TN), Metal Museum (TN).
pardeemetal.com | @pardeemetal
We are currently accepting scholarship applications for this workshop.
Regular enrollment will begin on May 1.
IRON FALL WEEKEND SESSION
October 20–22, 2023
Forging FUNdamentals for the Kitchen
Students in this workshop will learn the fundamentals of forging while making functional kitchen utensils. While the focus will be on forging utensils from single pieces of steel, students will be able to explore other possibilities. We’ll cover conventional and unconventional techniques like drawing a taper, isolating mass, spreading, and various connection options. Be prepared to work with fellow students of varying skill levels in a fun, safe environment that will encourage creativity. All levels.
Studio artist; teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), Touchstone (PA), Campbell Folk School (NC), Center for Metal Arts (PA), California Blacksmith Association, The Steel Yard (RI); exhibitions: Madison Morgan Cultural Center (GA), Metals Museum (TN), Penland Gallery.
Enrollment for this workshop will begin on May 1.