Iron Workshops at Penland
Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 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.
Registration is currently open for all Spring and Summer 2020 workshops. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Scholarships are available for all summer workshops; scholarship applications are due by February 17.
Iron Spring Concentration
March 8 – May 1, 2020
Attention to Detail
In this workshop you’ll learn the fundamentals of working with hot metal. From forging to fabricating, beginning and experienced metalworkers will learn to transform their ideas into well-crafted objects. Using drawings, maquettes, and layout skills, we’ll troubleshoot design and develop an eye for detail as we create functional and sculptural objects. Along with all aspects of forging, we’ll cover multiple cold-working processes, welding, and fabrication methods. Topics will include project planning, tapering, isolating mass, joinery, and surface applications. Students should be prepared to work hard and have fun as a group and independently. Blacksmith Logan Hirsh will join us for a week as guest instructor. All levels. Code S00I
Studio artist; teaching: Austin Community College (TX), Peters Valley (NJ), California Blacksmith Association, Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), New Agrarian School (MT), Penland; exhibitions: Metal Museum (Memphis), Madison Morgan Cultural Center (GA), Toe River Arts (NC).
Iron Summer Session 1
May 24 – June 5, 2020
From Technique to Ideas
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. Code 01I
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 2
June 7-19, 2020
Daniel Souto & 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. Code 02I
Daniel: studio artist, founder and director of La Caravana Escuela, a craft-based educational project empowering remote communities in Venezuela. Stephen: studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Cleveland Institute of Art, Peters Valley (NJ); exhibitions: Metal Museum (TN), FORGE, international traveling exhibition (US, UK).
Iron Summer Session 3
June 21 – July 3, 2020
Fitting & Forging: Wearable Bustiers & Chest Pieces
This workshop is about designing and forging wearable elements that fit on your chest, neck, and torso: bustiers, necklaces, or chest pieces. Techniques will include designing and forging symmetrical pieces that fit the body and forming and shaping sheet metal for that extra lift! We’ll cover leather and riveting techniques that can be used as a form of attachment so your pieces will be beautiful and functional. Some experience will be a plus, but this workshop is open to all levels. Code 03I
Professor at Delaware College of Art and Design; five Delaware Division of the Arts grants; solo exhibitions: Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Chris White Gallery (DE), Dickinson College (PA), Apex Gallery (SD).
Iron Summer Session 4
July 5-17, 2020
Material Exploration = Inspiration
This workshop will help students expand their sculptural vocabulary in steel. We’ll begin creating form by shaping pipe, tubing, and sheet metal using hot and cold techniques. Then we’ll cover fabrication techniques, including cutting, welding, and grinding, emphasizing personal expression as students apply the demonstrated techniques to create their own sculptures. Inspiration, material exploration, scale, and metal finish will all be considered as each student works toward their own finished piece. All levels. Code 04I
Owner/operator of Iron Maegan Metalworks (CO); teaching: New England School of Metalwork (ME) University of the Arts (PA), Haystack (ME), Ox-Bow (MI), Peters Valley (NJ).
Iron Summer Session 5
July 19 – August 4, 2020
Vivian Beer & Hannah Vaughan
Design on Fire
This workshop will focus on using design concepts and craft methods to develop each student’s creative voice in metal furniture. Design challenges will develop projects from idea to two-dimensional to three-dimensional. We’ll begin with drawing and then move to drafting/modeling at scale and metal fabrication, including welding, hollow construction, pattern making, hand hammer control, surface development, and finishing. We’ll have slide presentations, critiques, and ideation exercises and discuss proportion, ergonomics, style, history, and material experimentation. Whatever your goals, the iron studio will be our creative laboratory. All levels. Code 05I
Vivian: studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Penland; collections: Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC), Museum of Arts and Design (NYC). Hannah: furniture, product, architectural designer; furniture designs in galleries in Chicago and Boston.
Iron Summer Session 6
August 9-21, 2020
Hearth to Table
Using mild and stainless steel, Damascus steel, and tinned copper, we’ll create utensils and vessels used in preparing, cooking, and serving food. We’ll explore hot forging, sinking and forming, forge welding, tinning, oil curing, and finishing. By combining traditional techniques with contemporary design, we’ll realize exciting and functional pieces for use in the kitchen, including spoons, spatulas, forks, knives, and cooking/serving vessels. All levels. Code 06I
Studio artist, professor emeritus at Mohave Community College (AZ); teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), Mendocino Arts Center (CA), Adams Forge (Los Angeles), Penland; exhibitions: National Gallery of Art and Capitol Rotunda (DC), National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum (Chicago), Metal Museum (TN); publication: Vietnam: Reflexes and Reflections.
Iron Summer Session 7
August 23-29, 2020
In this workshop we’ll work to condense design ideas into focused sample/study pieces. Students will explore, draw, model, and experiment to produce iron sketches. These sketches will then be edited to establish a clear idea for each student’s final study piece. As we work through this process, we’ll cover a broad range of forging, fabricating, and finishing techniques. And we’ll spend some time each day discussing the work of other artists to inspire ideas. All levels. Code 07I
Owner of Kyte Metalwerks (MI) focusing on architectural commissions and public art; demonstrator at many blacksmith conferences; collections: Inglis Estate (MI), Washington National Cathedral (DC).