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.

Register here

Iron Spring Concentration
March 8 – May 1, 2020
Andy Dohner
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).

Andy Dohner, "Rudder," forged and fabricated steel, blackened finish, 8 x 13 x 6 inches
Iron Summer Session 1
May 24 – June 5, 2020
Christoph Friedrich
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).

intricately textured steel sculptures
Christoph Friedrich, "Three Sisters," forged and pressed steel, 7 x 3-1/2 x 1-1/2 each
Iron Summer Session 2
June 7-19, 2020
Daniel Souto & Stephen Yusko
Material Studies

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).  |  @stephenyuskostudios

grindstone held up by a sculptural forged stand
Daniel Souto, "Grindstone," 30 x 26 x 18 inches
textured metal house sculpture
Stephen Yusko, detail of "Sanctuary: Trinity," forged, machined, and fabricated steel
Iron Summer Session 3
June 21 – July 3, 2020
Ellen Durkan
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).

model wearing a a forged metal skirt, chestpiece, and collar
Ellen Durkan, "Forged Fashion Collection," steel, leather, dimensions vary
Iron Summer Session 4
July 5-17, 2020
Maegan Crowley
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).

forged bud cluster beginning to bloom
Maegan Crowley, detail of "Divided," forged and fabricated steel
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.

white metal bench with curved forms
Vivian Beer, "Twin Engine," formed/fabricated steel, automotive paint, 26 x 23 x 102 inches
angular chair from rusted sheet metal
Hannah Vaughan, "Remnant Series Rusted," steel, rust, 28 x 19 x 34 inches
Iron Summer Session 6
August 9-21, 2020
Jay Burnham-Kidwell
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.

elegant kitchen knife
Jay Burnham-Kidwell, "Chef’s Knife," Damascus steel, mokume-gane, luan, 1-3/4 x 12 x 1 inches
Iron Summer Session 7
August 23-29, 2020
Andrew Kyte
Distilling Design

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).

forged arch sculpture
Andrew Kyte, "Portal #11," mild steel, 38 x 16 x 2 inches