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.

Register for Workshops

Scholarship Information

Spring scholarship deadline: December 3, 2021

NOTE: Participation in Penland workshops currently requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document.

Iron – May Special Session
May 1-6, 2022
Peter Ross
Three-Legged Smith’s Helper

The smith’s “helper” is an unsung hero, the modest extra hand that’s available at just the right moment. Content to stay out of the limelight, the helper never complains and is always ready when needed. The smith’s helper is a tool, and we will start with two helper designs—one simpler, one more challenging—as we explore various approaches to creating adjustable height and to making tools that are both solid and interesting. Students will also be encouraged to incorporate their own designs and ideas. We may use forge welding, punching, tenons, upsetting, riveting, collars, slitting, scrolls, and assembly: many of the skills used in architectural work, but on a smaller scale. Our emphasis will be on forged components and traditional assembly rather than fabrication. Intermediate/advanced level: basic hand forging and forge welding skill required.

Studio artist; master of the blacksmith shop at Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years; specialist in reproduction 18th and 19th century hardware and tools; teaching: Haystack (ME), Penland, Campbell Folk School (NC), Touchstone (PA), Peters Valley (NJ), Tillers International (MI), New England School of Metalwork (ME); frequent demonstrator at ABANA conferences.

work by Peter Ross
Peter Ross, Three-Legged Smith's Helper, forged steel