Blacksmithing is an ancient craft and Calypso is excited to offer classes that introduce traditional forging techniques in the Greenman Forge Smithy. Our forging sessions cover the fundamental techniques of blacksmithing with an emphasis on forging technique and hammer control.
Visit Calypso’s CALENDAR to view upcoming scheduled classes or Schedule Your Own Workshop (see below).
Most classes utilize a gas forge, which simplifies fire management, allowing more focus on the forging skill. In some advanced sessions, students will work with a coal/charcoal forge.
Schedule Your Own Workshop!
Gather 3-4 friends, email Tom Zimmer with potential dates, and we can organize a class or series of classes for you based on topics listed below or suited to your special interest. Contact Tom with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Blacksmithing Classes
Youth classes are open to both girls and boys under 17 years old. As safety is our greatest concern, all students must pass the Overview session to continue on. This is not judged by strength, but on a safe and mature presence in the shop. We believe that through forging students can build good hand-eye coordination and learn valuable skills. Sessions are set up in units; each unit is approximately six lessons long. Class sessions are two hours long, usually once a week, but we can work with your schedule and needs. We are also certified to conduct the Boy Scout Metalsmithing Merit Badge.
Youth Workshop Unit Examples:
Unit 1 – Introduction to Forging: Overview, Hooks, Fire forks (2 sessions), Handles, and Bowls.
Unit 2: Bottle opener, Nails, Candle sticks (2 sessions), Thor’s Hammer (2 sessions).
Unit 3 – Tools: Hot chisel (2 sessions), Viking Knife (2 sessions), Scrolling tongs (2sessions)
Adult Blacksmithing Classes
The first two hours of this course introduces students to the blacksmith shop, covers the basics of blacksmithing with a gas forge, the tools of the trade, shop safety, hammering skills and the varied properties of steel. You will try your hand at forging an S-Hook.
The second two hours will focus on forging J-Hooks. We learn to square up, forge tapers and then draw out that taper. We will learn techniques to draw out on the anvil face and on the beak. From here we can take the square through octagonal on the way to round, then bend and create pigtails and the hook. There are a number of hook styles from log spike hooks to wall screw mounted hooks. For screw mounted hooks, we will learn to punch holes. If time permits perhaps, we will make some nails. Expect to leave with hook in hand and a new appreciation for metal work.
(*This Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite class before taking other Calypso forging classes.)
Member Price: $100
Non-Member Price: $120
Forging Spoons introduces us to the technique of upsetting. We will create a spoon from a 4″ piece of 1/2 inch square stock. Upsetting is a valuable technique to master as it allows you to move the metal to create a large stock size within a smaller piece. This gives us more flexibility in our creativity. Do not be fooled it is called upsetting for a reason, but is a necessary and great skill to gain. Once upset, we move to fullering out and you will be introduced to the swage block, to create the spoon bowl. (*The Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite class.)
Forging Fire Forks: Chiseling and drawing out (3 hour class)
Through Forging Fire Forks, you will learn how to set up for splitting and good chiseling technique. These raw tines will then be drawn out for a specific look and use. Then we will use our hammering skills to add ornamentation to the shaft as we draw them out and then play with various styles and types of handling. (*The Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite class.).
Member Price: $75
Non-Member Price: $90
Through Forging Handles and draw-pulls, we will explore the processes of twisting and bending. This will be a great chance to hone your new blacksmithing skills. We will explore different twisting techniques including the influence of softened corners to chisel marks. Bending techniques will include free form, the use of jigs and making 90 degree turns. The resulting handles will take on a variety of forms depending on the stock and sequences we use. If there is time and interest, we can explore some leafing techniques. (*The Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite class.)
Member Price: $75
Non-Member Price: $90
Basic Blacksmithing Tools: Tool steel – Chisel and Punch (Two Part Series, 3 hours each)
In this two part class, we examine the world of tool steel and heat treatment. Students will create an indexed three faced chisel and a center punch. After day one the basic tools will be shaped and they will be annealed overnight. Day two gets us to refinements and the heat treating (quenching and tempering). We will then test our tools to make sure we have created a working set. These tools will be a great start to your ‘smithy’ toolbox. The Overview Class is a pre-requisite and it is highly recommended that you also have taken one or two other forging classes. (*The Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite class.)
Basic Blacksmithing Tools: Forging Tongs (Three Part Series, 3 hours each)
In these sessions, we explore the world of tongs and examine different tong styles like scrolling, box jaw, and V-bit. In the smithy, tongs can be one of the essential tools when forging and we will learn how to manipulate them for a good hold. We will forge out tongs of various styles and learn how the boss and off-set work and how to rivet them together. This will be a class that challenges your forging skills and improves your hammer control. You will leave the class with tongs in hand and an understanding of how to manipulate them to best hold that ‘stock’.
(*The Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite class.)
The Viking Knife is a one-piece knife- the knife blade is drawn out to a tang that forms the handle. These knives are a great utilitarian knife and they are small enough to complete in two days. The techniques you learn in this class can be applied to make bigger knives so this is a great introduction to turning tool steel into blades. We start with round stock, forge out the blade and handle, anneal it overnight. We then continue on day two with further refinements both forging and filing. After heat treatment which hardens and tempers the metal, we begin the sharpening process; expect to do some sharpening after class. (The Blacksmithing Overview is a prerequisite and it is highly recommended that you take one or two other fundamental forging classes).
-Future Class Offerings-
We are always exploring new class ideas and offer new classes as we can. Watch for upcoming classes like Forging Hammers and Stock Reduction Knife Making. Come summer, we hope to have the coal forge up and running so we can tackle projects that require forge (fire) welding such as fire pokers and axes.
If you have a specific project idea, for example; brackets, or candle sticks or animal heads, feel free to email Tom and we can make it happen.
-Registration and Cancellation Policy-
At the time of registration, we ask for pre-payment to reserve your space in the class; workshops fill up fast! If you are unable to attend a class you are registered and paid for there may be a cancellation fee:
Withdraw more than two weeks prior to class: full class refund.
Withdraw two weeks prior to class: 90% refund
Withdraw one week prior to class: 50% refund
Withdraw with less than a week prior to class: no refund
Please give us enough time so we can make the opportunity available to others. Thank you!
To register for classes, call the Farm at (907) 451-0691 or email Tom at email@example.com
Become a member to Receive a Discount!
Becoming a member of Calypso is easy. To become a member, give a donation of any amount to support Calypso’s educational programs. You can pay the membership price at your first workshop and add on your donation at that time. See our Membership page for details. We ask that you renew your membership annually. Thank You!!