Forging Focus

A Six-Week Intensive Course

Level: All Skill Levels

Dates: June 19th – July 28th 2023

Forging technique and tooling is the key to quality work. Whether you’re interested in sculpture, toolmaking, architectural work or anything in between, this intensive workshop is a six-week course that covers a broad range of forging techniques both at the anvil and the power hammer. Strong emphasis will be placed on toolmaking and how those forgings and techniques are beneficial to all other areas of blacksmithing. Students will use these tools and others to execute a variety of forging and joinery projects that will illustrate proper tool usage and care.

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Weeks 1 - 4 

 

The focus during the beginning of this workshop will start at the anvil with basic forging exercises designed to build or improve upon a solid foundation.  These forgings will challenge hammer and tong control and reaffirm your understanding of how to use different parts of the anvil. Covered in this section is what I consider the building blocks of forging regardless of the avenue you take in the craft.  Parallel forgings, clean dimensional changes, shoulders, tapered forgings and basic forging math will all be covered. Students can expect to execute a lot of exercises to specification at the anvil with strong emphasis on repetition resulting in quick improvement as a result of forging multiples.

After the series of projects and exercises are completed at the anvil we will transition over to power hammer forging techniques. Students will get an in-depth look at the functionality of these machines, and how to use them safely and efficiently.  Additional exercises and projects will be presented for the purpose of creating a deeper insight into the forging process.  Through the use of the exercises, the student may gain an understanding of how to create forgings executed at the anvil on a machine with always parallel dies that always strike full face blows.  Various hand tools will be introduced and projects outlined based on the successful use of those tools. Students can expect to do a significant amount of toolmaking during this portion, including various styles and sets of tongs.

The pace of this workshop will move quickly and all projects dovetail nicely into one another building directly on the skills learned during the previous exercises. Students should anticipate working hard on assigned forging curriculum and are expected to be able to follow directions and work toward a clear understanding of the tools and techniques outlined in each segment. Evening and weekend shop time will be used for Forging Focus curriculum practice and understanding. The structure of the first four weeks is one of considered forgings designed to challenge technique, discipline and understanding of forging principles setting the student up for success when presented with the challenges of design and execution.  Most importantly I hope to help teach you how to see your work and make decisions based on what you observe.  Forging is an assemblage of volume and line and understanding what you're looking at and where to forge based on what you see will aid greatly in the development of efficient forging technique. The whole idea is a strong understanding of fundamentals and forging principles combined with a keen eye for shape and line.  The development of this understanding sets one up for greater success creating the work you envision in your mind's eye and that you design and draw.

Weeks 5 & 6

 

This class is geared toward blacksmiths who want to earn an income via a forged product line. Each student will work through the complete product design process -- starting with idea generation, developing the manufacturing strategy, forging the product, and final preparation for the marketplace. We will work with standard shop forms and jigs and, if required, develop unique tooling specialized for the item. Through the iterative design process, participants will create and refine methods to produce a fresh, valuable, and shelf-ready product for consumers.

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Instructors

Patrick J. Quinn headshot

Patrick Quinn

Matt Jenkins

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Scholarships supported by the Windgate Foundation

Applications Available: November 1st, 2022  | Due: February 1st, 2023

Apply for Forging Focus

Join our 6-week course to improve your forging technique and take your work to the next level.

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