Forging Focus: Tool Making, Joinery, and Applied Forgings


Instructors: Patrick Quinn & Dan Neville
Visiting Instructor: Doug Wilson
Level: All Skill Levels
Dates: June 22nd – July 31st

*Tuition does not cover the cost of materials used for students’ own production. 

Forging technique and tooling is the key to quality work. Whether you’re interested in sculpture, toolmaking, architectural work or anything in-between, this technique-based 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.

Week 1 & 2

     Focus will start at the anvil and the first two weeks will primarily be projects that develop and challenge hammer control, different hand tools, and how to affectively use the anvil. During this portion of the class various tool making projects and smaller utilitarian objects will be executed through hand forging, striking and joinery. A strong foundation of basic forging technique is key for development. Topics covered are tapering, shouldering, material isolation, upsetting, punching, drifting, and riveting. Students can expect to make various hand tools, punches, chisels, tongs and a hammer. With these tools and more they will create a variety of other objects as well.

Week 3 & 4

Design, Drawing, Concept Development, and Execution with Doug Wilson

    We will begin with a few group drawing exercises which will help us to define, explore and understand our design inspiration and concepts. Ideas for creating projects rooted in traditional hot forging processes and techniques will be explored, discussed, and practiced. As the third week progresses participants will develop more clearly defined individual projects and we will continually make prototypes and samples of elements and joinery inspired by these ideas. Afternoons will include making models of elements in clay, tar paper and binding wire. I will demonstrate various traditional joinery methods including rivets, tenons, and hot collaring. I will also demonstrate a wide variety of scarfing set-ups for various configurations of forged elements.  You will get my demo: “Forge Welding, No Myth, No Mystery, Satisfaction Guaranteed!” There will also be plenty of forge time for students to work at development of individual forging skills and the prototyping of elements for individual projects. By the end of week one, participants will have developed and refined the plans for individual projects.

Demonstrations will continue but at this point students should have a clearly defined image of what they want to create. My focus will be more on the students individual projects helping them to execute their specific ideas forgings and connections. Participants will focus on producing elements for their own individual projects, joining them together and finishing them.  This is a great opportunity to explore design in connection with forging and to work closely with me on how the two depend on each other for the creation of nice work.  This portion of the workshop will be a nice blend of technique, inspiration, and how to identify the right process or process to create and join elements of your drawings and models in forged steel.

Week 5 & 6

          Following the two-week concept development and design portion of the workshop, projects will include hand forging, striking, and power hammer work.  During this time a final project will be introduced that draws from all or most techniques covered in the workshop and involve a more complicated assembly. Design consideration and layout will be covered and tips to help keep your work accurate when assembling multiple parts. Students should expect to leave with a firm or better grasp of forging at the anvil and power hammer with a pile of tools they made to help them continue to grow as a blacksmith, and the confidence to work in other shops with other smiths.

If you are interested in attending CMA’s six-week Forging Focus, please email us at 


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  • Patrick Quinn has taught blacksmithing, fabrication, and tool making at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL), Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Hereford College of the Arts, and the Adirondack Folk School. He has demonstrated at various conferences such as ABANA and the California Blacksmith Association. With an MFA in blacksmithing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a BFA in sculpture from Alfred University, Patrick’s sculptural and functional works display a high level of craft and keen eye for detail.  Instagram @handforgedinvt
  • Dan Neville received his BFA in metalsmithing from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and his MFA degree in metalsmithing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Dan has taught at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Missouri State University, and Austin Community College in Texas. Dan has exhibited his work extensively at venues such as the Metal Museum in Tennessee, Lillstreet gallery in Chicago, IL, and The Yamawaki Art College Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Instagram @nevilleforge
  • Doug Wilson received his BFA from Michigan State University in 1973. A metalsmith since 1973, and operating his studio on Little Deer Isle since 1981, his work has been included in numerous private collections, national exhibitions and publications. He has been a demonstrator at several national and international blacksmithing conferences including six National Conferences for ABANA. He was previously an instructor at the Madison Area Technical College; the founder of and instructor for the Colby College Blacksmithing Jan Plan Program and continues to teach at craft schools including Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Penland School of Crafts.
Forging Focus Cancellation Policy 2020
Except for a $500 cancellation fee, students will receive a full tuition refund when cancelling 65+ days prior to the Forging Focus start date. Cancellations received 64 days or less of the class date will not receive a refund. Center for Metal Arts spends a substantial amount of time planning our Forging Focus and cancelation openings are difficult to fill. The above policy was set to reflect and offset the difficulties and costs associated with cancellations. Workshop registration is non-transferable from person to person.

Additional information

Forging Focus

Private Housing, Shared Housing