Forging Focus: Tool Making, Joinery, and Applied Forgings


Instructors: Patrick Quinn & Dan Neville
Visiting Instructor: Andrew Dohner
Level: All Levels
Dates: June 17th – July 26th

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 effectively 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

Once students have a firm grasp on hand forging and striking they will be introduced to the power hammers.  This will allow students to see and experience the opportunities to work with larger stock and translate what they learned at the anvil to the power hammer

Treadle Time: Introduction to Power Hammer with Andrew Dohner

     The power hammer is the foundational tool of most blacksmith studios. Efficient use requires proper control of the treadle. Developing an eye and sense for the material is required to forge with any level of accuracy or finesse. In this class safety precautions and proper operating principles will be covered along with a discussion of what not to do. We will work together as a group to make a series of refined samples. These objects will use beginner to advanced skill levels. After getting familiar with these machines and comfortable forging with them a power hammer focused project will be introduced and executed. Techniques including breaking down stock, sizing material, drawing a taper, and different types of die forging will be covered. This will be an environment that condones creativity and is for the fun and motivated student. Elevate your hand working experience and learn to use the hammer and anvil of the power hammer!

Week 5 & 6

Following the two-week power hammer 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.


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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
  • Andrew Dohner is a third generation steelworker and in 2002 made a transition into blacksmithing. For six years, he studied at craft schools and studios across the US. This time was self-motivated, developing a variety of forging skills and a solid foundation as a power hammer operator. This opportunity has given his work a unique approach. Andy currently has a studio in Oregon, where he makes objects for the home and sculpture. He has taught at ACC, Peters Valley, CBA, and Penland School of Crafts. Instagram @andydohnerstudio

Additional information

Forging Focus

Tuition, Private Housing, Shared Housing