The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire. – Author Unknown
This class is directed towards the blacksmith who’s looking to outfit their shop with tools for everyday forge work. We will spend each day focusing on one type of tool with any heat treating or finishing work to be done on the last day. Starting with measurement tools that can make a blacksmiths work flow with ease, a basic pair of callipers can help a blacksmith to size their workpiece quickly and efficiently. Next we will cover the basics of tong making and then build on these basics to forge a few different pairs, ranging from box jaw to scrolling tongs. For the hammers section of the class, students will work in teams to each forge a flatter, a top tool great for finishing your work. On the last day we will finish up any unfinished projects and heat treat our flatters. During this course we will be able to work with the beginner with some forging experience to the more advanced smith and if time permits we can tackle a more specialized tool such as 3 leaf dividers.
This course will provide a sound understanding of basic blacksmith skills and tools. Participants will be guided through a series of hands-on lessons that culminate in knowledge of how to move and form hot steel with hammer and anvil.
A variety of tools will be completed for take home.
Basic forging skills will be practiced & improved.
Practice working in a team for striking.
More advanced skills like forge welding & heat treating will be practiced.
This course can be catered to a wide range of skill levels – from the beginner to the more experienced. Some blacksmithing experience is required with a basic understanding of the process and hammer control skills.
Date: Tuesday, July 2nd – Friday, July 5th
Tuition: $620 Includes:
Early Bird Course Tuition: $495 20 Hours of Course Time
Material & Equipment Fee of $125
Daily “Boreal Bites”
An unforgettable experience
Inclusive Price: $620 – $1070 Inclusive Price varies based on chosen meal plan & accommodation during your time at forestART. See FAQ’s for more info!
Mike Armstrong and Megan Carter began their education as blacksmiths in 2010 at Halliburton School of The Arts and Design. Since then it has been a path of learning and exploration into the medium. In North America where the tradition of apprenticeship is not strong, they have had to seek out their teachers. Spending time visiting and working in other smith’s shops, attending demonstrations and workshops is always a great source of inspiration, providing the fuel to carry on a new path or to try a new technique. During this time of learning from other smiths, Mike and Megan have developed a passion for collecting and studying old ironwork. Working to determine the tools, techniques and process of how these old items were made can be challenging – yet satisfying when a hypothesized technique is tried with success.
In 2012 Mike and Megan joined their skills and efforts to form their business Armstrong and Carter Ironworks located in Georgetown, Ontario. Their work ranges from architectural pieces to custom furniture. Currently their interests have turned towards working with wrought iron to reproduce period pieces more accurately. These projects are usually inspired by antique examples with a focus on locks, door hardware, kitchen utensils and hand tools. More about them here!
“A outstanding and unique learning experience in the wild boreal forest of Saskatchewan. The outdoor "bush" Blacksmithing workshop at Ness Creek was an inspiring environment that supported my creative process.
2018 Course Participant
"My instructors, Megan and Mike, made the course material very approachable and did an excellent job of guiding us through developing the Blacksmithing skills we required for the projects. They offered a very personalized level of support tailored to each student's requirements and offered insight into both the historical aspects of the craft as well as what it's like to be a blacksmith in the present. I completed the Intermediate Level course and have every intention of continuing. I highly recommend this experience with them if you are at all interested in trying it out."
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for blacksmithing is mostly common sense. Cotton and leather clothing, no synthetics that melt in high heat or spark.
Safety eye ware is highly recommended. Non prescription safety glasses are easily available. A larger version or goggles can be used over prescription glasses.
Gloves help protect you from burns and blisters. Snug fitting leather gloves offer better dexterity and control while a much looser fit can be flung off in a single motion if required. Craig often wears a glove on his left hand and almost never on his right (hammer) hand.
Hearing protection is a must. Disposable roll-up foam earplugs or the over-the-ear cup-style hearing defenders; both are fine.
Many smiths employ a leather apron or chaps. (The instructor does not.) Canadian Tire, Lee Valley and sometimes Princess Auto sell leather aprons.
Headgear keeps ash from the coal fire out of your hair. A hat, bandana or no head gear is your choice.
It’s choose your own adventure, with options to suit every budget! You can cook all your own meals, pay for lunches only, or get the full meal deal. You can camp with or without power, bunk in with some fellow artists in shared accommodation, or rent a private cabin.
Full Details on our Food & Accommodation Options can be found on the main forestART page or when you go to register!