PROSPECT HILL FORGE: The Blacksmithing Classroom

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If you'd rather, you can reach us directly by phone:
Mike - 617 230 9572 or Carl - 781 608 0900


"OK . . . I took 'A Taste of Blacksmithing' and I really enjoyed it.
Now what?"

There are several different paths you can take after you take A Taste:

Basics
                    
You can continue on with our 12-week Basics of Blacksmithing which will expose you to most of the basic techniques of blacksmithing. That same content is available in four-week chunks we call Rudiments I, II, and III. From Basics you can continue with our Basics II class which we also have as Rudiments IV, V, and VI.
Taking the "Basics" classes is a bit cheaper than taking the corresponding "Rudiments" classes, but it's more of a time commitment. If scheduling is a problem but you know you want to take all three Rudiments and you're willing to pay the cost for Basics up front, we'll schedule you into the Rudiments classes as our mutual convenience allows.

Knives
     
If your interest is specifically and solely the making of knives, we have several knife classes in our catalog.
If you feel you did well in Taste, you could take Nothing but Knives. In three meetings we have time to get into the details of the forging, shaping, and heat-treating of a blade. We make simple one-piece knives from automotive or railroad-car coil spring. These classes are offered many times a year.
The more hammer-and-fire-practice you have, the better your knife is likely to be.
Not So Simple Knives is for more advanced students familiar with the spring fuller and able to do some amount of woodworking on their own time, outside of class. We offer this class when demand is sufficient.
For Advanced Knifemaking we import Shane Stainton to teach some of the finer points of making a nice knife, with a more involved handle. We offer Advanced Knifemaking once or twice a year.

Special Projects

If there's something in particular you are aching to make, a bed, a chandelier, a lightning rod, a door handle... we can help guide you to suitable techniques and things to practice to help you on your way. This would happen either during Open Smithy or at some other mutually agreeable time.

Open Smithy

You can take advantage of our Open Smithy hours and work with the techniques you know so far and learn on your own. OS (Open Smithy) is a chance to practice what you've learned, work on your own projects, and keep your smithing skills from getting rusty (heh, 'rusty', see what I did there?) while you are between classes. Some students have chosen to use OS to learn on their own, using their own research and reading as their guide. We recommend this approach for doing at your own forge, but if you're paying by the hour for forge-time, it's cheaper per stuff learned to actually take a class. Even if you do have your own forge, taking Basics will give you a serious jump-start. Or you can entertain yourself by climbing the learning curve on your own. Up to you.

Fold-Forming
     
Not strictly a blacksmithing technique, Fold-Forming is a fascinating and relatively new (early 1980's) way of working metal by hand; folding, deforming, and unfolding, leading to forms that are often very organic even while demonstrating their very strong geometric origins.

We offer these classes once or twice a year; Fold-Forming to introduce the basic concepts using thin copper, and Fold-Forming II where we apply many of those same techniques to heavier iron sheet, and Exploring Fold-Forming is often a part of our Sundays at the Forge series.

Sundays at the Forge

Sundays at the Forge is probably the cheapest, lowest-pressure way to keep your hand in as far as smithing goes. When we're smithing. The subject varies, and it's not always about hammering hot iron, but we try to keep it interesting.