December 30 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Are you enthralled by watching glowing red-hot steel be manipulated and transformed? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at blacksmithing? Here’s a chance to learn the safety precautions, basic techniques, tools, and nomenclature to get you started.
- Safety in the blacksmith shop.
- Basic Blacksmithing tool use, techniques, and nomenclature.
- How to avoid the most common blacksmith shop injuries.
- Discuss metal selection and using recycled scrap steels in the forge.
- Learn the fundamental forging processes of hammering or drawing a taper, forging from square to octagon to round and back again, scrolling, twisting, bending, and straightening.
- Learn simple finishing techniques to preserve and highlight your work.
- With no prior blacksmithing experience, you should be able to complete a minimum of two different projects to take home from this class.
What to bring to this class:
Proper attire is mandatory!
- Plan to get dirty! Wear non-flammable, weather-appropriate work clothing in layers; we will be under a roof but working outside. That means no nylon or polar fleece – these melt on your skin when they catch fire. Ensure that the clothing worn is not frayed or excessively loose; trousers should cover the top of your work boots and not have cuffs or anything that could trap & hold a hot piece of steel.
- Wear quality leather work boots; hot steel will burn right through tennis shoes in less than a second.
- Water bottle, this is a 4-hour class, so bring at least one liter, and bring more in hot weather. Blacksmithing is sweaty work.
- A sack lunch or at least a healthy snack. Blacksmithing is hard work. We will have a 30 min break midway through the class to keep our energy up.
- Don’t wear delicate jewelry or electronics; tie back long hair or tuck it into a hat.
- Leave your smartphone on the bench, in the car, or a locker. I’ve cracked more than one smartphone in my pocket at the anvil.
- If you have your own safety glasses or need prescription safety glasses, bring those. Otherwise, safety glasses will be provided and must be worn at all times.
About the Instructor:
Jens Butler is a recent Santa Fe transplant but a rocky mountain native, born in Colorado, who began his journey in blacksmithing and knifemaking in 1989. As a self-described tool junkie and gearhead, he loves to work with his hands; he is the husband of an architect and the son of an art teacher. His interests include camping & hiking in the mountains, world travel, cooking, gardening, history, literature, art, and architecture. Outside of blacksmithing and knife making, his artistic talents have branched out into general metal fabrication, welding, woodworking, leather work, automotive restoration, jewelry smithing, stone carving, and much more over the years. Jens finds inspiration for his work in historical artifacts and the natural world, with major influences being Japanese, Celtic, and Viking art and plant and animal forms showing up often in his blacksmithing.
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