Tag: blacksmithing

New Instructor in Blacksmithing

Last week we welcomed Bob Rupert of Pennsylvania, and his assistant Gary Cooper to the Spencer/Whitaker Blacksmith Shops for their first visit to Brasstown. They both quickly acclimated to the new Five Star facility, and found it easy to fall into the spirit of the Folk School during the week.

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Peeking in During Blacksmith Work Week

Blacksmith Work Week is a wonderful annual tradition at the Folk School where blacksmiths from all over come and volunteer their time to do smithing projects around campus and make improvements in the Shop. It’s been 15 or 20 years that they have gathered here every spring, for Blacksmith Work Week, so Paul Garrett, the Resident Blacksmith tells me. When I visited, there were about 20 men and at least one woman circling like bees. They are all over the balconies, in corners and down on the floor.  Red hot metal is being pounded beside blazing forges, power hammers have metal running through at a rapid speed, and components are being welded together.  It is high-level intensity with professional focus in the shop today.  No students are here; the blacksmiths are giving their time and talent to retrofit the Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop. What was the primary blacksmith shop is now being set up for material storage, welding, grinding, and drilling. A few forges have been left in place for this studio.

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Scandinavian Ironwork

Charley Orlando and Doug Merkel taught “Early Scandinavian Ironwork for Everyone” during Scandinavian Week.

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Sculpting Critters in Steel

We recently had local artist/blacksmith Joe Miller back to teach his popular “Critters” class in the blacksmith shop for one of January’s advanced weeks. The class is a combination of forging and fabricating, and the students make a critter or two of their choice that might be some kind of a fish, a bird, spider of a animal of just about any species.

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Our new website is live and this blog has moved to folkschool.org/stories

Please visit and bookmark the News & Stories page as all new content will appear over there and blog.folkschool.org will soon head to the archives. We’ll continue to bring you tales about the Folk School experience from the perspective of teachers and students, along with the latest news from our staff and Resident Artists. We’re in the process of transferring our blog archive over to the new website, but there are plenty of interviews and anecdotes to dive into today.

Current Catalog

Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. Our new January–December 2022 Catalog is now available. View the eCatalog online. To receive a printed catalog in the mail, complete our Request a Catalog form on our website.

Online Craft Shop

Our online Craft Shop is now live! Support our vision, mission, and values by purchasing handcrafted items. Our online selection of items will continue to grow, so check back regularly for new items, interviews and more.

Class Subjects

Our new website is live and this blog has moved to folkschool.org/stories

Please visit and bookmark the News & Stories page as all new content will appear over there and blog.folkschool.org will soon head to the archives. We’ll continue to bring you tales about the Folk School experience from the perspective of teachers and students, along with the latest news from our staff and Resident Artists. We’re in the process of transferring our blog archive over to the new website, but there are plenty of interviews and anecdotes to dive into today.

Current Catalog

Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. Our new January–December 2022 Catalog is now available. View the eCatalog online. To receive a printed catalog in the mail, complete our Request a Catalog form on our website.

Online Craft Shop

Our online Craft Shop is now live! Support our vision, mission, and values by purchasing handcrafted items. Our online selection of items will continue to grow, so check back regularly for new items, interviews and more.