ABSTRACT : Introduction to Blacksmithing, a basic level training course for beginners. Artisan Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz offers a regular series of weekend long programs in a number of aspects of traditional Blacksmithing. Special courses include : layered steels (pattern welding), bladesmithing / knife making, bronze casting, iron smelting. Programs held at the Wareham Forge in Ontario Canada, with remote teaching offered at other facilities. Learn the Art of the Smith

Introduction to Blacksmithing

A beginner's level course
with Darrell Markewitz at the Wareham Forge

NOTE : This information only available as documentation

This program is NOT being offered in 2021

This course stresses a 'hands on' approach with close personal supervision. There are never more than TWO students per session - each with his own work station. Each has a separate work space, with a propane or coal forge used in rotation.
An illustrated lecture Friday night will cover the history of ironworking, plus a discussion of how to pick an anvil. Other subjects discussed over the course of the weekend are: tools and equipment, setting up a home forge, shop safety, the correct motion dynamics, and sources for materials.
The program continues with working sessions all day Saturday and Sunday. Students will learn about a dozen individual shape generations, combined into specific objects. Projects will include a fire poker, various hooks, and typically two small decorative objects. (How much might be accomplished will depend on the working ability of the individual.)

Programs are open to any physically able people, from young adults onwards. (Aged 16 and up - see a special note : Teens as Students).
There is basically NO PROVISION for students with "learning \ physical disabilities" - Please refer to the detail section on Course Requirements. Sorry - the Wareham Forge is not really wheel chair accessible, and the specialized equipment required for the disabled is NOT provided.
English is the language of instruction.


COVID-19 Policy

Basic Course - Rough Outline:

The session includes 18 hours instruction.

Friday : 8-10 pm
Background lecture, the art of the smith and its history.
Terminology / Materials / How to pick an Anvil / Historical and Contemporary work
Note : The cold weather program (late November) does NOT include this evening session

Saturday : 9 am - 5 pm
Introduction to the coal forge, safety, fires, metal heats, picking the correct hammer, basic stance & hammer use.
Demo : square point, curve, twists, 'beaver tail', small curl
Project Session : 'S' hook 
Demo : flat to 'popsickle stick', 'ledge', 45 degree point,  modified twists, taper to wedge, small loop, 60 degree down, centred circle
Project session : fireplace poker

gas forge
Sunday - 9 am - 5 pm
(8:30) : Students start the coal forge
Demo : cylindrical taper, 3D and reversal curves, spirals, simple leaves
Project session : tendril wall hook
Discussion : simple gas forges / simple coal forge
Demo : 'notch', spear point, hot punch, shape and contour, forging an edge, simple heat treating
Project Session : One Piece Knife
AND / OR (as time / interest permits)
Demo : split & taper, shoulder & taper, hot punching, notch and draw
Project session : toasting fork

at bench

Fees: Basic cost - $425* (plus 13% HST)

The fees include all materials used for the basic projects, technique notes and bibliography (on disk). Basic safety gear (glasses, aprons and ear plugs) will be provided. It is suggested students bring lunches and snacks with them. Note that each session is always limited to no more than TWO students. Students will be required to pay for any metal used for extra projects outside of the course outline.

* Discount when two or more students book together!

* Discount for members of the SCA!

* Discount for members of the Ontario Artist Blacksmith Assn.

* Groups can book an entire session at a reduced single fee price!

Registration: Only a deposit secures a booking, remember courses fill early! Complete the enclosed application and return it as well. Confirmation will be made by e-mail. To ensure your place - make a DEPOSIT - Make sure you include the COURSE DATE!

Cancellations: Please see the detailed policy (on the initial courses sheet).
Full deposit is lost at 30 days before scheduled course date.
If you cancel and I have already turned another potential student away - you loose the deposit.

Student Equipment: Each student should bring suitable clothing: leather work boots above the ankle, heavy cotton pants and shirts (denim, flannel), and some kind of cap is suggested. Temperatures in Grey County are always about 5 degrees lower than the Toronto area, so loose fitting clothing, consisting of several layers that will provide warmth and still permit movement, is suggested. Remember the forge is a dirty place!
If students possess a personal forging hammer or other tools they are encouraged to bring them. A notebook is strongly suggested.

Camping space is available for students by prior arrangement. Although this provision is without cost, consider this 'primitive' - cold water tap / outhouse/ no electric available. Please bring your own tents, sleeping bags and other gear. A roofed over fire pit area is available.
Students may also rent the 'Wendy House' small bunkie cabin for an additional nightly fee. This is 8 x 8 feet, insulated, with simple electric outlet and small heater. Typically set up with a 'narrow single' bed.
For those wishing more luxurious conditions, several reasonably priced motels or bed & breakfast are located within 10 - 15 minutes drive.
Note that local restaurants close early, have limited hours.

Please read the more detailed information these topics available at the bottom of the general Courses page

the Wareham Forge

The Hamlet of Wareham, R.R. #2 Proton Station, Ontario

(519) 923-9219 // info@warehamforge.ca

Return to Blacksmithing Courses information

Can't make it to Wareham?

Take a look at the educational DVD's / CD-ROMs produced by the Wareham Forge
Introduction to BLACKSMITHING
Forging the VIKING AGE
IRON SMELTING in the Viking Age
Exploring the Viking Age in Denmark
(Short Cut back to the site index / map.)

All text & images Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge