Training Courses in Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing & Metalsmithing. 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.
the Wareham Forge - Artisan Blacksmith

Program Requirements

students 2005 Note that only 4 students will be accepted for each session. Each student will be provided with work station consisting of mounted anvil and basic hand tools. Two students will share a single forge (coal or propane). The class shares use of power tools. Taken together this means close personal supervision and lots of hands on working time.
Programs are open to any physically able people, from young adults onwards. (Aged 16 an up - see a special note : Teens as Students). There are only limited provisions made for students with "learning disabilities", this * is * a group setting. English is the language of instruction. Sorry - the Wareham Forge is not really wheel chair accessible.
students 2005

Blacksmithing & Training Limitations

Physical Impacts

The tools required to undertake any effective work at the forge are a minimum of 800 gms / about 1 1/2 lbs. The student MUST be able to not only move this weight - but more importantly be able to CONTROL the tool in motion. 
As a comparison, the basic forging hammer is somewhat heavier than a standard nail driving hammer. The degree of control required is considerably greater.
For many forging exercises, use of an even heavier 1000 gm hammer is required.
 Using a forging hammer correctly and effectively is * not * like driving nails. Individual body size, strength and proportions will effect what determines the most effective - and safe - working pattern for each student.

Students with Disabilities?

Blacksmithing does require full physical abilities.
The Wareham Forge is not equipped with specialized modifications that might allow those with physical limitations to participate. Note that the workshop is most definately *not* 'wheelchair friendly' (dirt floors, uneven floor surfaces).

Blacksmithing does require full mental abilities.
-  A group course operates within a chaotic environment, with many people attempting to work in close quarters.
- Strict control of dangerously hot objects needs to be ensured - for the safety of the entire group.
- Each student can only be allotted 25% of my direct attention (others have paid for teaching as well).
- Any individual must absorb often complex and specific instructions if they are to correctly complete even basic forging tasks. 

There is an incorrect assumption often made that blacksmithing is a 'mere' physical operation, and those who have trouble achieving or paying attention with 'book learning' will easily undertake forging tasks.
Even a simple forged element may require as many as five individual physical and mental tasks be carried out simultaniously, correctly - and safely.

Introduction to Blacksmithing

 No Previous Experience required
Note that February, March & December programs are limited to TWO STUDENTS, using gas forge only

Intermediate Level Courses

All Intermediate level programs have previous experience \ skill requirements.

Basic Bladesmithing

Intermediate Blacksmithing

Forging Structural Steels

Forge Welding

This program limited to TWO students only.

All Require 'Introduction' Course - or equivalent
Correct stance, effective hammer movement.
Ability to judge correct working temperatures
Ability to 'hit the spot' accurately
Skill to control hammer angle and force as suited to task
Ability to create a number of basic shapes / profiles
Basic understanding of iron materials (types, working methods, applications)
General workshop practice, safety 

Advanced Level Courses

All Advanced level programs have previous experience \ skill requirements.

Introduction to Layered Steels

Requires Ability to Forge Weld

Highly recommended is 'Basic Bladesmithing' Course - or equivalent

This program limited to TWO students only.

Special Interest Courses

Basics of Metal Casting

Building a Zombie Killer!

Forging the Viking Age

Introduction to Smelting Iron

No Previous Experience required.

The Aristotle Furnace

Working Bloomery Iron

This program limited to TWO students only.

All require ability to forge weld.

Special Remote Workshops
Custom Designed Workshops

See individual descriptions for specific requirements.


1) Only a deposit secures a booking.
2) There is no supervision provided outside of set course hours.
3) Students are not allowed access inside the residence - no cooking or washing facilities are provided.

The fees for all regularly scheduled courses include:
- all materials used for the basic projects
- technique notes and bibliography
- ongoing (!) coffee 
- Basic safety gear (glasses and ear plugs) will be provided.
Students may required to pay for any materials used for extra projects outside those for the established course outline.

Discounts available for several people booking at one time. Discount for SCA members.


The Wareham Forge is located in the tiny Hamlet of Wareham, located about half way between Orangeville and Owen Sound. It is on a side road roughly three miles west of Highway 10, close to Flesherton. This makes it about 2 hours drive NW of Toronto, about the same distance from Kitchener. Upon registration, students will be sent detailed instructions and map to the studio.


To reserve a place, a deposit of $100 per student is required. Using the Paypal link for the specific program is easiest and safest. Mastercard, Visa and AMEX can also be accepted. Personal cheques (inside Canada only) can be used - only if more than 30 days before the course date. Remember 'he who pays first, gets'. Complete the enclosed application and return it as well. Confirmation will be made by phone /e-mail


If you cancel a course booking, the refund situation will depend if I have turned away another possible student for the same program.

If that is the case, the deposit is lost, and there is no refund or transfer.
(Unless before the scheduled date, another student books 'your' space.)

If you cancel and there has been no other interested student turned away from that space, the date of your notice is important.
If there are more than 30 days to the course date, a full refund is available.
With between 30 to 15 days before the course date, only a 50% refund is available, but a transfer of the full deposit amount to another program is possible.
With less than 15 days before the course date, only a transfer of the deposit is possible.

Any transfer can only be made ONCE. If you should cancel the second booking, the deposit is lost, reguardless of other bookings.
The transfer credit is only available to programs during the same calendar year as the original course booking, after which the deposit is lost.
A deposit can be transferred to any other available, scheduled course. The amount can also be applied to a 'private session' booking. The normal cost structure for this new program booking remains in effect.

Student Equipment:

Each student should bring suitable clothing: leather work boots above the ankle, heavy cotton LONG pants and shirts (denim, flannel), and some kind of cap is suggested. Dependant on time of year, temperatures can range from above freezing, to high 20's - 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. Required safety equipment will be provided.

Student Housing:

Each student remains responsible for their own lodgings, meals and snacks.

Bringing a bag lunch is strongly advised. Although there are basic level restaurants available in both Dundalk in Flesherton, these keep limited hours. They are also at least a 15 minute one way trip from Wareham. Although coffee is usually on, liquid replacement in the high heat of the forge is highly recommended, and your own fruit juice or pop should be brought. Remember the water here is drawn from a private well.

Students may be allowed to camp on the one acre lot, using their own tents and other equipment. There is no addtional cost for use of the space. This should be at best considered 'primitive' camping. There is a roofed fire pit and simple outhouse students can make use of. There is an outdoor cold water tap - no washing facilities. (Access to the interior home bathroom is not provided.) Please contact me well before your course date if you wish to camp in the yard.
Dogs or other non student family members are not permitted.
There is NO SUPERVISION outtside scheduled course hours.

A small bunkie type cabin is available for student rental. This is a simple insulated building, containing a standard double bed - you will need to provide your own sleeping bag or bedding. It plugs into the house power to allow for a single electrical outlet. Bathroom is the outhouse mentioned above. This 'Wendy House' is available on a 'first come' basis for rental to interested students, at a cost of $30 per night.

Questions & Answers - May save Time *before* you contact me!

A note on dates. Normally courses are held on the same weekends each year - so next year's dates will be close to those listed above. In all cases, the scheduling of an individual course is based on the pre-registration of a minimum number of students (usually half the class size).

NOTE : I normally do not run any winter courses - check the image on the right for why...

no winter courses

For an application for any of these programs contact:

The Wareham Forge

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

(519) 923-9219 //

Unless otherwise indicated :
All text and photographs © Darrell Markewitz, the Wareham Forge.