|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.
pull out guide
The shop combines traditional and modern equipment. The main forge is coal fired with electric blower. A secondary forges, firing propane, provide additional working areas on the main production floor. There will be one anvil set per student, all basic hand tools and safety equipment will be provided. Powered equipment includes an air hammer, hydraulic press, oxy-propane torches, MIG welders, drill press, grinding and polishing machinery. As well there is a fully equipped fine metals studio available for special programs (includes pewter, bronze and fine metals casting equipment). Outdoors there is a dedicated area (with overhead cover) for iron smelting and related activities.
The Wareham Forge is located in Grey County (Central Ontario), about half way between Orangeville and Owen Sound. We are about 5 miles SE of the village of Flesherton, just off highway 10, (about 2 hours drive NW of Toronto). via Google Maps
A walk through of
the Wareham Forge,
For a larger view
|Depending on program - currently
only 2 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.
Course Offerings and Dates
Policy for COVID-19
Please note new restrictions.
NO FURTHER COURSES for 2020
Expect changes to offerings in 2021
Entering my fourth decade with metalwork, and now a 'senior',
I will be focusing on intermediate to special skills programs:
Potentially in 2021:
Introduction to Layered Steels
Forging Structural Steels
Basics of Metal Casting
Bloomery Iron Smelting
Forging Bloomery Iron
the Aristotle Furnace
Experiencing the Viking Age
Forging the Viking Age
Questions & Answers - Teens as Students - Course Requirements
All may save Time *before* you contact me!
|The following programs are
intended to be offered in 2021
Introduction to Layered Steels
This two day, 16 hour session will introduce the student
to the basic techniques required in the creation of
layered steels. Covers: alloy mixes, basic pattern
generation and history. Each student will create a layered
billet, plus will forge a small knife from a prepared
block (provided). Requires intermediate level
experience with basic bladesmithing (ability
to forge weld plus effectively forge blade profiles). Course
fee of $475 (+HST) includes all materials (includes
a billet of pre-made material). Session limited
to two students.
This 18 hour session will involve the student in the
construction and operation of the 'Econo Norse' small
scale iron smelter. It
is the only program covering these skills available in
This two day, 16 hour session covers the building and
operation of the small Aristotle Re-melting Furnace. This
historic based, table top furnace, allows you to convert
almost any iron based metal into a bloomery like material
- with controlled carbon content. Ideal for blade makers
wanting to produce ancient styled metals. On day one you
will build your individual furnace (which you can keep),
then run it through several production cycles. On day two,
those metal cakes will be forged down to working bars.
Students will get the most value from this course if they
already understand forge welding technique. Course
fee of $450 (+HST) includes all materials. Session
limited to three students.
Forging Bloomery Iron
Forging Bloomery Iron is an intensive hands on program, roughly 18 hours in duration. It is the only program covering these skills available in Canada.Each student will be provided with 1 kg pieces of 'raw' bloomery iron. The course will not only cover the practical experience of compacting and forging these pieces into 'working bars', it will also cover the history and basic functioning of both the bloomery iron smelting furnace, but also the related Aristotle re-melting furnace.
Requires intermediate level experience (ability to forge weld). See Course Requirements. Session limited to two students only. This unique program is of interest to students of history as well as blacksmiths. Course fee of $500 (+HST) includes all materials.For more details on this special program - go to Bloom Forging.
Forging the Viking Age
This two and a half day, 18 hour session is intended for
those interested in historical ironworking from the Viking
the Viking Age
This program TENTATIVE in 2021
You have seen it on the television shows and movies - but what was it ACTUALLY like to live in the Viking Age?
This is an intensive two day and overnight immersion into the daily life during the Viking Age :
- a starting lecture segment on 'material culture' (objects and life)
- wear period clothes (provided)
- setting up your camp (replica tents and gear)
- preparing an evening meal ('cold food' as lunches - all provided)
- sleeping out in the tents (with suitable bedding)
Once camp is established, undertake a number of Norse handicrafts
- pewter casting in soapstone moulds
- glass bead making
Each resulting in objects you take home to keep!
Participation limited to FOUR individuals / Two bookings required
Children accompanied by parents welcome (8 years or older please)
Course fee of $450 (+HST) all materials.
For more details on this special program : Experience Viking Age
This is a one day / eight hour private session, working
one on one with Darrell at the Wareham Forge. This session
is primarily intended for specific 'project' work, with
the participant making use of the facilities at the
Wareham Forge, Darrell providing guidance and technical
Some flexibility of dates possible, with some weekend dates and much more availability for mid week throughout the year. Base Fee is $300 per day (+HST), includes basic shop use (specific project materials extra). Please contact the Wareham Forge to discuss your requirements for course content and possible dates.
Although intended for a single individual, and primarily as a working (rather than teaching) day, extra participants can be added to the 'Private Session'. The base cost remains $300 / day, with an extra cost of $100 / day for one additional person. No more than two students per session. There may be an extra amount for project materials / consumables.
Special - One Week 'Forge to Blade'
Scheduled as Arranged
Limited dates possible
I have had an increasing number of people ask about a personal one week - Forge to Blade program. This would entail :
Day 1 & 2 - Basics of Blacksmithing (stance, safety, tools, basic forging practice as the Introduction program)
Day 3 - Introduction to forge welding (including practice work)
Day 4 & 5 - Basics of Bladesmithing ( shapes, design, heat treating, alloys, basic forging practice as the Bladesmith program)
In total this would be a 5 day long, 8 hours working per
day (total 40 hours). No
previous experience required. Cost for this
program would be $1500 (+HST). As with
other programs, basic materials & fuels would be
included, all tools and safety gear provided. If two
people booked together, the cost would be $1000 + each. No
more than two students (but would discuss this
possibility). Dates would have to fit into my existing
work commitments, available at the Wareham Forge only.
me directly if this program is of interest to you.
A two day / 16 hour private session held at the
Wareham Forge, ideal for the small group who want to
share their blacksmithing experience - at a reduced
rate. Also suitable for a group that is looking to
expand their skills into a specific area. Up to four
students, each with their own work station (anvil and
tools), each pair sharing a forge (coal or gas).
Note that an individual group can book any existing
program (on its scheduled date) together at this basic
Note : Due to
COVID-19 - this program is not currently available
A two day / 16 hour course, held at the facilities of
your sponsoring institution (typically a museum or
college). The Wareham Forge provides equipment to
accommodate a total of FOUR students,
each with their own anvil / work station, shared forge
and associated equipment. Some ability exists to tailor
the course materials to suit the individual institution
(historic, artistic, basic skills). Base Fee
is $1600 (+HST) for this group session,
includes basic materials. (An extra travel amount
applies if over 100 km @ $0.55 / km from Wareham.)
Please contact the Wareham Forge
to discuss your requirements for course content and
At this date (November 2020) it has not been decided which of the following programs may be offered.
This intensive, hands on,16 hour session will
introduce the student to a number of additional skills
past those learned at the 'Introduction
to Blacksmithing' program. ('Basic' level
of skill required.)
Working Structural Steels
This two day, 16 hour session will cover the basics of
working with structural steels : PIPE / ANGLE / CHANNEL
and more. The program will cover specialized tools,
basic work with the air hammer, as well as design
considerations. Requires a minimum of
basic level experience, ideally
intermediate level, please ask for details. Course of fee of $425
(+ HST) materials / handout / safety gear. Session
limited to four students.
of Forge Welding
This two day, 16 hour session will
introduce the student to the basic techniques in forge
welding, and its applications. Covers: theory and
practice of forge / hammer welding, the basket, inset
edges for tool making. A number of specific object
will be created using the basic welding techniques. Requires
a basic level experience (ability to assess
temperatures and hammer control ) See Course
Requirements. Program limited to TWO STUDENTS
Basics of Metal Casting
This 14 hour session will introduce the student ito the basics of casting two metals - BRONZE and PEWTER.
Saturday will introduce casting lead free pewter in soapstone moulds. Sunday will introduce small scale bronze casting in green sand. Students will cut moulds, prepare master patterns, then cast a number of individual objects (all that they keep)
This program does not require any previous metalworking experience. Session limited to four students. Course fee of $425 (+ HST) includes all materials.
For more details on this special program - go to Metal Casting.
Introduction to Blacksmithing
An 18 hour program that stresses a hands on approach,
with a Friday evening lecture and two full working days
in the forge. No
previous metalworking experience is required.
Historic Information : Basic Blacksmithing
A two day, 16 hour session will introduce the student
to the basic techniques required to produce simple hand
forged knives. Covers: historic patterns, alloys, heat
treating, forging shapes, basic finishing & hilting.
Each student will forge and work to finish a small belt
knife, plus rough forge a number of basic blade shapes.
level experience, (ability to
assess temperatures and basic hammer control).
Historic information : Bladesmithing Course.
| General Information:
The fees for all regularly scheduled courses include:
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 *NON REFUNDABLE* deposit
of $200 per student is required. Using the
Paypal link for the specific program is easiest and
safest. Mastercard and Visa can also be accepted (via the
Square system) 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
Any booking MUST INCLUDE FULL CONTACT
DETAILS FOR THE STUDENT.
1) There will be NO REFUNDS if cancellation is attempted less than 30 days before the scheduled course date.
2) If you cancel a course booking, the refund
situation will depend if I am able to confirm another
possible student for the same program - taking YOUR
3) Any deposit refund is subjected to a loss of a
10% administration fee.
5) Bookings made as third person 'gifts' are subject to
the same provisions. A specific course date MUST be given
at time of booking.
ALL provisions will be determined on a
case by case basis.
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.
'Polar Fleece' or other synthetics are not allowed for
safety reasons. Dependent on time of year, temperatures
can range from about freezing, to high 20's C - 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. Do not wear contact
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 30 minutes back and forth from Wareham. 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
Students may be allowed to camp on the one acre lot,
using their own tents and other equipment. There
is no additional 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.) Although camping is free - please
contact me well before your course date if you wish
to camp in the yard.
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.
A note on dates. Due to increasing interest in
Blacksmithing - course openings fill FAST.
NOTE : I normally do not run any winter courses - check the image on the right for why...
For an application for any of these programs contact:
The Wareham Forge
The Hamlet of Wareham, R.R. #2 Proton Station, Ontario
CANADA - N0C 1L0
(519) 923-9219 // E-mail
Book your course via the electronic payment system.
|Course fees and deposits can
be made with your credit card.
Contact me for further details
||Exploring the Viking Age in Denmark|
Who is Darrell Markewitz?