Blacksmithing Classes

Learn how to heat steel in a forge and shape it with a hammer, anvil and chisel. Crucible blacksmithing courses teach smithing operations such as drawing, shrinking, bending, upsetting and punching, so you can make pieces of your own. Advanced classes introduce you to the power hammer, bladesmithing, forge welding, and ornamental ironwork.

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Upcoming Bay Area Blacksmithing Courses

Browse below for all upcoming Blacksmithing classes. Please note that due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, all upcoming Crucible classes are in-person with strict health and safety policies in place for students, faculty, and staff. You must review all Crucible policies before registering.

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Meet The Blacksmithing Department Head: Chris Niemer

Christopher Niemer was born with metal in his blood—both his father and grandfather were machinists. Chris Niemer has been Department Head of The Crucible’s Blacksmithing Department since its first opened its doors in 1999. “For me, metalsmithing is a form of alchemy, forging the past into the future using the tools that are present.”

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Blacksmithing Adult Classes

The Crucible offers a wide variety of adult classes teaching blacksmithing. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of fabrication or something more advanced, The Crucible has you covered. See the complete list of blacksmithing classes offered below.

Note: Due to COVID-19, we’re unable to offer all of the classes listed below at this time. You can sign up to be notified when specific classes are offered or browse a list of upcoming classes here

3 hour taster blacksmithing

3-Hour Taster: Blacksmithing

3-Hour Tasters are a great way to explore a new art form without the deeper commitment of a full course. After a basic introduction to forging steel and using blacksmithing tools, make a steel hook to take home. Take a Taster and meet new friends or give the gift of creativity to someone special.

Curious about how you will make a hook in 3-Hour Taster: Blacksmithing? See the step-by-step on our blog!

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blacksmithing i

Blacksmithing I

Learn the basics of blacksmithing! This class teaches the fundamental skills needed to forge steel and understand blacksmithing tools. We will introduce tapering, upsetting, flattening, dishing, and bending of hot steel. Students make small projects, such as spoons, knives, forks, and hooks.

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blacksmithing ii

Blacksmithing II

Deepen your knowledge in this sequel to Blacksmithing I. This class is designed to develop your basic skills along with techniques including scroll-making, collaring, basic tool-making, and heat-treating. You will gain the skills needed to move on to more advanced classes like Bladesmithing and Techniques in Ornamental Iron Work.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing I

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blacksmithing lab

Blacksmithing Lab

Lab sessions are a great benefit, exclusively for Crucible members! Practice the skills you learn in class and explore new possibilities with your craft. No instruction is provided during lab sessions, but a lab monitor will be present to answer questions, manage safety, and provide overall support. You are free to come and go at your convenience during open lab hours, however you must provide your own materials.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing II and Crucible membership

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bladesmithing

Bladesmithing

This specialized course focuses on the forging techniques needed to produce sharp-edged tools of high-carbon steel. We will cover blade design, control of steel grain structure, hardening and tempering methods, steel finishes, and handle construction. Emphasis is on learning the fundamental skills needed to forge a good knife.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing II

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forge welding

Forge Welding

For centuries, forge welding was the only way to weld steel and iron, most commonly being used for pattern welding blades and knives. Now, you can deepen your blacksmithing skills in this class that covers all the fundamentals of this traditional craft. Learn the process of repeatedly drawing out a billet of steel, then folding it back and welding it upon itself. This class is also your introduction to the power hammer.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing II

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Forge Your Own Blacksmithing Tools

Forge Your Own Blacksmithing Tools

Create your own blacksmithing tools! You will make a punch and learn how to use it to punch the eye on a hammerhead. You will learn techniques in double striking and heat-treating, and be introduced to the power hammer. Students make two essential tools of the trade for your personal use.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing II

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Forging Fire Eating Torches

Forging Fire Eating Torches

Learn how to make your own personal fire eating performance tools, while practicing basic forging techniques, such as tapering, flattening, twisting, and finishing. Remove mill scale, add patinas to your pieces, and learn how sealants protect torches from rusting. Construction of Kevlar heads will also be covered. Students will make two fire eating torches from beginning to end.

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forms from nature

Forms from Nature

Use traditional blacksmithing techniques to create organic forms for use on functional objects or sculptures. Learn to make tools to create your own designs and how to improvise when forging.

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friday flame blacksmithing

Friday Flame: Blacksmithing

End the workweek with fire, friends, and a toast. Join us for Friday Flame, a unique night focused on industrial arts and good company. Learn to flatten, taper, bend, twist, and oil forged steel into your own hand-forged bottle opener. After class, enjoy wine, beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage and marvel at your new masterpiece!

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power hammer i

Power Hammer I

We will focus on power hammer techniques as we forge a set of basic hammer tools, side sets, and a round-back flatter. By the time these new tools are heat-treated, students will go a long way towards mastering the skill set. Emphasis will be on the safe and effective operation and maintenance of the hammer.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing II

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Techniques in Ornamental Iron Work

Techniques in Ornamental Iron Work

Take your skills to the next level and begin producing work that sells! This class covers traditional decorative ironwork methods and introduces the power hammer. You will explore techniques, such as steel carving, fullering, and riveting, to create an ornamental dragon.

PREREQUISITE: Blacksmithing II

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womens blacksmithing i

Women’s Blacksmithing I

Learn blacksmithing taught by women, for women! This class covers the fundamentals needed to forge steel and understand blacksmithing tools. We will introduce tapering, upsetting, flattening, dishing, and bending of hot steel – all the same skills and techniques as in Blacksmithing I, but in an all-female environment. You will make small projects, such as spoons, knives, forks, and hooks.

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Blacksmithing Youth Classes

In the Blacksmithing Department, we offer youth classes specifically for ages 12-18. In these classes, The Crucible provides a unique setting for youth to get hands-on with metal, exploring their creative voices and absorbing real-life lessons in science, technology, engineering, and math. You can see all The Crucible’s offerings for youth here.

youth blacksmithing i

Youth Blacksmithing I (ages 12-18)

Learn to bend and shape steel in The Crucible’s smithy as you practice traditional blacksmithing techniques, such as drawing, bending, twisting, punching, slitting, and drifting using the forge and anvil. Students will learn to forge with confidence and complete projects such as a bracelet, hook, fork, and spoon.

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youth blacksmithing ii

Youth Blacksmithing II (ages 12-18)

This class, designed as a sequel to Youth Blacksmithing I, extends your basic blacksmithing abilities. Techniques covered will include scroll making, collaring, basic tool making, and heat treating. This class provides skills you need for more advanced classes, such as Techniques in Ornamental Ironwork.

PREREQUISITE: Youth Blacksmithing I

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Youth Blacksmithing Immersion Program

Youth Blacksmithing Immersion Program (ages 12-18)

Dive deep in this beginning and continuing level youth workshop. Students take an immersive step into weeklong study, becoming young artisans along the way. Learn to bend and shape steel in The Crucible’s smithy as you develop traditional blacksmithing techniques, such as drawing, bending, twisting, punching, slitting and drifting, using the forge and anvil. You will also be exposed to theory, principles, and extensive techniques that let you design and create your own independent projects.

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Being Prepared For Your Blacksmithing Class

Blacksmithing classes are held on the main floor of our building. Please contact us if you have any questions about accessibility and we will be happy to accommodate.

Students must arrive for class in all-natural fiber clothing, long pants, and closed-toe, closed-heel shoes with socks that protect up to the ankle. Long hair must be tied back. Nylon, polyester, spandex, or other synthetics are not allowed around machines, equipment, or processes that can produce hot fragments, sparks, or flames.

The Crucible requests students always arrive in studio safe clothing when working. Layers are encouraged as the studio can be very cold or very hot. Learn more about blacksmithing from our online guide here.

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