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.
New Health and Safety Guidelines
All students must review and adhere to all of The Crucible's Health and Safety Guidelines to best protect our students and staff during this public health crisis. Classes have been modified to Alameda County’s latest safety recommendations and will continue to adapt as things change. If your class is cancelled by The Crucible due to updated county guidance, we are pleased to offer you a refund for a class or session that cannot run.
Teacher Bio: 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 it doors in 1999. “For me, metalsmithing is a form of alchemy, forging the past into the future using the tools that are present.” Keep reading.
The most prominent thing that Chris sees students getting out of the smithy is a tactile understanding of physical properties and geometry and an appreciation for how things are made. The results of a wrong hammer blow are very graphic. Learning how to work with metal teaches students how to understand angles, positioning, and force and how that is applied to material. Students also gain a new perspective on metalwork and walk away with being able to see the difference between machine-made and handmade. As Chris put it, “when things are exactly alike, you know a machine made it. When things have variance, you know that a human hand was involved.”
Chris credits The Crucible with giving him the greatest source of unrestrained creativity in his artistic work and he is grateful to have gotten the chance to build the smithy into one of the Bay Area’s best places to swing a hammer!