July 17-21, 2017
Faculty: Lucian Avery
Connect to the environment through making. Learn smithing and carving to sustainably build tools that every new American farmstead needs. In this course, students will practice foundational skills for working with both metal and wood, such as fire management, materials selection, shaping techniques, heat-treating, and sharpening edge tools. They will also explore how these time-honored crafts connect to and reinforce each other. Over five intensive days, students will both use and build hand tools that require no electricity. Each student will leave the course with at least one complete tool of their own making. Depending on the collective skill levels, group interest, and pace of student production, we will practice skills to create tools such as straight knives, crooked knives, froes, mallets, hewing hatchets, punches, and drifts. Beyond the physical manifestation of new skills, students will also learn to source and create with common materials available near their homes. Outside of class time, students will have access to the Sterling College Forge, providing further opportunity to hone skills between sessions. A small class size ensures that the students will have ample one-on-one attention from the instructor. The course aims to help students cultivate “making” confidence and curiosity. Armed with the knowledge that they can supply many necessities for themselves, their families, and their communities, most students will be motivated to further develop skills in blacksmithing and green woodworking.
Prerequisites: This course is appropriate for those looking to begin their study of blacksmithing. Students with some proficiency in the craft who wish to engage in more ecologically and socially sustainable approaches to the work will value this approach to making.
Tuition & Fees: $1000 covers the cost of the instruction, field trips, most course materials, three meals per day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and ground transportation between class locations. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.
Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60 per night with a private bathroom and $50 per night with shared bathroom access. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis. Please visit our accommodations page for more options.
Need more details before you can register? Let us know!
Faculty Bio: Lucian Avery started blacksmithing in 1992, captivated by the idea of making his own tools for gardening, woodworking and eventually tools for blacksmithing. He soon developed a broader interest in smithing and started taking on commissions. Since then, he has forged a wide array of custom pieces, working with designers, builders, and homeowners from across the country. His work has ranged from thumb latches for historic buildings to stair railings, fire tools, and garden gates. Lately he has come to especially enjoy making early American door latches and hinges. And,of course, he continues to be fascinated with toolmaking. In this era of high tech, he has chosen to continue emphasizing old-fashioned craftsmanship and handwork. Avery works solely in his studio in Northern Vermont while teaching classes and demonstrating blacksmithing to the public and blacksmith associations across the United States.