Blacksmithing Classes in California 2021 [Updated]


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List of Blacksmithing Classes in California 2021 [Updated]

blacksmithing classes in California, Sacramento and Los Angeles
California is home to blacksmithing shops that offer classes in locations across the state.

While perhaps most well-known for its film and tech industries, California is also home to a thriving traditional crafts scene. Artists of all mediums, including blacksmiths, work and live around the state, with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento being a few hubs for creative businesses. 

Blacksmithing has been a part of California history for generations. As a Wild West state, pioneers traveling to and settling in California would have relied on blacksmiths for everyday essentials. 

You can explore blacksmithing as an art form and historical craft by attending classes offered around the state. Below are shops currently offering classes suitable for smiths of all skill levels.

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1) Adam’s Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing 
  • Classes: Private/Small group, half day 
  • Price: $105-$375
  • Website: http://www.adamsforge.org/
  • Telephone: 323-303-4522
  • Location:  2640 N. San Fernando Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90065

Adam’s Forge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing blacksmithing with its community. It offers lessons for smiths of all skill levels, with classes focused on specific finished projects.

Example classes include making knives, candle holders, plant hangers, bottle openers, and more. These classes would be great for someone interested in forging a specific type of item and practicing skills related to that item.

Adam’s Forge offers beginner blacksmithing classes to make new hobbyists comfortable with the basic techniques and safety practices.


2) The Crucible

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Welding, Glassblowing
  • Classes: small group, 1-6 students, all day 
  • Price: $195-$470
  • Website: https://www.thecrucible.org/departments/blacksmithing/
  • Telephone:  (510) 444-0919
  • Location: 1260 7th St. Oakland, CA 94607 

Founded in 1999, The Crucible is America’s largest nonprofit industrial arts organization and offers invaluable education opportunities for local blacksmithing enthusiasts.

The Crucible offers both adult and youth classes, so this is a great location for parents and children to learn a new skill together. Blacksmithing classes are offered for beginners and more advanced students and come in a few different formats so you can find one that suits your needs.

Some classes are a total time commitment of 15 hours, and some are ‘3 hour tasters’ so you can learn the essentials in less time. No matter your specific needs and interests, The Crucible likely has a course that will work for you!


3) Vista Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing 
  • Classes: Small group, all day 
  • Price: $125
  • Website: http://www.cbavista.com/
  • Telephone: (760) 533-7896
  • Location: Vista Forge Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum 2040 North Santa Fe Ave. Vista, California 92083

Vista Forge offers blacksmithing classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. The courses take place on Saturdays and Sundays, so Vista Forge is a great option for people who work full time and have busy schedules.

Classes cover all the basics of the craft, and successful completion of Vista Forge’s beginner blacksmithing course prepares you for the California Blacksmith Association’s level 1 blacksmithing course! If you are serious about continuing your education in the trade, Vista Forge is a great place to complete prerequisites and become familiar with the structure of the blacksmithing industry within California.


4) NhaVi Forgeworks 

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing, Coppersmithing 
  • Classes: Private, small group 
  • Price: $95-$200 
  • Website: https://nhaviforgeworks.com/
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA

If you are looking for unique metalworking classes in the Los Angeles area, look no further than NhaVi Forgeworks! This shop offers a range of classes you won’t find anywhere else, like Medieval Cutlery Making and Primitive Blacksmithing.

Hone your skills and challenge yourself with these classes, which emphasize the history and heritage of the craft and expose you to new ways of working, such as over a pit forge.

NhaVi’s classes are also very affordable compared to other shops, so they are a great option if you are on a budget or do not want to invest too much money into education.


5) McLellan Blacksmithing 

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing, Welding
  • Classes: Small group, 1-2 days 
  • Price: $50-$100 
  • Website: https://mclellanblacksmithing.com/
  • Telephone: (916) 652-5790
  • Location: 6961 Horseshoe Bar Road Loomis, CA 95650 (25 miles north of Sacramento)

McLellan Blacksmithing is owned and operated by John McLellan, a smith who started when he was only eight years old! As a member of the California Blacksmith Association since 1978, McLellan has industry experience and connections that make his teaching stand out.

Classes are organized according to finished product, and include Damascus knife making, tong making and other tool making, and beginner classes that introduce the main techniques.

With fair pricing and individualized teaching, McLellan Blacksmithing is a great option for beginner blacksmiths who know the basics but want to hone specific skills.


6) The Pilgrim Soul Forge 

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing, Welding 
  • Classes: 2 students, 3-5 days 
  • Price: $300 
  • Website: http://www.grantsforge.com/classes.html
  • Telephone: (510) 865-5328
  • Location: Grant R. Marcoux – Artist Blacksmith 450 West Atlantic Avenue Alameda, CA  94501 (14 miles east of San Francisco)

Grant R. Marcoux is the artist behind The Pilgrim Soul Forge. With years of experience, education, and apprenticeships, Marcoux now passionately teaches others the basics of blacksmithing, bladesmithing, and welding.

His small class sizes and 3-5 day long instruction mean you will be getting individualized, intensive education in basic or intermediate metalworking.

Something to note when considering classes at this location is that pricing does not include materials, for which Marcoux charges an extra $50.


7) Forged Axes by James Austin

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing 
  • Classes: Private
  • Price: $110 
  • Website: http://forgedaxes.com/
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: Oakland, CA (10 miles east of San Francisco)

James Austin completed his apprenticeship in Germany in 1985 and has since opened his own workshop where he teaches classes and creates tools.

His classes focus on axe making, knifemaking, and Viking themed items. Learn the history of the Viking-age metalworking and create authentic tools and weapons from this culture.

Austin’s classes would make a great gift for the Viking-enthusiast in your life!

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