Blacksmithing Classes in Florida 2021 [Updated]


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List of Blacksmithing Classes in Florida 2021 [Updated]

blacksmithing classes in Florida and Jacksonville
Artisan blacksmiths continue to work and teach across Florida.

Like other states across America, Florida’s blacksmithing history is related to the movement of people from the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the country to other areas west and south. Generally, blacksmiths worked within small settlements to produce and repair goods for the people living there.

Blacksmithing in Florida is also a bit different from other parts of the United States because of its Spanish influences and many coastal towns. Spanish colonial goods were some of the first items made by European settlers. 

By the nineteenth century, much of the work done by blacksmiths in cities such as St. Augustine, on the Atlantic coast, involved repairing goods from Europe. Since trade was easy and prevalent, the demand for products made by local blacksmiths was low. 

Artisan blacksmiths continue to create in cities across Florida. Below are some workshops offering classes to blacksmiths of all skill levels.

Forged a Guide to Becoming a Blacksmith
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Forged a Guide to Becoming a Blacksmith
  • Hoffman, Liam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 162 Pages - 08/25/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

1) Crooked Path Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Knifemaking
  • Classes: 1-2 day, all day classes for small groups
  • Price: $125-$300
  • Website: http://crookedpathforge.org/#home-section
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: Gainesville, FL

Crooked Path Forge is owned by Jordan Bortselmann, who started smithing ten years ago. He uses his experience in knifemaking to offer some really unique classes for blacksmiths of all skill levels.

Most classes are appropriate for beginners, so if you are just starting smithing, there should be something that works for you. Jordan offers several knifemaking classes, as well as a hammer class, and bottle opener class.

His friendly teaching style makes forging fun, regardless of where you are in your educational journey.


2) Wrought Iron Arts

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing, Welding
  • Classes: Small group, private, children’s  
  • Price: $299-$398
  • Website: https://wroughtironarts.wordpress.com/
  • Telephone: (727) 588-1315
  • Location: 707 1st Ave. S.W. Largo, Florida 33770

Wrought Iron Arts is owned by Robert Buck, a master blacksmith who emphasizes personalized instruction. All classes at his workshop are private and are limited to 4 students. This means that everyone taking a class knows each other and can work together instead of competing for time with Robert.

Children and their parents are welcome to take classes and discounts are offered for parent-child lessons.

Classes are completely tailored to your skills and interests. The project you make during the full-day class will be unique to you. If you are looking to learn from a master in a setting that is completely personalized, then this is the workshop you should consider.


3) Litt Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing 
  • Classes: private, half day and 2 day 
  • Price: $149-$499
  • Website: https://littforge.com/
  • Telephone: (941) 879-2845
  • Location: Sarasota, FL

Litt Forge, owned by Thomas Littrell, offers blacksmithing and bladesmithing classes for all skill levels.

Creativity and craftsmanship are at the heart of Thomas’s instruction. Students work for 4-8 hours over the course of 1 or 2 days to craft knives, hooks, shovels, pokers, and more.

Litt Forge’s classes would be great for someone looking to make traditional blacksmithing and bladesmithing products, but want to learn it in a fun and inspiring atmosphere.


4) Doghouse Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing
  • Classes: 2-3 day workshops offered a few times each year 
  • Price: $300-$475 
  • Website: https://www.doghouseforge.com/
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: 3525 Reynolds Rd unit 1 & 2, Lakeland, FL 33803

Doghouse Forge is a family business owned by Jonathon and Emily Porter. Jonathan’s love of bladesmithing started as a weekend project and became his livelihood.

This passion is sure to come through in the clinics hosted at Doghouse Forge throughout the year. Students learn all the fundamentals of bladesmithing and forging over 2 or 3 days of instruction.

If you are serious about learning bladesmithing and blacksmithing skills and want to produce a high-quality finished product, these opportunities are a great way to accomplish both.


5) Black Hog Knives

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing
  • Classes: Small group, 1-2 day courses 
  • Price: $175-$300 
  • Website: https://blackhogknives.com/
  • Telephone: (407) 755-7146
  • Location: 333 East Highbanks Road, Debary, Florida 32713, United States

Chad Bowlin is a bladesmith who makes and sells his own knives and teaches classes. His classes emphasize learning the entire process of bladesmithing or blacksmithing, and each concept is taught step by step to ensure proper technique and complete understanding.

Classes at Black Hog Knives are affordable and basic, so they would be great for a hobbyist who needs a little extra instruction or someone looking to refine their skills with less commitment than other more intensive (and expensive) classes.


6) [Fe]ver Metal Art Center

  • Type: Blacksmithing, bladesmithing
  • Classes: Half day/all day private classes, 1-4 people 
  • Price: $150-$500
  • Website: https://www.leslietharp.com/blacksmithing-workshops
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: Gainesville, FL 

Leslie Tharp is a metal artist who runs [Fe]ver Metal Art Center as a way to share blacksmithing with the public. Class times are flexible and perfect for people with busy schedules.

Leslie uses her 12+ years of experience to create workshops that are tailored to participants and offers a range of project ideas. Example projects include marshmallow skewers, snakes, dinner bells, bracelets, trivets, plant hooks, knives, and more.


7) Ram’s Head Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing
  • Classes: Small group, private 2 day classes 
  • Price: N/A
  • Website: http://www.ramsheadforge.com/index.php
  • Telephone: (352) 521-3515
  • Location: P.O. Box 247 San Antonio, FL 33576

Ram’s Head Forge is owned and operated by Lewis Riggleman, a blacksmith with years of experience and an affiliation with the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association.

He offers classes for beginners and advanced students that emphasize traditional blacksmithing techniques like forge welding, annealing, fullering, upsetting, drawing out, and more. Those interested in learning traditional smithing would benefit from Lewis’s classes.

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