Blacksmithing Classes in Pennsylvania 2021 [Updated]


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List of Blacksmithing Classes in Pennsylvania 2021 [Updated]

blacksmithing classes in Pennsylvania
The rich colonial history of Pennsylvania fosters a modern-day interest in blacksmithing and other traditional arts and crafts.

Pennsylvania, a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of America, is home to a plethora of blacksmithing courses, workshops, and other education opportunities for smiths of all ages and experience levels. 

It’s rich and fascinating history as one of the original Thirteen Colonies and the site of many historic events in early American history make Pennsylvania one of the top places to learn blacksmithing, bladesmithing, and other traditional crafts vital to the foundation, settlement, and expansion of America. 

Colonists living in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries visited their local blacksmith shop for household goods, farming tools, general repairs, and horseshoeing services. The blacksmith shop served as a meeting place for townspeople and those living rurally to exchange news and gossip. 

Blacksmithing was a respected career in America’s early history, and continued to play a key role in the economic health of Pennsylvania’s small towns and large cities through the American Revolution and much of the 19th century. 

Pennsylvania’s blacksmithing tradition continues to thrive in the state today as historic sites, local workshops, and artist blacksmiths share their passion for the craft and work to pass down blacksmithing knowledge to younger generations. 

Below are the best blacksmithing classes in Pennsylvania in 2021. Check out each business’s unique offerings to find the one that is right for you!

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) Drunken Smithy

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Knife Making
  • Classes: Workshops, Demonstrations, 4 hour sessions
  • Price: $150-$300
  • Website: https://www.drunkensmithy.com/
  • Telephone: (717) 557-2723
  • Location: 61 W Front Street, Suite C Palmyra, PA 17078

Drunken Smithy is owned and operated by Greg Ramsey and Burt Jones. Ramsey has a background in Shakespearean acting, Tae Kwon Do, and blacksmithing. He utilizes his acting skills during demonstrations, which the Drunken Smithy offers to local businesses and educational organizations.

Burt Jones has a degree in chemistry and uses his many years of metalworking experience to forge unique items.

If you are unable to attend a Drunken Smithy demonstration, or want a hands-on learning experience with Ramsey and Jones, the duo offers workshops throughout the year. Current workshops include Axe Forging and Throwing, Forge a Knife, and Pick a Project.

Workshops are open for all skill levels, and the instructors tailor their teaching style to match students’ specific needs and interests. The projects completed in each class also vary depending on a student’s desires, and the Pick a Project workshop is a unique opportunity to make what you want under the direction of skilled blacksmiths.


2) Pocono Mountains Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Knife Making
  • Classes: 1-3 days, 4 or 8 hours, 1-2 people
  • Price: $300-$1500
  • Website: https://www.poconomountainsforge.com/
  • Telephone: (570) 484-8573
  • Location: East Stroudsburg, PA

Bill and Jenny Kucharski opened Pocono Mountains Forge in 2016 and offer private blacksmithing and bladesmithing workshops perfect for beginner smiths.

Workshops include Introduction to Blacksmithing, Traditional Knife, and Traditional Large Knife. Students must complete Introduction to Blacksmithing or possess previous smithing experience before progressing on to the knife making classes.

The beginner class covers all techniques necessary to make simple projects like bottle openers, fire pokers, hooks, dinner bells, and keychains. 4 hour or 8 hour class options are available, making workshops at Pocono Mountains Forge accessible to those with busy schedules.

The flexibility and learning options offered by the Kucharskis set their workshops apart from others. For the safety of students, Bill Kucharski teaches using a hands-off approach, but will assist when necessary.


3) Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

  • Type: Blacksmithing
  • Classes: small group, 3 hour sessions, weekdays, weekends, apprenticeships
  • Price: $100-$315 (lower prices are available for Historic Bethlehem members)
  • Website: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/blacksmithing-101/
  • Telephone: (610) 882-0450
  • Location: 74 West Broad Street, Suite 310, Bethlehem, PA 18018

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is an organization that aims to preserve three centuries of the town of Bethlehem’s history and highlight its Moravian roots. The HBMS is a Smithsonian affiliate and maintains 20 historic buildings and sites in the Bethlehem, PA area.

Blacksmithing classes at Historic Bethlehem are ideal for smiths interested in learning the history of metalworking in colonial America and who want to work in a historically accurate setting. The classes take place in a reconstructed colonial smithy and traditional techniques are emphasized.

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes are available and students progress through the levels at a pace that is appropriate for them. Sample projects include hooks, knives, key rings, chains, fire pokers, and more.

Classes of all levels are affordable and flexible in their scheduling. Members of HBMS can enjoy discounted class rates, so if you live in the area and expect to visit Bethlehem Museums & Sites regularly, it is worth considering membership.


4) Underhill Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing
  • Classes: small group, 1-2 days, weekends, weekday, full day
  • Price: $230-$450
  • Website: http://underhillforge.com/shop/index.php
  • Telephone: (717) 469-5802
  • Location: Middletown, PA

Underhill Forge was founded in 2007 by blacksmith JW Stekervetz. Stekervetz began blacksmithing and bladesmithing in 1995, worked as a demonstrating blacksmith, and then opened Underhill Forge.

Classes are a major focus at Underhill Forge, and their local reputation is solid. Bladesmithing is emphasized in several class options including Tomahawk Forging, Knife Making, and Damascus Knife Making.

Stekervetz’s goal when teaching students is to familiarize them with the techniques and science of blacksmithing and bladesmithing without worrying about the artistic ability of students. These classes, therefore, are perfect for anyone who wants to learn metalworking, regardless of perceived artistic capabilities.

Check out Underhill Forge’s website linked above for more information on classes and super simple online class registration.


5) Oak Mountain Armoury

  • Type: Bladesmithing
  • Classes: small group, 1-3 days
  • Price: $250-$750
  • Website: https://www.oakmountainarmoury.com/
  • Telephone: (717) 963-4922
  • Location: 123 West High Street Gettysburg, PA 17325

Oak Mountain Armoury is owned and operated by Jeremy Eichelberger, a bladesmith with over 20 years experience in the craft.

Classes offered by Eichelberger include Bladesmithing, Knife Making, and Damascus Knife Making. The classes take place over 1-3 days and class sizes are kept small to ensure individualized teaching.

Each class covers all the necessary techniques for making a blade from start to finish. Students learn such skills as forging, heat treating, polishing, grinding, sharpening, and handle making.

Although intensive, all three classes are suitable to smiths of all skill levels. Because of Eichelberger’s emphasis on personalized instruction, students will feel confident in their ability to work the forge, regardless of whether or not they have previous experience.

If you are a smith interested in learning more about bladesmithing, or have already dipped your toes in bladesmithing but would like to go deeper in your studies, consider Oak Mountain Armoury.


6) Newlin Grist Mill

  • Type: Blacksmithing
  • Classes: small group
  • Price: $240
  • Website: https://newlingristmill.org/blacksmithing-classes/
  • Telephone: (610) 459-2359
  • Location: 219 South Cheyney Road Glen Mills, PA 19342

The Newlin Grist Mill is a historic site and 160 acre park that features an 18th century working grist mill and trails. The property is managed by the Nicholas Newlin Foundation, whose mission is to protect the land and the mill and offer educational opportunities for the public. Programs, events, and classes take place at the Newlin Grist Mill throughout the year.

Blacksmithing classes at Newlin Grist Mill are designed with complete beginners in mind. The very basics are covered to allow those brand new to blacksmithing to feel more capable around the forge.

If you are intimidated by the level of intensity of other courses, or just want an affordable and low-key beginner blacksmithing experience in a historic setting, Newlin Grist Mill’s introductory class will suit your needs.


7) Hans Herr House

  • Type: Blacksmithing
  • Classes: small group, one-on-one, parent-child, weekday
  • Price: $150
  • Website: https://hansherr.org/education/blacksmith-classes/
  • Telephone: (717) 464-4438
  • Location: 1849 Hans Herr Drive Willow Street PA., 17584

The Hans Herr House was built in 1719 and is the oldest surviving Mennonite house in Lancaster County. The house is a registered historic landmark and those operating it aim to educate the public about Mennonite life in the 18th century and preserve the memory of the Herr family.

Blacksmith class offerings at the Hans Herr House include private lessons, adult group classes, and parent-child learning opportunities. Skills taught include fire starting, safety, forging, and using appropriate tools to make simple projects.

This option is best suited for hobbyists who are new to blacksmithing and want to try it out without large financial or time commitments. Those interested in colonial blacksmithing will especially enjoy the historic setting of the lessons and the traditional techniques employed by the instructor.


8) Durham Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing
  • Classes: small group, one-on-one, weekday, weekend
  • Price: N/A
  • Website: https://www.durhamforge.net/
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: Durham, PA

Durham Forge is owned and operated by Wayne Apgar, who began teaching himself blacksmithing in 1997 and took his first week-long blacksmithing course in 1998. He is a member of ABANA, creates custom items for clients, and has instructed students for the past 8 years.

Classes at Durham Forge take place on weekends and weekdays depending on student preferences. Apgar teaches based on student interests, and past class topics have included Organic Blacksmithing, Architectural Blacksmithing, and Joinery.

The flexibility and personalization of Apgar’s classes make them a great option for more experienced blacksmiths desiring a learning experience similar to an apprenticeship. With Apgar as a mentor, you are sure to learn exactly what you need and want to in order to progress in your smithing skills.


9) The Barefoot Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Welding
  • Classes: Small group,
  • Price: $100-$2500
  • Website: https://www.thebarefootforge.com/
  • Telephone: (412) 512-7704
  • Location: 3812 William Flynn Hwy Allison Park, PA, 15101

The Barefoot Forge is a collective blacksmithing group headed by Craig Cowan. Cowan is a self taught smith who began smithing as a hobbyist a decade ago. 

Cowan and his team offer a range of blacksmithing classes suitable for skill levels. Basic welding and blacksmithing classes cover all fundamental techniques and are appropriate for beginner smiths. More intermediate and advanced class options include Damascus Knife Making and Ring Making. 

Forging, grinding, machining, heat treating, and finishing are principles covered in all classes and instructors emphasize hands-on forge time over lengthy lectures on smithing history and the principles of techniques. 

If you are someone who enjoys experimenting with metal and learning through doing, then The Barefoot Forge is the ideal place for you to learn the basics of blacksmithing or try your hand at more advanced projects.


10) Furnace Creek Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing
  • Classes: small group, daytime, evening
  • Price: $65-$200
  • Website: https://furnace-creek-forge.square.site/
  • Telephone: (484) 651-9402
  • Location: 48 East Mtn. Ave. Robesonia, Pennsylvania 19551

Furnace Creek Forge is owned by Allen, who uses his experience in blacksmithing and bladesmithing to create kitchen cutlery for clients and instruct students in the basics of metalworking.

Blacksmithing classes at Furnace Creek Forge are best suited to complete beginners, or hobbyists wanting to strengthen their understanding of fundamental blacksmithing principles. Classes are affordable and scheduling is flexible, making them perfect for just about anyone.

All materials are included in the cost of classes and students are able to complete several beginner friendly projects within the duration of the class.


11) Damselfly Forge

  • Type: Blacksmithing, Knife Making
  • Classes: one-on-one, small group,
  • Price: $300
  • Website: https://www.damselflyforge.com/
  • Telephone: (410) 937-4244
  • Location: Fawn Grove, PA

Derick Kemper, a classically trained blacksmith with almost two decades of experience, started Damselfly Forge in 2009. He creates pieces for clients inspired by old world, classic designs and continues to receive education in blacksmithing and other traditional crafts. He is also a Forged in Fire champion.

Kemper’s dedication to his work is apparent in the classes offered at Damselfly Forge. Classes include Blacksmithing Basics, Beginner Knife Making, and Axe Making. Students who successfully complete the beginner course can move onto learning knife and axe making techniques like hardening and heat treating.

Contact Kemper to find out more about current offerings and schedule a class during a time that works well for you.

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