Steel Yard Spring Course Catalog


The Steel Yard currently runs a three-season shop - and offers courses in welding, blacksmithing, jewelry and ceramics! Our next round of courses are starting soon. If you'd like to be notified when new courses are added to the line-up, sign up for our mailing list here.

Registration is available online, or by phone, on a first come - first serve basis. Scholarships are available to provide tuition assistance to students with financial barriers.

Find out more about our registration and enrollment policies. You can also prepare for your first studio experience with our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions please contact us at courses@thesteelyard.org .

Jewelry


Crafting Organic Jewelry

Instructor: Amie Plante
Price: $215.00
Dates: 03/10 – 03/11
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Leaves, flowers and botanical forms can offer infinite sources of inspiration for jewelry. In this class students will learn a wide variety of jewelry fabrication techniques to create organic and natural-looking forms in metal. Students will learn sawing, piercing, filing, texturing, forming, and soldering. These techniques will enable participants to get a feel for working with metal in order to create a variety of shapes and forms. The class will cover design and layout, wire forming and thin metal working, folding and bending sheet metal, and a variety of connection methods such as soldering, riveting, stringing, wrapping and linking elements together. This class is open to all levels. Copper/Brass will be provided for practice and exercises.

Cast In Place Gemstones

Instructor: Corkie Bolton
Price: $115.00
Dates: 04/14 – 04/14
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday
In this class, students will learn to expand their jewelry practice, learning the technique of embedding gemstones into wax to cast in place. Over the course of this one-day workshop, students will learn basic wax carving techniques of carving, filing, and polishing to create a ring or pendant. The instructor will then introduce techniques for embedding gemstones directly into the wax carvings. These wax pieces will then be cast in metal, with the gemstones fused directly into the work. The result is an organic piece of wearable artwork with the potential for some unexpected surface variations. This class is open to all levels, although previous experience working with your hands is encouraged. Tools, wax, and gemstones will be provided; however, students will have to pay for their castings - price varies depending on the material that is used and the weight of the casting. Students will be notified when their castings are finished and will be able to pick up finished work from the Steel Yard office during business hours.

Intro to Wax Casting

Instructor: Amie Plante
Price: $215.00
Dates: 05/01 – 05/22
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Tuesdays
Number of Classes: 4
No Class On: 01/01/17
Wax has long been a material in jewelry used to make original models for casting. In this class you will learn various techniques to sculpt, fire, carve, melt, drill and finish jewelry wax into their own unique designs. Metal finishing techniques such as soldering, sanding, polishing, and the use of patinas will be covered, as well as where to source casting and jewelry supplies. We will be using a local caster to cast the waxes. No previous experience necessary. All wax and modeling materials will be provided, but students must pay for the casting charges and metal used in casting their final projects.

Cast In Place Gemstones

Instructor: Corkie Bolton
Price: $115.00
Dates: 05/12 – 05/12
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday

Introduction to Jewelry

Instructor: Alison Bruun
Price: $370.00
Dates: 03/12 – 05/07
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Monday
Move beyond the appreciation of jewelry to creation by learning the fundamentals of jewelry-making techniques, design and fabrication. A range of hand-tool processes will be covered through practical exercises and imaginative concept-based projects. You will acquire a solid set of technical skills, and will also exercise your creative design skills. The non-technical side of the class focuses on idea development and the critical-thinking skills needed to realize a vision. This course will review sawing, filing, soldering, scoring/bending, texturing, forming, linkages, wire construction and more. No prior metal-smithing skills are necessary. Metal will be provided for practice and exercises, but students may need to pay for additional metals needed for their independent work.


Fixed Blade Knife Making

Instructor: Steven Lubecki
Price: $435.00
Dates: 03/14 – 05/16
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Wednesdays
Number of Classes: 10
No Class On: 01/01/18
In this class, students will design, create, heat treat, and finish a 4” fixed blade utility or paring knife using the equipment and tools found in a standard jewelry studio. Many of the techniques involved in the knifemaking process will be familiar to metalsmiths, with attention towards the use of different materials. Design considerations will be addressed in relation to form and function, as well as the aesthetics of the finished piece. No prior knifemaking skills are necessary, but a prior knowledge of basic metalworking skills will be helpful. All materials, safety equipment and tools will be provided, including tool steel for the blade and micarta for the handles, for each student to complete one 3” fixed blade knife. Enrollment in this course includes additional access one monitored Open Studio session per week; either on Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, or Sunday evenings from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.


Smithing in the Jewelry Studio

Instructor: Andrew Haviland
Price: $240.00
Dates: 05/19 – 05/20
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
In this course, students will learn the basics of forging in semi-precious metals to create their own hammered bracelets. Non-ferrous metals that are properly annealed with heat can be forged at room temperature which results in much safer and more controllable smithing. Students will be introduced to jewelry scale blacksmithing techniques using various hammers and anvils. Cold connections will be taught, and jewelry will be finished with patina. By the end of class, each student will have a much deeper understanding of forging metal by creating hammered cuff and bangle bracelets in heavy gauge copper with sterling silver rivets. No prior metal-smithing skills are necessary. Metal will be provided for practice and exercises, but students must pay for additional metals needed for their independent work.


Ring Making Workshop (Full)

Instructor: Amie Plante
Price: $225.00
Dates: 02/24 – 02/25
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
In this weekend workshop, students will focus on learning the basic techniques used in jewelry fabrication: sawing, piercing, filing, texturing, forming, and soldering. These techniques will enable you to get a feel for working with metal to create a variety of shapes and forms. In this weekend course, you will design and fabricate a sterling silver ring and explore bezel settings. This class is open to all levels, and is suitable for beginners. Copper and brass will be provided for practice, silver and lapis cabochons will be provided for the finished ring.

Handmade Chains

Instructor: Amie Plante
Price: $200.00
Dates: 04/28 – 04/29
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
In this weekend workshop, students will explore a variety of methods for creating one of a kind handmade chains. Using pliers and simple jigs, students learn how to form jump rings of all sizes and shapes. Students will then make samples of different chain patterns and styles. Wire wrapping techniques, used for incorporating stones and found objects, will also be introduced by the instructor. Going beyond the basic circle chains and hoops, students will learn ways to alter the wire’s surface and texture by hammering, twisting, carving and drilling. This class is open to all levels; all tools and materials will be provided.

Intro to Stone Setting

Instructor: Alison Bruun
Price: $390.00
Dates: 04/12 – 05/31
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Thursdays
Now that you've taken a few jewelry classes and are collecting stones right and left... what are you going to do with them all? This course will cover a variety of ways to design with and set stones. Students will learn how to set both cabochons and faceted stones using bezels, prongs, and tubes...all of which will be hand fabricated. Over this eight week course, we will create a catalog of stone setting samples to keep for future reference while we work on our own custom designed pieces of wearable art that feature a cornucopia of beautiful stones. In addition to learning proper techniques you will also explore how the various forms of stone setting can enhance your own design aesthetic. This course is appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of jewelry making, a prerequisite of ‘Introduction to Jewelry’ or similar class is recommended. Copper and some stones will be provided for samples and projects, but silver is the responsibility of the participant; sources for gems and metal will be discussed.

Ceramics



Ceramics II: Intro to SlipCasting

Instructor: Liz Hafey
Price: $424.00
Dates: 04/02 – 05/21
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Mondays
This course is a basic intro to mold making class where students will learn how to cast wheel thrown, hand built functional ware and found objects. This process is great for recreating the same thing over and over with molds we cast during class using casting slip. Students will get their hands dirty with an introduction to mixing plaster and learning basic casting of 2 (or more) part molds from found objects. From there, they will apply their new mold-making skills to casting multiples of their own sculpted or thrownforms, employing techniques of clay modeling, carving Styrofoam, and constructing paper models. With these multiples, we will play with assemblage by wet and dry joining techniques followed by firing and glazing. Students will be encouraged to think outside the “functional” box of ceramics, by incorporating other materials and experimenting with process. This is a great class for more experienced students looking to deepen their creative practice. Materials and tools will be provided, students with their own respirators should bring them. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Open Studio session per week; either on Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, or Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.


Ceramics Survey

Instructor: John Fazzino
Price: $395.00
Dates: 04/04 – 05/23
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Wednesdays
Number of Classes: 8
No Class On: 01/01/17
A survey of ceramic techniques, this course will focus on both handbuilding and wheel throwing processes. The instructor will demonstrate new techniques each week, and students will explore a wide range of ways to interpret these basic techniques to approach an exciting body of work. This is a great introduction for beginners to the ceramic process and also for the more experienced students looking to deepen their creative practice. Students will receive a complimentary 25pound bag of cone 6 clay, but may need to purchase additional clay for their personal projects. All other materials and tools will be provided. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Open Studio session per week; either on Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, or Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.

Wheel Generated Form

Instructor: Danika Notar
Price: $395.00
Dates: 04/10 – 05/29
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Tuesdays
Come get down and dirty while learning to make functional and sculptural forms on the potter's wheel! In this course, students will learn how to use the potter's wheel to create cups, bowls, plates, vases, and pouring vessels. Students will practice throwing, trimming, making handles and spouts, and finishing and firing their pieces. Students will experience clay both as a functional building material and as an expressive medium. Color and texture will be explored through a variety of slips and glazes. The instructor will lead demonstrations to give students more ideas as to what type of clay forms they could like to pursue. Students will also be exposed to the creative thought processes behind intellectual and intuitive decisions in ceramics. Each week, a new technique will be demonstrated, and a new artist's artwork will be presented to ignite your imagination! No previous ceramics experience necessary—this class is open to all levels. Students will receive a complimentary 25 pound bag of cone 6 clay, but may need to purchase additional clay for their personal projects. All other materials and tools will be provided. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Open Studio session per week; either on Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, or Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.


Throw Your Own Flower Pots

Instructor: Jane Dillon
Price: $260.00
Dates: 04/14 – 05/12
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Saturdays
April showers bring May flowers; and you’re going to need something to plant those flowers in! Why not learn how to make your own unique vessels for flowers, herbs, foliage, or more. Under the guidance of the instructor, students will custom design and build pots to suit their growing needs; whether for indoor or outdoor use. Students will look at contemporary and historic examples of planters, and browse through seed catalogues and garden design sites for inspiration. Each week, a new technique will be demonstrated. Students will learn about hand building planters in any shape, and develop skills in wheel work. Time will be given to creating stamps, sprigs, and more in order to achieve rich surfaces on your planters and flowerpots. No previous ceramics experience necessary—this class is open to all levels. Students will receive a complimentary 25 pound bag of cone 6 clay, but may need to purchase additional clay for their personal projects. All other materials and tools will be provided. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Open Studio session per week; either on Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, or Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.


Full Spectrum Handbuilding

Instructor: Patti Barnatt
Price: $385.00
Dates: 04/12 – 05/31
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Thursdays
In Full Spectrum Handbuilding, students will have access to our ceramics studio and a knowledgeable instructor who will give weekly demonstrations that will guide students along their creative journey. This class is appropriate for students new to the field as well as the seasoned ceramicist looking to work on independent projects. Beginners to the field of handbuilding will learn the basics of ancient techniques such as pinch, slab and coil in order to learn a variety of skills that will yield unique ceramic vessels and sculptures of all shapes and sizes. Students will also have the opportunity to explore surface decorations and glazing techniques. Students with previous experience will have the opportunity to explore advanced building techniques that will allow for greater height, volume, and form. By combining slab and coil, students will learn how to push their work into three dimensions with greater ease. No previous ceramics experience necessary—this class is open to all levels. Students will receive a complimentary 25 pound bag of cone 6 clay, but may need to purchase additional clay for their personal projects. All other materials and tools will be provided. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Open Studio session per week; either on Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, or Sunday evenings from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing


Fundamentals of Blacksmithing (Full)

Instructor: Willow Zietman
Price: $440.00
Dates: 03/26 – 05/14
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Monday
A perfect introduction to the craft of metalworking, this course will teach the basics of heating and shaping steel. In this course we will cover fundamental blacksmithing skills such as tapering, spreading, bending, scrolling, and shouldering. These techniques are present in all levels of blacksmithing: from creating simple hooks to more complicated projects. Exposure to the pace of working the material and understanding the forge and the tools will provide the beginner with the ability to take their ideas further. Students in this course will utilize both coal and gas forges and will learn safe practice in the shop. No previous experience necessary, the metal will be provided for practice and exercises, but students must pay for additional metals needed for their independent work.

Traditional Viking Wood-Axe Making (full)

Instructor: Willow Zietman
Price: $315.00
Dates: 05/09 – 06/06
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Wednesdays
They say if you chop your own wood, it will warm you twice. If you forge the axe, it will warm you thrice! In this advanced course, you will forge your own axe in an ancient way. Students will create a small hatchet, using the asymmetric wrapped-method preferred by smiths in the Viking era. Working from steel bar, we will forge, fold, forge-weld, grind, and heat treat a small axe for wood cutting, adventuring, or for burying with you on your way to Valhalla. Handles will be provided, and you will go home with your own handmade chopper. This course is only appropriate for participants who have successfully completed a Beginner Blacksmithing Workshop, or similar. All tools and materials will be provided, and students will leave the course with a completed axe.


Beginning Blacksmithing Workshop (full)

Instructor: Willow Zietman
Price: $245.00
Dates: 04/07 – 04/08
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
A perfect introduction to the craft of metalworking, this course will teach the basics of heating and shaping steel. In two days we will cover fundamental blacksmithing skills such as tapering, spreading, bending, scrolling, and shouldering. These techniques are present in all levels of blacksmithing. Exposure to the pace of working the material and understanding the forge and the tools will provide the beginner with the interest and ability to take it further. Participants will each leave the course with a hand forged toasting hook and a bottle opener. This course is open to all skill levels and all tools and materials will be provided.

Beginning Blacksmithing Workshop (full)

Instructor: Nick Tomlin
Price: $245.00
Dates: 04/21 – 04/22
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday


Beginning Blacksmithing Workshop

Instructor: Nick Tomlin
Price: $245.00
Dates: 04/28 – 04/29
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday

Beginning Blacksmithing Workshop

Instructor: Nick Tomlin
Price: $245.00
Dates: 05/19 – 05/20
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)

Welding



Introduction to Welding: Thinking 3D

Instructor: Michelle Raccone
Price: $465.00
Dates: 04/11 – 05/30
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Wednesdays
Learn the “how to” for metalworking and explore the process of turning ideas into three-dimensional objects. We will spend the first portion of the course developing plans and learning basic metal fabrication techniques, such as welding, torch work, bending, cutting, and cold connections. The rest of the course will be spent refining your designs and putting your new skills to work by completing a personal metalworking project. Students are encouraged to bring sketchbooks, to be ambitious, and to have fun. This course is open to all levels. Steel will be provided for practice and exercises, but students must pay for additional steel needed for their independent work.

Weekend Welding Workshop (full)

Instructor: Ruth Henry
Price: $245.00
Dates: 03/17 – 03/18
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Spend a weekend learning the basics of metalworking: ripping through steel with gas torches and fusing it back together with a 10,000° electrical arc! This two-day workshop will introduce students to MIG welding, the oxygen-acetylene torch, various metal saws, and the grinder. By the end of the first day you will be able to heat, cut, join, bend, and polish. On the second day you will have the full day to use your new skills creating a project to take home. No previous experience necessary—this is a great opportunity to explore welding for the first time. Materials and tools will be provided.


Welding For Farmers (full)

Instructor: Monica Shinn
Price: $245.00
Dates: 03/24 – 03/25
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Number of Classes: 2
No Class On: 01/01/17
Spend a weekend learning the basics of mild steel fabrication, equipment repair and project building specific for farmers and farm needs. This two-day workshop will introduce students to MIG welding, stick-welding, the oxygen-acetylene torch, various metal saws, cold and hot bending, and using the grinder. By the end of the first day you will be able to heat, cut, join, bend, and polish. On the second day you will have the full day to use your new skills creating a project to take home or to the farm. For practical hands-on experience, students are encouraged to bring pictures of specific issues they’d like to address, or bring components in that need to be welded or repaired. No previous experience necessary—this is a great opportunity to explore welding for the first time. Materials and tools will be provided.

Weekend Welding Workshop (full)

Instructor: Geoff Hawley
Price: $245.00
Dates: 04/07 – 04/08
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Number of Classes: 2
No Class On: 01/01/17
Spend a weekend learning the basics of metalworking: ripping through steel with gas torches and fusing it back together with a 10,000° electrical arc! This two-day workshop will introduce students to MIG welding, the oxygen-acetylene torch, various metal saws, and the grinder. By the end of the first day you will be able to heat, cut, join, bend, and polish. On the second day you will have the full day to use your new skills creating a project to take home. No previous experience necessary—this is a great opportunity to explore welding for the first time. Materials and tools will be provided.

TIG Welding Workshop

Instructor: Alaina Mahoney
Price: $250.00
Dates: 04/14 – 04/15
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Number of Classes: 2
No Class On: 01/01/17
This course will provide students with the fundamental skills of Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. TIG welding is a precise, clean process that allows the user to work with a greater variety of materials including mild steel, stainless steel, bronze, and aluminum. (We will be working in mild steel, but if students should desire to learn about TIG welding other metals in particular, this can be arranged after a safety consultation.) The first day of class will focus on getting familiar with TIG welding and working with mild steel to understand the nuances of the process. On day two, students will build upon their skills by expanding the materials catalog and introducing metal cutting processes. No previous experience necessary—this is a great opportunity to explore TIG welding for the first time. All materials and tools will be provided; students will leave the workshop with a firm understanding of TIG welding and a small personal project.


Weekend Welding Workshop

Instructor: Mike White
Price: $245.00
Dates: 04/21 – 04/22
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday


Weekend Welding Workshop

Instructor:
Price: $245.00
Dates: 05/05 – 05/06
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Number of Classes: 2

Weekend Welding Workshop - Mother’s Day!

Instructor: Max Van Pelt
Price: $245.00
Dates: 05/12 – 05/13
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Number of Classes: 2
No Class On: 01/01/17
Why not spend Mother’s Day weekend doing something special with your Mom — like playing with fire and getting dirty! This workshop is similar to our Weekend Welding Workshop except that this weekend is set aside especially for mothers and their children to take the course together ripping through steel with gas torches and fusing it back together with a 10,000° electrical arc! This two-day workshop will introduce students to MIG welding, the oxygen-acetylene torch, various metal saws, and the grinder. By the end of the first day you will be able to heat, cut, join, bend, and polish. On the second day you will have the full day to use your new skills creating a project to take home. No previous experience necessary—this is a great opportunity to explore welding for the first time. Materials and tools will be provided. Note: The price listed is per student. All participants must be at least 15 years old.


Weekend Welding Workshop

Instructor: Elliot Berry
Price: $245.00
Dates: 05/19 – 05/20
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday


Weekend Welding Workshop

Instructor: Elliot Berry
Price: $245.00
Dates: 06/02 – 06/03
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (6 hours)
Class Days: Saturday and Sunday
Number of Classes: 2
No Class On: 01/01/17


Intro to Welding: Using Found Objects

Instructor: Nora Rabins
Price: $465.00
Dates: 04/03 – 05/22
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm (3 hours)
Class Days: Tuesdays
Number of Classes: 8
No Class On: 01/01/18
Steel is a material that can both stand on its own and conform to accommodate other elements. After salvaging, observing, and experimenting with found objects and materials, students will incorporate steel fabrication techniques to create a series of three-dimensional pieces. Metalworking processes such as forming and welding will be demonstrated and utilized, in addition to other skills and interests the students bring to the table. Expect to be affected by each other's work and prepare to adapt to unpredictable circumstances. This class explores the process of creative production, so the overall experience is an important component to the stuff we come away with in the end. The course is open to all experience levels. Students are encouraged to bring their own found objects to the first class. Steel will be provided for practice and exercises, but students must pay for additional steel needed for their independent work.