The Steel Yard offers unique courses in the industrial arts for students of all skill levels. You’ll receive hands-on experience working with the tools of the trade, in a safe and creative environment, and walk away with something that YOU made.
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90's Hip Hop Welding Dance Party puts the "fun" in welding fundamentals! If you have been wanting to learn the basics of MIG welding and fabrication, and if listening to good (and bad) music helps you get sh*t done, this is the class for you. Expect a quiet first class or two while we safely learn the basics of MIG welding and all the tools common to a fabrication shop. After we get it all down, we'll turn up the tunes and get our fabrication on! You will have the opportunity to build a small project of your choosing with guidance, all to the soundtrack of some sweet 90's hip hop beats! Think of it as a fun opportunity to learn a new skill, make something cool, get a little dirty and do a little boogie to help you unwind after work.
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.
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.
Dates: 10/02 - 12/11 (10 sessions; No class on11/27/2019)
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Alison Bruun 5 SPOTS LEFT
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.
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.
This class will cover the ancient technique of moving metal via chasing and repousse. This technique pushes the elasticity of metal to its limit and the allows us to create beautiful three-dimensional pieces of art from flat sheets metal. In this class we will be starting with the basics and moving into more advanced techniques as we progress. In order to grasp the technique on the first day, we will be creating small ring dishes and platters. The second day of class we will let our imaginations run wild and create any form of jewelry or art we desire. Throughout the class we will learn proper use of chasing tools along with the jewelers saw, flexshaft, files, drop shear, torch and forming stakes. We will also be covering various finishing techniques including natural liver of sulfur patina.
In this course, students will augment their jewelry making practice by learning how to incorporate bezel settings into their designs. Bezel settings are a wonderful technique that allow you to securely add focal points – like cabochon gemstones - to your work. Students will create a pendant using materials provided in class.
We will cover several important jewelry making techniques including sawing, filing, soldering and finishing as well as familiarizing ourselves with the jewelry studio and how to use tools safely and efficiently. By the end of the course, you will have a finished piece of jewelry that you designed and fabricated. No previous experience necessary. All tools and materials will be provided, but students are welcome to bring in their own stones if they wish.
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 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.
In Handbuilding: Practice & Play, 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: 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. All work will be bisque and glaze fired
A course for all skill levels, this two-week workshop will focus on simple decorative techniques for the clay surface. The workshop will include demonstrations on how to make a hand-built ceramic form using clay slabs and decorating that form using stamps and stencils to create unique textures and designs. Many materials will be provided but students will also be encouraged to use found objects for stamping as well as shown how to create paper stencils. Students will have an opportunity to complete a project using the techniques learned.
Have you ever wanted to experience pressing your hands into a lump of cool, wet, clay... and then transform that lump into a vessel using the Potter’s Wheel? This one-night workshop is designed to give students new to the ceramics studio an opportunity to play with clay while learning the basic techniques of wheel throwing. Students will learn about wedging clay, using a Potter’s Wheel, centering clay, and opening the clay to create a vessel. No previous ceramics experience necessary—this workshop is open to all levels. All materials and tools will be provided. Since the class is only one night, students will not be able to finish their work, so enjoy the experience of trying something new!
This weekend will introduce student to simple methods for Cone 6 glaze color palette development in ceramics. Students will complete two sets of ten Cone 6 tests using pre-made test tiles of Cone 6 Grolleg Porcelain and/or Cone 6 Studio Clay. That's twenty finished test tiles. The first set will use existing Steel Yard glazes to learn the effects of layering one glaze upon the other. The second set will use a predetermined base glaze to which students will add colored oxides and stains. Emphasis will be placed on accurate note-taking of materials and process. Students will gain a basic understanding of glaze chemistry, which they can then apply to future work in clay. Health and Safety rules for glaze mixing, application, and firing will be presented and practiced. Students will complete the weekend with around 20 glazed test tiles, to be picked up, all fired, in two weeks after the end of class.
This class invites intermediate and advanced throwers to refine their ability to make lids-that-fit, spouts-that-pour, and handles that invite hands. On Saturday, we will throw elements of body, spout and lid, with attention to careful measuring, sketching contours and considering proportion. Sunday, we will trim, join forms, and finish with slip as desired. Students will end the weekend with finished greenware. Please allow two weeks for drying, and then pick up your bisque ware, ready for glazing!
Stuck on nailing down a form? Want to get back into the swing of things after being away from clay? This is your class if you want to tune up your chops! Get those ceramic muscles rippling again and recharge your ideas in clay. With the guidance of a seasoned ceramicist, students can take on a one-day challenge in throwing or handbuilding such as throwing a tall cylinder, making a comfortable handle, fitting a perfect lid, or making the smoothest slab. Emphasis will be on process only. Students may return for one 3-hour open studio to finish up their work, and can pick up their bisque-ware after two weeks. Enjoy the process of making, and refine that project you’ve always wanted to do! Enrollment includes 1 bisque firing and 25lb of Cone 6 clay.
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, metal will be provided for practice and exercises, but students must pay for additional metals needed for their independent work.
FORGE YOUR OWN BOTTLE OPENER: A BEGINNERS WORKSHOP
Dates: 11/12 (1 session) 5 SPOTS LEFT
12/10 (1 session) 6 SPOTS LEFT
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: John D Harvey
The bottle opener ... it's everyone's favorite tool and a great conversation starter at a party! In this workshop, students will learn the fundamentals of blacksmithing, while focusing on forging their own unique, handmade bottle openers. A perfect introduction to the craft of forging, this course teaches the basics of heating, hammering, and shaping steel. In three hours, we will cover techniques such as punching, drifting, tapering, bending, twists, and texturing. This class focuses on forging techniques for small pieces; think less brute force and more precise detail. No need to be big and burly for this course. No previous experience necessary; all tools and materials are provided. Students will leave the workshop with a completed bottle opener.
Dates: 10/21 - 12/09 (7 sessions; No class on 11/11/2019)
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Willow Zietman
2 SPOTS LEFT
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 the 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 hand made chopper. This course is only appropriate to participants who have successfully completed a Fundamentals of Blacksmithing class, or 20+ hours of introductory blacksmithing. All tools and materials will be provided, and students will leave the course with a completed axe.
This course will explore basic blacksmithing techniques and serve as an introduction to a centuries old art. Starting with copper (which can be worked cold) students will explore smithing skills such as tapering, drawing, and bending using a series of hammers and an anvil as they create a rose using the "Imperial rose" technique.
Once students have familiarized themselves with these basic skills we'll move to steel. Students will be able to use their newly acquired smithing skills to forge and shape steel to create a steel rose, changing a rigid piece of industrially-created metal to create an organic, individual shape.
No prior blacksmithing or metalworking experience is necessary.
The Steel Yard offers scholarships for students who may not otherwise be able to afford to enroll in a welding, blacksmithing, jewelry or ceramics course. Whether you’re new to the Yard or you’ve been here before, we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn a new art form or a trade that promotes experimentation and personal growth.
The Steel Yard seeks experienced artists to teach community courses in blacksmithing, welding, ceramics, jewelry, and iron casting. Instructors are needed for introductory, advanced, and project based courses; new course ideas are welcomed. Courses run all year round, and include weekend workshops, single-night events, and multi-week classes.