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.
TIG WELDING WORKSHOP
Dates: 11/23 - 11/24 (2 sessions)
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Isabel Mattia SOLD OUT
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.
BLACKSMITHING METAL BRACELETS
Thursday 12/05 Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Mark Oribello
This class is an introduction to basic blacksmithing skills. Students will learn traditional forging techniques such as drawing, tapering, twisting, and bending to create a bracelet or torque out of mild steel. This is an introductory level course and no prior blacksmithing or metalworking experience is necessary. Students should wear comfortable, all-natural fiber (no synthetics).
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.
BEZEL SET PENDANT WORKSHOP
Dates: 11/16 - 11/17 (2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/ Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Amie Plante SOLD OUT
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.
Dates: 11/16 & 11/17 (2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/ Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Jane Dillon
3 SPOTS LEFT
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!
GUIDED OPEN STUDIO
Date: 11/18 (1 session)
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Jane Dillon 2 SPOTS LEFT
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.
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!
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.