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The Steel Yard Winter Course Catalog

THE STEEL YARD COURSES | Last Updated November 20, 2019
WINTER COURSE CATALOG

PLEASE NOTE: Our website is currently undergoing some major maintenance- in order to register for a course please click the 'register' button on the desired course. You will be automatically directed to PayPal where you can pay and register for your course.

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED...
-Read The Steel Yard’s Registrations & Enrollment Policies
-Have more questions? Read the Course FAQ
-Check out the Scholarship page to submit an application for tuition support 
-If you have any other questions, contact courses@thesteelyard.org
WELDING
TIG WELDING WORKSHOP
Price: $310.00
Dates:
2/8 -2/9 (2 sessions)
4/4 - 4/5 ( 2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Various Instructors

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 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 WORKSHOPS
Price: $290.00
Dates:
1/25 - 1/26 (2 sessions)
2/1 -2/2 (2 sessions)
2/22 - 2/23 (2 sessions)
2/29 - 3/1 (2 sessions)
3/14 - 3/15 (2 sessions)
3/21 - 3/22 (2 sessions)
3/28 - 3/29 (2 sessions)
4/18 - 4/19 (2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Various Instructors

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.
CUSTOMIZE AN AROUND-TOWN BIKE
Price: $320.00
Dates: 2/15 - 2/16 (2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Rosy

Customize your around-town bicycle! Take an old (well not that old) bike-share bicycle and customize it to your needs. The frame of the bicycle is aluminum, and we won’t be welding to it, but the bike has great mounting points for a custom front rack/platform and accessible mounting points for a rear rack. You could even build a custom trailer! Learn the basics of mechanical design and steel fabrication (cutting, grinding, drilling, and MIG welding) and create the perfect around-town machine. This bike has solid rubber tires and only 3 speeds, so it’s ideal for running errands and getting around the city but you probably won’t want to ride it to San Francisco. Obviously, the cost of the bike is included in the course fee -- you can ride it away when the workshop ends! We will spend much of the first day going over fabrication processes (especially welding) and practicing them, and the second day will be entirely for fabrication of custom parts for your bike. I will help you scope and design your project(s) -- you should be able to get at least one simple project (front rack, rear rack) completed -- more sophisticated projects (detailed front rack and basket, a trailer) may require coming back for open studio time after the course ends.
SALVAGED SEATING: WELDING FURNITURE
Price: $360.00
Dates: 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19 (5 sessions)
Days: Wednesdays
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Mike White

Do you have an object that you’ve always wanted to repurpose? Something sitting around that whenever you look at it, you have a new idea of what it could be? In this introductory course, we will examine ways of elevating those pieces and transforming them into a found-object sculpture or piece of salvage furniture. This course aims to make a practical or decorative place for the relics that we hold onto, while also giving your space a piece of furniture with a story that is personal to you. 

We will each bring in an object (an antique, an interesting board or sign, part of an old piece of furniture, or something special that you found at a yard sale) and go over the process of joining various materials with metal support structures. 

The first class will begin with an introduction to MIG welding, the oxygen-acetylene torch, the plasma cutter, grinders, various metal saws, and the drill press. This will get you up to speed on all of the basic tools necessary for fabricating a unique piece. We will discuss some approaches to each person’s project and spend the following sessions developing and fabricating our pieces. Each person’s approach and techniques will be different so demos of more specialized processes will be given as needed. We will also address finishes and coatings that will make your piece last. All tools and most materials will be included, just bring in an object or two that you want to work and your ideas for its future!
WELDING FOR THE GARDEN
Price: $310.00
Dates: 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24 (5 sessions)
Days: Tuesdays
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Nora Rabins

Winter blues getting you down? Think green. While you peruse seed catalogs and consult the almanac, get into the metal shop to prepare for spring. Prepare for peas with a tall trellis, give seedlings a jump start with custom cloches, build brackets for that new raised bed! Fix a couple of your favorite tools, and even make your own. Or, lean more towards fun than functional with a simple outdoor sculpture. You will come away from this class with something to stare at, even if covered in snow.
ALL TORCH, ALL THE TIME
Price: $280.00
Dates: 3/7 - 3/ 8 (2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Nora Rabins

The class for the pyro in us all! The Oxygen/Acetylene torch is an amazing, alluring, all-purpose tool. It is capable of bending, cutting, forming and welding steel. That's what we'll be focusing on in this workshop, from demonstrations of techniques to completion of individual projects. No need to have welding experience, though it could come in handy. If your favorite color is "cherry red", this course is for you.
STEEL+: MIXED MEDIA SCULPTURE
Price: $450.00
Dates: 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9 (6 sessions)
Days: Monday
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Isabel Mattia

Steel is an amazing material on its own, but once paired with other materials, the sculptural possibilities are endless! This course will begin with basic steel working skills as a foundation, then we will explore ways to incorporate additional materials like paper, fabric, wood, and found objects. We will practice welding and various cold connections and experiment with different ways of putting materials together to make expressive sculptures or elements for installations. Students will walk away with an understanding of MIG welding, plasma, torch bending and cutting, drill press, finishing, and cold connections such as riveting and tapping. 
JEWELRY
JEWELRY I: INTRODUCTION TO JEWELRY
Price: $420.00
Dates: 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17 (8 sessions)
Days: Tuesday
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Alison Bruun

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.
JEWELRY II: REFINEMENT & ADVANCED METHODS
Price: $320.00
Dates: 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22 (6 sessions)
Days: Wednesday
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Alison Bruun

This course is designed for the jeweler who has completed one or two intro courses but does not yet feel confident working independently in the studio. Feeling a little rusty? Don’t worry, the first class will review the basic skills. After that, we’ll take things a step further - students will be encouraged to take on more challenging projects while deepening their understanding of the materials and processes used. We will spend a little more time problem solving and troubleshooting on the soldering bench. We will further explore the possibilities of the flex shaft for finishing surfaces.

Tools, safety equipment, brass, and copper will be provided, and the instructor will help students navigate suppliers for any precious materials they may want.
SWEETHEART RING MAKING WORKSHOP
Price: $240.00
Dates: 2/8 - 2/9 (2 sessions)
Days: Saturday/Sunday
Time: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Instructor: Amie Plante

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a jewelry course The Steel Yard! In this weekend workshop, you and your sweetheart(s), platonic or romantic, can spend some creative time together learning a new skill while making sterling silver rings.

You 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 will be provided for the finished ring. If students wish to incorporate stones into their design, they will have to pay an additional fee to cover the cost of these.
ILLUSTRATIVE GLASS ENAMEL PENDANTS
Price: $175.00
Dates: 1/26 (1 session)
Days: Sunday
Time: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Instructor: Andrew Xenos

Enameling is the ancient art of fusing glass to metal. In this class, we will cover the basics of glass enamel techniques by making simple illustrative pendants necklaces. To start, we will review the history of enamel and learn how the art form has evolved over the years, then we will dive right into demonstrations and hands-on learning. By the end of this one day workshop, students will have a basic understanding of the art form and will have made a series of unique enameled pendants.
CERAMICS
WHEEL GENERATED FORM (PM)
Price: $495.00
Dates: 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17 (8 sessions)
Days: Tuesday 
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Mike Tavares

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 forms they might 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. Unfinished student work should be picked up within two weeks of the last class.
WHEEL GENERATED FORM (AM)
Price: $495.00
Dates: 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2 (8 sessions)
Days: Thursday
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Instructor: Liz Welch

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 forms they might 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. Unfinished student work should be picked up within two weeks. 
EXPLORING CERAMICS: WHEEL & HANDBUILDING
Price: $450.00
Dates: 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 2/4, 3/11 (7 sessions)
Days: Wednesday
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: John Fazzino

The basics of Wheel and Handbuilding techniques will be taught. Beginners on the wheel will first focus on centering the clay on the wheel head before we move onto simple forms of cups and bowls. Without a good foundation of a well-centered ball of clay, frustration may set in. Handbuilding techniques of pinch, coiling, and slab will be taught. And depending on your level of experience and interest we will explore a wide range of ways to interpret these basic techniques to approach an exciting body of work. Great for both beginners and the advanced Ceramist. Come get down and dirty while learning to make functional and sculptural ceramic forms! This course explores basic clay potters wheel and hand-building techniques but is also ideal for the intermediate potter who needs guidance and advice from an instructor with years of practical experience. No previous ceramics experience necessary—this class is open to all levels. Materials and tools will be provided. Enrollment in this course includes additional access to one monitored Community Shop Access session per week.
READY, SET, THROW!
Price: $50.00
Dates:
1/23 (1 session)
2/13 (1 session)
Days: Thursday
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Fred Gorman

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!
HAND BUILT: CERAMICS OFF THE WHEEL
Price: $380.00
Dates: 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20 (6 sessions)
Days: Friday
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Instructor: Patti Barnatt

In Handbuilt: Ceramics Off the Wheel, 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. Personal expression and willingness to expand one's horizons is encouraged and celebrated. This class is appropriate for students new to the field as well as the seasoned ceramicist looking to work on independent projects.
LIQUID CLAY: SLIPCASTING
Price: $450.00
Dates: 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9 (6 sessions)
Days: Monday
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Will Simons

Slip casting is the process of pouring liquid clay (slip) into plaster molds to create repeatable volumes of uniform thickness. This introductory slip casting course will offer students with an interest in clay an opportunity to learn the methods of creating plaster molds to produce unique ceramic pieces for functional applications and sculpture. We will begin by coming to understand the types of objects that are cast in our everyday life and what type of molds are necessary to produce them. Each object to be cast will be understood from a standpoint of how the mold pieces fit together (parting lines) as well as how the object will release from the mold (undercuts). Instructor demonstrations will begin the class each week and will include information on the types of objects that can be cast, mixing plaster and making a mold, mixing and pouring slip, drying and cleaning up completed ceramic objects, attaching and manipulating cast elements, and general firing and glazing techniques. 
SURFACE DESIGN WORKSHOP
Price: $80.00
Dates:
3/16 (1 session)
4/6 (1 session)
Days: Monday
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Bri Larson

Get inspired by surface decorations with clay! In this one-night course, you will learn a variety of surface decoration techniques to help you decorate your pottery. You will learn how to inlay slips into clay, use underglaze transfer papers, make and use clay stamps, sgraffito designs into clay, experiments with layering slips, patterns, and decorations with unfired clay. Students will create their own patterns and test new techniques onto 5x5 inch tiles and get to take home their ceramic decoration examples. All tools will be provided, however, please feel encouraged to bring anything that can make a good mark in clay, such as shells, stamps, doilies, etc. Open to all skill levels. 
CERAMICS II: TIPS & TRICKS
Price: $350.00
Dates: 3/18, 4/1, 4/8, 4/22, 4/29 (5 sessions)
Days: Wednesday
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instructor: Bri Larson

Take your pots to the next level! This class will allow students to refine and deepen their throwing skills while creating bowls, cups, handles, and eventually lidded forms and pitchers. 

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 in various ceramic techniques and will also introduce the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of glazing.

Each week, a new technique will be demonstrated, and a new artist's artwork will be presented to ignite your imagination! This class is appropriate for any student who has previously taken an introductory level ceramics class. Students will receive a complimentary 25-pound bag of cone 6 clay but may need to purchase additional materials for their personal projects.
BLACKSMITHING
INTRO BLACKSMITHING: FORGING FOR FOODIES
Price: $420.00
Dates: 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9 (6 sessions)
Days: Monday
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Willow Zietman

This is the perfect class for the aspiring smith and avid foodie! By making a variety of kitchen implements from barbecue forks to bottle openers you will gain a thorough grounding in basic blacksmithing techniques!
INTERMEDIATE BLACKSMITHING: DRAGONS, DRAGONS, AND MORE DRAGONS
Price: $380.00
Dates: 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/4 (5 sessions)
Days: Wednesday 
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Willow Zietman

In the depths of winter, nothing will warm you up like a dragon! In this class, you will learn how to craft fire and steel into several kinds of dragon heads, as well as the tools to make them. Students will learn to make a variety of punches and chisels, and how to use them to sculpt a variety of detailed faces and forms.


ADVANCED BLACKSMITHING: FORGING A FORGE HAMMER
Price: $225.00
Dates: 3/11, 3/18, 3/25 (3 sessions)
Days: Wednesday
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Willow Zietman

Blacksmiths stand out among craftspeople for their ability to forge all of their own tools in the smithy. In this class, students will work in pairs to make their own forging hammers, as well as the tools to make future hammers. Students will learn basic toolmaking, punching, drifting, handle fitting, and striking. Students will leave class with a simple functional forging hammer to use in future smithly endeavors! 

This course is appropriate for participants who have successfully completed a Fundamentals of Blacksmithing class, or similar 20+ hour introductory blacksmithing class. All tools and materials will be provided, and students will leave the course with a completed hammer.
FORGE YOUR OWN BOTTLE OPENER: A BEGINNERS WORKSHOP
Price: $80.00
Dates:
1/22 (1 session)
2/18 (1 session)
3/17 (1 session)
4/14 (1 session)
Days: Tuesday 
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.
METAL ROSES: BLACKSMITHING WITH COPPER & STEEL
Price: $150.00
Dates:
1/25 (1 session)
2/8 (1 session)
Days: Saturday
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Mark Oribello

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.
Gift Certificates
Gift certificates, available in any denomination, can be applied to any course at The Steel Yard. If you would like to purchase multiple gift certificates you will need to purchase them in different transactions. A representative will contact you shortly after your transaction to complete your order.

Scholarships
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.

Artist Instructor
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.

SUPPORT
Make positive change in the community by supporting a space where all makers, artists and the community regardless of their background or previous experience come together to build, create, and collaborate.
Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Private funders
The Steel Yard in Providence was named the 50th honoree in the Citizens Bank-NBC 10 Champions in Action program. Recognized in the category of community arts

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