ABSTRACT : the ARISTOTLE FURNACE, an intermediate level training course for blacksmiths and knife makers. Artisan Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz offers a regular series of weekend long programs in a number of aspects of traditional Blacksmithing. Special courses include : layered steels (pattern welding), bladesmithing / knife making, bronze casting, iron smelting. Programs held at the Wareham Forge in Ontario Canada, with remote teaching offered at other facilities. Learn the Art of the Smith

the Aristotle Furnace

Potentially this program will be offered in 2021
Expect a Mid Summer date or later

This 16 hour hands on session will introduce the student to the history, construction and operation of the 'Aristotle Furnace'. This is a table top re-melting furnace firing charcoal, which can take almost any iron based material and create a cake of bloomery like metal of controlled carbon content.

This program of particular interest to students of early metalworking, or bladesmiths wishing to find a simple way to experiment with bloomery iron type material.

Saturday will start with an overview of the furnace, followed by each student preparing materials and building their own. In the afternoon, following a drying / pre-heat, several cycles of production will be individually undertaken. Each should result in a roughly 500 gm cake of raw metal.

Sunday, individual students will be guided through the process of using a coal fire to consollodate their cakes into working bars. Also there will be time to run further furnace cycles, perhaps even to forge some small tool edges.

To get the best use of this program, it is recommended that students already have 'intermediate' level experience at the forge, ideally the ability to forge weld. (see Course Requirements.) Session limited to four students, with each provided with their own work station. Students will be able to take home their individual furances (it is suggested you bring a plastic pail or milk crate) as well as a number of metal cakes they have created.

Programs are open to any physically able people, from young adults onwards. (Aged 16 an up - see a special note : Teens as Students). Any students with "learning \ physical disabilities" need to refer to the detail section on Course Requirements. English is the language of instruction. Sorry - the Wareham Forge is not really wheel chair accessible. This program limited to three students only

Your instructor is professional blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of the Wareham Forge. Please look over Darrell's past work with Bladesmithing and Historic Reproductions. Darrell was part of the 'Early Iron' research team that developed this modern re-creation of the ancient furnace.

Peparing clay and building furnace.
Charcoal coming to temperature.
Extracting finished cake.
Result - cake of high carbon metal.

Facilities: the Wareham Forge

The shop combines traditional and modern equipment, with the main forge coal fired (for forge welding) and two gas forges for general forging steps. There will be one anvil per student, all basic tools will be provided. Equipment includes the related grinding and polishing machinery, as well as a fully equipped fine metals studio.

The Wareham Forge is located in Grey County (Central Ontario), about half way between Orangeville and Owen Sound. We are about 5 miles SE of the village of Flesherton, just off highway 10, (about 2 hours drive NW of Toronto).

Remember: to guarantee a place, ensure your application & deposit will be received at least 30 days before the course date you desire.
A cancellation may result in the loss of your deposit.

On receiving your deposit, a set of instructions detailing how to get to the Wareham Forge will be sent. (For planning, Wareham is near Flesherton, Ontario - about 45 minutes drive north of Orangeville.)

For detailed outlines and applications contact:

the Wareham Forge

Darrell Markewitz
RR # 2, Proton Station, Ont. N0C 1L0
phone/fax 519-923-9219


Can't make it to Wareham?

Take a look at the educational DVD's / CD-ROMs produced by the Wareham Forge
Introduction to BLACKSMITHING
Forging the VIKING AGE
IRON SMELTING in the Viking Age
Exploring the Viking Age in Denmark

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Text & images Darrell Markewitz