ABSTRACT : Introduction to Layered Steels, 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

Introduction to Layered Steels

This program only offered if requested (with deposit) in 2018

This intensive, hands on,16 hour session will introduce the student to the basic techniques required in the creation of layered steels. Each student will create a layered billet, starting with a simple stack and leading to a pattern welded block. As well each will be provided with a prepared block of layered steel (about 100 layers) to forge a small knife.

Course fee of $475 (+HST) includes all course materials (including prepared billet).

forge weld
layered billets
                    weld knife
Forge welding a billet
Pattern welded billets with test etch
Forged blade ready for hilting

Course material covers:

'Damascus' and 'Pattern Welding' traditions,
Alloy mixes,
Basic pattern generation,
Working with cable,
Acids and surface effects
Review of related bladesmithing techniques,
Introduction to the air hammer
Historical overview

Requires intermediate level experience (ability to forge weld / basic bladesmithing skills), (see Course Requirements). Session limited to TWO students only, with each provided with their own work station. Your instructor is professional blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of the Wareham Forge. Please look over Darrell's past work with Bladesmithing and Historic Reproductions.

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. 
As students are required to have some forge experience, it is strongly advised that they bring their own personal forging hammers and tongs (although plenty of tools are on hand).

Each student will be provided with a previously made billet of layered steel to forge out to their chosen blade profile. You will be guided through the process of preparing, forge welding, drawing out and re-welding an additional billet. Students may chose between working with the flat stack (Damasus) or pattern welded (Norse) traditions. Although emaphasis will be on hand forging methods, students will be able to employ an air hammer to speed the work of drawing out. The stress of this program is forging rather than finishing.

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. A 50 lb throw air hammer will be used for drawing out. 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).

cable knives
'Cable Damascus' blades

one piece layered
One piece Layered Kitchen Knife

layered skinners
Layered Skinning Knives

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