Training Courses in Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing & Metalsmithing. 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.
the Wareham Forge - Artisan Blacksmith

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Main Sections

GALLERY

CUSTOM WORK

ARCHITECTURAL

for GARDENS

REPRODUCTIONS

TRAINING

IRON SMELTING

VIKING AGE

SITE INDEX

Instructor: Darrell Markewitz

Darrell has been working with forged iron since the late 1970's. He has completed 4 years at Ontario College of Art. During his 5 years at Black Creek Pioneer Village, he worked in the Blacksmith shop part time for two years and full time as primary smith for three. He now makes his living as an artistic blacksmith and museum consultant. Since 1993 he has held a regular series of workshops at the Wareham Forge, as well as sessions at folk festivals and special programs at community colleges. He also has worked as a trainer of historic interpreters for museums and living history programs as well as giving workshops and lectures to University students.

For some indication of the teaching style, check these clips on YouTube:
Twisting Bars (from Introduction to Smithing)
Forging a Tang (from Historic Bladesmithing)

shop interior
Facilities: the Wareham Forge

The shop combines traditional and modern equipment. The main forge is coal fired with electric blower. A second portable forge, either coal or firing propane, will also be used. There will be one anvil per student, all basic hand tools and safety equipment will be provided. Powered equipment includes an air hammer, oxy-propane torches, drill press, grinding and polishing machinery. As well there is a fully equipped fine metals studio available.

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).

air hammer
students 2005 Note that only 4 students will be accepted for each session. Each student will be provided with work station consisting of mounted anvil and basic hand tools. Two students will share a single forge (coal or propane). The class shares use of power tools. Taken together this means close personal supervision and lots of hands on working time.
Programs are open to any physically able people, from young adults onwards. (Aged 16 an up - see a special note : Teens as Students). There is only limited provisions made for students with "learning disabilities", this * is * a group setting. English is the language of instruction. Sorry - the Wareham Forge is not really wheel chair accessible.
students 2005

2015
New Dates / Course Offerings

Because of increased demand, for this year the course dates has been fixed to a regular 'weekend of the month' pattern.
Second Weekend = Basic Courses
Fourth Weekend = Specialized Courses

To see the pattern on a grid - go to EVENTS


Introduction to Blacksmithing
Because of the demand last year - many new dates added!

Feburary 7 & 8
Saturday & Sunday, limited to TWO STUDENTS, working with gas forge only

March 7 / 8
Saturday & Sunday, limited to TWO STUDENTS, working with gas forge only

April 10 / 11 / 12

May 8 / 9 / 10

June 12 / 13 / 14
as of April 26 - ONLY ONE SPACE REMAINS

July 10 / 11 / 12

September 11 / 12 / 13

October 2 / 3 / 4

November 6 / 7 / 8

December 12 & 33
Saturday & Sunday, limited to TWO STUDENTS, working with gas forge only

This is an 18 hour program that stresses a hands on approach, with a Friday evening lecture and two full working days in the forge.
The Friday session will cover the world and work of the blacksmith - and how to purchase an anvil.
Two days hands on work will introduce the student to the forge and its basic tools, and the correct way to use the hammer. Individual forging processes are learned through each student completing a number of specific projects they keep.
Only 4 students per session, each with their own work station, means close personal attention. Projects include poker, hooks, and several small decorative items. Course fee of $350 (+HST) includes materials / handout / safety wear. For further details go to Basic Blacksmithing


Intermediate Level Courses


Basic Bladesmithing

June 27 & 28
All day Saturday & Sunday

This two day, 16 hour session will introduce the student to the basic techniques required to produce simple hand forged knives. Covers: historic patterns, alloys, heat treating, forging shapes, basic finishing & hilting. Each student will forge and work to finish a small belt knife, plus rough forge a number of basic blade shapes. Requires 'basic' level experience, please ask for details. Course fee of $350 (+HST) materials / handout / safety gear. Session limited to four students.

For more details on this special program - go to Bladesmithing Course.


Forge Welding

March 21 & 22
All day Saturday & Sunday

This two day, 16 hour session will introduce the student to the basic techniques in forge welding, and its applications. Covers: theory and practice of forge / hammer welding, the basket, inset edges for tool making. A number of specific object will be created using the basic welding techniques. Requires a basic level experience (ability to assess temperatures and hammer control ). Course fee of $350 (+HST) includes coffee and materials. Session limited to four students.

For more details on this special program - go to Forge Welding Course.


Introduction to Layered Steels

July 25 & 26
All day Saturday & Sunday

This two day, 16 hour session will introduce the student to the basic techniques required in the creation of layered steels. Covers: alloy mixes, basic pattern generation and history. Each student will create a layered billet, plus will forge a small knife from a prepared block (provided). Requires intermediate level experience (ability to forge weld), ideally with basic bladesmithing, please ask for details. Course fee of $400 (+HST) includes coffee and materials (includes a billet of pre-made material). Session limited to four students.

For more details on this special program - go to Layered Steel Course.


Special Interest Courses



Basics of Metal Casting

February 21 & 22
November 21& 22

All day Saturday & Sunday

This intensive hands on session will introduce the student to two methods of creating small objects using the casting process:
SAND CASTING IN BRONZE : First a master pattern will be caved in wax, then each student will learn how make molds using the green sand process. Several pours will be made.
PEWTER CASTING IN STONE : Each student will carve out a re-usable soapstone mold, then make a number of pours.

The two day, 16 hour course will include a look at historic cast metal objects, plus an overview of the tools and equipment required to set up a small scale workshop for cast metals. No previous skills requirement. Course fee of $350 (+ HST) includes coffee and all materials.

For more details on this special program - go to Casting Course.


Building a Zombie Killer!

October 24 & 25
(All day Saturday & Sunday)

This two day, 16 hour session is for FUN, FUNCTION - and PREPARATION. Learn the basics of building a simple forge, improvising an anvil and other tools, all while making your own bladed weapons for the Upcoming Zombie Apocolypse! Projects include a spear head and single edged cleaver to add to your bug out kit. This program does not require any previous metalworking experience, and is of interest to anyone wanting to be truly prepared!. Course fee of $350 (+HST) includes coffee and materials.

For more details on this special program - go to Zombie Course .


Forging the Viking Age

August 14 / 15 / 16
(Friday evening, all day Saturday & Sunday)

This two and a half day, 18 hour session is intended for those interested in historical ironworking from the Viking Age.
Friday evenings lecture portion will examine iron and blacksmithing related artifacts from the Viking Age, as well as discuss how iron was smelted from ore.
Saturday's hands on session will introduce students to basic blacksmithing process. Working on modern equipment, several replica objects from the Viking Age will be made by each.
Sunday work will switch to replica Norse charcoal forges and tool sets, continuing to make more objects.
This program does not require any previous metalworking experience.Limited to four students, requires two firm bookings to run. Course fee of $375 (+HST) includes materials / handout / safety gear.

For more details on this special program - go to Viking Course.


 Introduction to Smelting Iron

May 23 & 24
(all day Saturday, LONG day Sunday)

This course dependent on registrations (requires minimum class of 2 students due to materials cost)

This 18 hour session will involve the student in the construction and operation of the 'Econo Norse' small scale iron smelter. Saturday will cover the theoretical and historical background of smelting iron: ores, furnaces, process, equipment as well as construction of the furnace, the preparation of charcoal and ore. A LONG day Sunday will start with pre-heating the furnace. The actual process of the smelt takes roughly 6 hours. After this, the resulting iron bloom will be extracted from the furnace, and given a primary consolidation. The iron produced will be cut to sections and shared between the participants. This program does not require any previous metalworking experience, and is of interest to students of history as well as blacksmiths. Course fee of $425 (+HST) includes coffee and materials.

For more details on this special program - go to Smelting Course.


Special Remote Workshops
Custom Designed Workshops

Private Session

as arranged

This is a one day / eight hour private session, working one on one with Darrell at the Wareham Forge. This session is primarily intended for specific 'project' work, with the participant making use of the facilities at the Wareham Forge, Darrell providing guidence and technical assistance.
A Private Session may prove ideal for the starting student, especially one who needs closer supervsion than is possible in a larger group setting. The Private Session may suit someone who has a basic knowledge of blacksmithing, but is looking to expand their skills into a specific area - or just wanting to get a fast review.

Some flexibility of dates possible, with some weekend dates and much more availability for mid week throughout the year. Base Fee is $300 per day (+HST), includes basic shop use (specific project materials extra). Please contact the Wareham Forge to discuss your requirements for course content and possible dates.

Although intended for a single individual, and primarily as a working (rather than teaching) day, extra participants can be added to the 'Private Session'. The base cost remains $300 / day, with an extra cost of $100 / day for one additional person. No more than two students per session. There may be an extra amount for project materials / consumables.


Special - One Week 'Forge to Blade'

I have had an increasing number of people ask about a personal one week - Forge to Blade program. This would entail :

Day 1 & 2 - Basics of Blacksmithing (stance, safety, tools, basic forging practice as the Introduction program)

Day 3 - Introduction to forge welding (including practice work)

Day 4 & 5 - Basics of Bladesmithing ( shapes, design, heat treating, alloys, basic forging practice as the Bladesmith program)

In total this would be a 5 day long, 8 hours working per day (total 40 hours). Cost for this program would be $1500 (+HST). As with other programs, basic materials & fuels would be included, all tools and safety gear provided. If two people booked together, the cost would be $1000 + each. No more than two students (but would discuss this possibility). Dates would have to fit into my existing work commitments, available at the Wareham Forge only.


Group Session

as arranged

This is a two day / 16 hour private session held at the Wareham Forge, ideal for the small group who want to share their blacksmithing experience - at a reduced rate. Also suitable for a group that is looking to expand their skills into a specific area. Up to four students, each with their own work station (anvil and tools), each pair sharing a forge (coal or gas).
Some flexibility of dates possible, with some weekend dates and much more availability for mid week throughout the year.

Base Fee is $1200 + (+HST) for the group session with FOUR participants, includes basic materials. It is possible to expand to as many as SIX student work stations, add an additional $200 per extra individual. Please contact the Wareham Forge to discuss your requirements for course content and possible dates.

Note that an individual group can book any existing program (on its scheduled date) together at this basic rate.
(Some additional materials cost may apply for the intermediate or specialty programs.)


Remote Workshop

as arranged

This is a two day / 16 hour course, held at the facilities of your sponsoring institution (typically a museum or college). The Wareham Forge provides equipment to accommodate a total of FOUR students, each with their own anvil / work station, shared forge and associated equipment. Some ability exists to tailor the course materials to suit the individual institution (historic, artistic, basic skills). Base Fee is $1500 (+HST) for this group session, includes basic materials. (An extra travel amount applies if over 100 km @$0.55 / km from Wareham.) Please contact the Wareham Forge to discuss your requirements for course content and possible dates.


The following programs will only be offered in 2015 if specific requests with deposits are made:

Working Structual Steels

This two day, 16 hour session will cover the basics of working with structural steels : PIPE / ANGLE / CHANNEL and more. The program will cover specialized tools, basic work with the air hammer, as well as design considerations. Requires a minimum of basic level experience, ideally intermediate level, please ask for details. Course of fee of $375 (+ HST) materials / handout / safety gear. Session limited to four students.

For more details on this special program - go to Structural Course.

the Aristotle Furnace

This two day, 16 hour session covers the building and operation of the small Aristotle Re-melting Furnace. This historic based, table top furnace, allows you to convert almost any iron based metal into a bloomery like material - with controlled carbon content. Ideal for blade makers wanting to produce ancient styled metals. On day one you will build your individual furnace (which you can keep), then run it through several production cycles. On day two, those metal cakes will be forged down to working bars. Students will get the most value from this course if they already understand forge welding techniqueCourse fee of $350 (+HST) includes coffee and materials.

For more details on this special program - go to Aristotle Course.
Intermediate Blacksmithing

This intensive, hands on,16 hour session will introduce the student to a number of additional skills past those learned at the 'Introduction to Blacksmithing' program. ('Basic' level of skill required.)
One inportant core skill will be learning how to forge weld. More agressive forging / forming methods of manipulating source bars will be undertaken. Specific attention will be given to various terminals, especially forming leaves. The basics of heat treating will be covered, through the production of simple punches. The possibilities of hot punching, both 2-D and 3-D, will be explored. Specialized / Modified tooling will be examined, as well as use of the air hammer. Expanding the design possibilities of hand forging into more complex, multi element objects, will be considered. .Course fee of $350 (+HST) includes coffee and materials.

For more details on this special program - go to Intermediate Course.

General Information:

The fees for all regularly scheduled courses include:
- all materials used for the basic projects
- technique notes and bibliography
- ongoing (!) coffee 
- Basic safety gear (glasses and ear plugs) will be provided.
Students may required to pay for any materials used for extra projects outside those for the established course outline.

Discounts available for several people booking at one time. Discount for SCA members.

Location:

The Wareham Forge is located in the tiny Hamlet of Wareham, located about half way between Orangeville and Owen Sound. It is on a side road roughly three miles west of Highway 10, close to Flesherton. This makes it about 2 hours drive NW of Toronto, about the same distance from Kitchener. Upon registration, students will be sent detailed instructions and map to the studio.

Registration:

To reserve a place, a deposit of $100 per student is required. Using the Paypal link for the specific program is easiest and safest. Mastercard, Visa and AMEX can also be accepted. Personal cheques (inside Canada only) can be used - only if more than 30 days before the course date. Remember 'he who pays first, gets'. Complete the enclosed application and return it as well. Confirmation will be made by phone /e-mail

CANCELLATIONS:

If you cancel a course booking, the refund situation will depend if I have turned away another possible student for the same program.

If that is the case, the deposit is lost, and there is no refund or transfer.
(Unless before the scheduled date, another student books 'your' space.)

If you cancel and there has been no other interested student turned away from that space, the date of your notice is important.
If there are more than 30 days to the course date, a full refund is available.
With between 30 to 15 days before the course date, only a 50% refund is available, but a transfer of the full deposit amount to another program is possible.
With less than 15 days before the course date, only a transfer of the deposit is possible.

Any transfer can only be made ONCE. If you should cancel the second booking, the deposit is lost, reguardless of other bookings.
The transfer credit is only available to programs during the same calendar year as the original course booking, after which the deposit is lost.
A deposit can be transferred to any other available, scheduled course. The amount can also be applied to a 'private session' booking. The normal cost structure for this new program booking remains in effect.

Student Equipment:

Each student should bring suitable clothing: leather work boots above the ankle, heavy cotton LONG pants and shirts (denim, flannel), and some kind of cap is suggested. Dependant on time of year, temperatures can range from above freezing, to high 20's - so loose fitting clothing, consisting of several layers that will provide warmth and still permit movement, is suggested. Remember the forge is a dirty place! If students possess a personal forging hammer or other tools they are encouraged to bring them. A notebook is strongly suggested. Required safety equipment will be provided.

Student Housing:

Each student remains responsible for their own lodgings, meals and snacks.

Bringing a bag lunch is strongly advised. Although there are basic level restaurants available in both Dundalk in Flesherton, these keep limited hours. They are also at least a 15 minute one way trip from Wareham. Although coffee is usually on, liquid replacement in the high heat of the forge is highly recommended, and your own fruit juice or pop should be brought. Remember the water here is drawn from a private well.

Students may be allowed to camp on the one acre lot, using their own tents and other equipment. There is no addtional cost for use of the space. This should be at best considered 'primitive' camping. There is a roofed fire pit and simple outhouse students can make use of. There is an outdoor cold water tap - no washing facilities. (Access to the interior home bathroom is not provided.) Please contact me well before your course date if you wish to camp in the yard.
Dogs or other non student family members are not permitted.
There is NO EQUIPMENT PROVIDED.
There is NO SUPERVISION outtside scheduled course hours.

A small bunkie type cabin is available for student rental. This is a simple insulated building, containing a standard double bed - you will need to provide your own sleeping bag or bedding. It plugs into the house power to allow for a single electrical outlet. Bathroom is the outhouse mentioned above. This 'Wendy House' is available on a 'first come' basis for rental to interested students, at a cost of $30 per night.

Questions & Answers - May save Time *before* you contact me!

A note on dates. Normally courses are held on the same weekends each year - so next year's dates will be close to those listed above. In all cases, the scheduling of an individual course is based on the pre-registration of a minimum number of students (usually half the class size).

NOTE : I normally do not run any winter courses - check the image on the right for why...

no winter courses

For an application for any of these programs contact:


The Wareham Forge

The Hamlet of Wareham, R.R. #2 Proton Station, Ontario
CANADA - N0C 1L0

(519) 923-9219 // info@warehamforge.ca


Book your course  via the electronic payment system.

Course fees and deposits can be made with your credit card.
Contact me for further details


Can't make it to Wareham?

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

Who is Darrell Markewitz?

OTHER WEB PUBLICATIONS


www.warehamforge.ca

Unless otherwise indicated :
All text and photographs © Darrell Markewitz, the Wareham Forge.