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

with bloom
Instructor: Darrell Markewitz

Darrell has been working with forged metals since the late 1970's. After 4 years at Ontario College of Art, he worked as the blacksmith / interpreter at Black Creek Pioneer Village. 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 - a full slate of basic, intermediate and specialized programs. As well as sessions at folk festivals and special programs at museums and universities, he has trained historic interpreters for museums and living history programs in Canada, the USA and the UK.
Darrell provides his decades of experience as an artisan blacksmith, technical instructor, and historic researcher with all his programs.

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 secondary forges, firing propane, provide additional working areas on the main production floor. There will be one anvil set per student, all basic hand tools and safety equipment will be provided. Powered equipment includes an air hammer, hydraulic press, oxy-propane torches, MIG welders, drill press, grinding and polishing machinery. As well there is a fully equipped fine metals studio available for special programs (includes pewter, bronze and fine metals casting equipment). Outdoors there is a dedicated area (with overhead cover) for iron smelting and related activities.

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). via Google Maps

  A walk through of
the Wareham Forge,
Spring 2020
For a larger view
students 2005 Depending on program - currently only singles (or 2 students from a household) - will be accepted for any 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 are only limited provisions possible 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 / or equipped.
Please read the description of overall Requirements for Training.
students 2005

Course Offerings and Dates

covid

Policy for COVID-19

Please note new restrictions.
Specialized Courses - with LIMITED Enrolment

  • Enrolment will be limited to ONLY those students with proof of second vaccine plus booster.
NOTE : Individual course descriptions may not reflect current COVID, Fees and Availability.


Please be advised that there are going to be changes to the indicated fees and details on content / student numbers.
The final costs must be quoted directly via a current e-mail, those given on this web site only serve as a guideline.

The general guideline on pricing into 2022 will be :
- For ONE student, the fees based on the previously quoted 'private session' rate of $300 per day.
Note that this does not a variable additional materials cost.  
- If two individuals book a session together (household group), use the quoted rate for each student (no price reductions)

Heading into 2022, I expect I will be primarily setting courses as based on request / interest - NOT to a fixed schedule.
This will also be of advantage to those who can schedule week days. (Note there that I am effectively available 'most days')

FIRST Consideration

I have never offered 'fast start' or 'make a thing' = 'experiences'.
(And those interested in Blacksmithing are strongly advised NOT to mistake such offerings as actual instruction!)

I hit 65 in November of 2020. Primarily for that reason, I am not intending to continue with the previously scheduled basic level programs (Introduction to Blacksmithing / Basic Bladesmithing, as open registration weekends)
I will continue to offer the higher level and special interest programs, for most of these, I remain the only available instructor, certainly in Ontario (in many cases the only in Canada).
My hope is that my own desire for teaching will set the pace and selection of courses offered (not mere income reasons).
If you are interested in starting level courses, refer to the other quality instructors given at the bottom of this note.
BEWARE 'FORGED IN FIRE'
This is an entertainment - NOT any depiction of 'reality'.
See my commentaries :

Saturday, October 31, 2015
Saturday, March 18, 2017
SECOND

The situation with COVID-19 continues.

No individual is allowed access to the Wareham Forge unless they have received two vaccines plus booster.
Period.
No discussion.

As I have existing lung damage (and age) as contributing risk factors, I remain cautious. FULL MASKING / DISTANCING REMAINS IN PLACE

There are two published commentaries available - it is highly recommended that you read these:
On the main web site : http://www.warehamforge.ca/TRAINING/COVID.html
I keep this general information current on a monthly basis
On the blog : https://warehamforgeblog.blogspot.com/2020/06/distancing-at-wareham-forge.html
This is a general commentary about distancing and teaching at the Wareham Forge.
 


General Advice :

I do recommend anyone interested in blacksmithing training carefully examine the past experience of those offering courses. A large number of what can only be considered 'entry' level workers have been, frankly, 'cashing in' on the current popularity of blacksmithing and mounting short duration 'experiences'. Teaching is also a skill. The recent trend to 'giving people what they want' is foolishness in my opinion (against some 40 years teaching experience). My recommendation is that you examine closely the workshop facilities, quality of past work and teaching experience of the instructor before booking any kind of metalworking program.

If you wish to proceed with more general blacksmithing training with short scheduling dates, I can recommend the following alternate instructors - all of whom have *decades* of high quality teaching experience :
David Robertson / Hammer & Tongs / Walkerton / www.artistblacksmith.com
Robb Martin / THAK Ironworks / Floridale / www.thak.ca
Sandra Dunn / TwoSmiths / Kitchener / www.twosmiths.ca

As I have known, and shared teaching duties with, David Robertson for decades, I will be directly referring any requests for either 'Introduction to Blacksmithing' or 'Basic Bladesmithing' programs back to him. David is an excellent and patient instructor. I know he has continued to offer small class sizes on a more frequent date schedule.

Currently under consideration for 2022:
Forge Welding
Introduction to Layered Steels
Forging Structural Steels
Basics of Metal Casting

Unique to the Wareham Forge
Forging Bloomery Iron
the Aristotle Furnace
Bloomery Iron Smelting



Questions & Answers  -  Teens as Students  -  Course Requirements
All may save Time *before* you contact me!

The following programs are under consideration for August / September / October 2021
layered
Introduction to Layered Steels

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 with basic bladesmithing (ability to forge weld plus effectively forge blade profiles).

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

Bloomery Iron Smelting

This 18 hour session will involve the student in the construction and operation of the 'Econo Norse' small scale iron smelter. It is the only program covering these skills available in Canada.
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 8 - 10 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 $500 (+HST) includes all materials and handout (Students keep a share of the bloom created!). Session limited to THREE students. / two bookings required (note that this program is all out of doors, masking still required)

For more details on this special program - go to Smelting Course
Aristotle Furnace
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 $450 (+HST) includes all materials. (note that this program is all out of doors, masking still required)

For more details on this special program - go to Aristotle Course.
bloom heat

Forging Bloomery Iron

Forging Bloomery Iron is an intensive hands on program, roughly 18 hours in duration. It is the only program covering these skills available in Canada.

Each student will be provided with 1 kg pieces of 'raw' bloomery iron. The course will not only cover the practical experience of compacting and forging these pieces into 'working bars', it will also cover the history and basic functioning of both the bloomery iron smelting furnace, but also the related Aristotle re-melting furnace.

Requires intermediate level experience (ability to forge weld). See Course Requirements. This unique program is of interest to students of history as well as blacksmiths. Course fee of $600 (+HST) includes all materials.

For more details on this special program - go to Bloom Forging.


Custom Designed & Special Remote 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 guidance 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. (Must be from same household). There may be an extra amount for project materials / consumables.


Special - One Week 'Forge to Blade'
Scheduled as Arranged
Limited dates possible

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). No previous experience required. 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 (must be from same household). Dates would have to fit into my existing work commitments, available at the Wareham Forge only.

Please contact me directly if this program is of interest to you.


Group Session
Note : Due to COVID-19 - this program is not currently available


Remote Workshop

Note : Due to COVID-19 - this program is not currently available



Additional Programs / Past Offerings
 

At this date (2022 +) The following programs will only be offered if specifically requested, with a booking.
decorative

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 important core skill will be learning how to forge weld. More aggressive 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.

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

Working Structural 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.

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

Basics of Forge Welding

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 ) See Course Requirements.

Go ON for details
castings
Basics of Metal Casting

This 14 hour session will introduce the student ito the basics of casting two metals - BRONZE and PEWTER.
Saturday will introduce casting lead free pewter in soapstone moulds. Sunday will introduce small scale bronze casting in green sand. Students will cut moulds, prepare master patterns, then cast a number of individual objects (all that they keep)
This program does not require any previous metalworking experience.

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


student

Introduction to Blacksmithing

An 18 hour program that stresses a hands on approach, with a Friday evening lecture and two full working days in the forge. No previous metalworking experience is required.
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.
Projects include poker, hooks, and several small decorative items.

Historic Information :  Basic Blacksmithing
knives

Basic Bladesmithing

A 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, (ability to assess temperatures and basic hammer control).

Historic information : Bladesmithing Course.
VA forge

Forging the Viking Age

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 discussing 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

Historic Information - go to Viking Course.
 be a viking
 
 Experiencing the Viking Age
THIS PROGRAM NOT OFFERED IN 2022

You have seen it on the television shows and movies - but what was it ACTUALLY like to live in the Viking Age?


This is an intensive two day and overnight immersion into the daily life during the Viking Age :
- a starting lecture segment on 'material culture' (objects and life)
- wear period clothes (provided)
- setting up your camp (replica tents and gear)
- preparing an evening meal ('cold food' as lunches - all provided)
- sleeping out in the tents (with suitable bedding)

Once camp is established, undertake a number of Norse handicrafts
- pewter casting in soapstone moulds
- glass bead making
Each resulting in objects you take home to keep!

Children accompanied by parents with paid booking are welcome (8 years or older please)

Historic Information : Experience Viking Age


General Information:

The fees for all regularly scheduled courses include:
- all materials used for the basic projects
- technique notes and bibliography / reference DVD or CD ROM  (depending on program)
- 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.
Discount for OABA 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 *NON REFUNDABLE* deposit of $200 per student is required. Using the Paypal link for the specific program is easiest and safest. Mastercard and Visa can also be accepted (via the Square system) 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

Any booking MUST INCLUDE FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THE STUDENT.

covid

Policy for COVID-19

CANCELLATIONS:

1) There will be NO REFUNDS if cancellation is attempted less than 30 days before the scheduled course date.

2) If you cancel a course booking, the refund situation will depend if I am able to confirm another possible student for the same program - taking YOUR space.

3) Any deposit refund is subjected to a loss of a 10% administration fee.

4) *IF* a replacement can be found, it may prove possible to transfer your booking to another later scheduled course date.

5) Bookings made as third person 'gifts' are subject to the same provisions. A specific course date MUST be given at time of booking.

ALL provisions will be determined on a case by case basis.

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. 'Polar Fleece' or other synthetics are not allowed for safety reasons. Dependent on time of year, temperatures can range from about freezing, to high 20's C - 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. Do not wear contact lenses.

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 30 minutes back and forth from Wareham. 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 additional 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.) Although camping is free - please contact me well before your course date if you wish to camp in the yard.
Dogs or other non student family members are only allowed with previous arrangement.
There is NO EQUIPMENT PROVIDED.
There is NO SUPERVISION outside 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  -  Teens as Students  -  Course Requirements
All may save Time *before* you contact me!

All individuals are advised they should have read ALL the extensive information provided related to courses, requirements and potential students - BEFORE they contact me.

A note on dates. Due to increasing interest in Blacksmithing - course openings fill FAST.
Due to past problems, bookings are not possible until the year schedule is finalized in late January.

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 // E-mail


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
darrell
Who is Darrell Markewitz?
hammered bits
OTHER WEB PUBLICATIONS


www.warehamforge.ca
Unless otherwise indicated :
All text and photographs Darrell Markewitz, the Wareham Forge.