Start your adventure into blacksmithing or bladesmithing on the right foot with one on one instruction with a Forged in Fire Champion using traditional tools and methods. Learn the tools used in blacksmithing and how to use them to make one-of-a-kind items for fun or profit. To book your class, please checkout through the Online Store page and choose ‘Book a class with Derek.’ Classes are taught in Derek’s home workshop or in the McIntosh Blacksmith shop on the Mississippi Agricultural Museum grounds.
Basic Blacksmithing Class
Make a Fire Poker
4 hours, $200
Learn the tools and methods used in a blacksmithing shop, how to start and manage a coal fire, basic hammer, tong and anvil use. The student will forge their own fire poker using proper technique. Topics covered include forging tapers, twists and bends as well as forge welding and finishing. Each student leaves with their own fire poker tool.
3 hours, $150
Using traditional methods, the student will learn how to make 3 hand-forged Christmas items. A Christmas tree ornament, a twisted candy cane ornament and a stocking holder. This is a watch one, do one class. The smith will show the student how to make the item and then direct and guide the student through forging their own.
4 hours, $200
Using the traditional method of 'smith and striker' the student will strike with a sledge hammer while the smith ‘directs’ the forging of their own 2.5lb rounding or cross-pein blacksmithing hammer. This is a more advanced class but no prior experience or class is necessary, only the ability to swing an 8-10lb sledgehammer for the duration of the class. This class is more physically demanding than the basic class. (NOTE: If there are physical limitations to swinging the hammer, the class can also be taught using the hydraulic forge press and the associated dies and drifts required.)
Shop Time With Derek
1 hour, $50
Need some assistance with a short project? Want to visit with Derek in his shop? Book an hour session with Derek to discuss tools and methods, get help with a project or to forge a simple item. In the Online Store choose Book a Class with Derek” and at Checkout select the option ‘Shop Time’ from the drop down menu.
Bottle Opener Class
4 hours, $200
In this class the student will learn the methods and tools used to forge their own bottle opener. Techniques learned include slitting and drifting holes, forging tapers, how to use fullering tools as well as the use of hand tools and chisels to inlay design. Students will take home at least one hand-forged bottle opener as well as a slot punch and a 1 inch round drift/ball fuller combination tool that can be used to make more openers.
Same format as the Basic Blacksmithing class but in a group setting. Up to 6 students can take the class together for a shared experience. Perfect for families, businesses or groups of friends. Forge together and learn how to make useful items. Contact Derek for group pricing and scheduling.
Bladesmithing & Knifemaking Classes
4 hours, $200
Commonly known as a Viking Blacksmith’s knife or workman’s knife. These knives are based on historic blades that have been recovered from iron age finds in Denmark and Sweden. Working one on one with a Forged in Fire champion the student will forge their own working blade from 1084 or 5160 high carbon steel. Techniques covered include, basic blade forging, heat treating and grinding. If time permits, kydex sheath-making may also be covered.
Students ages 13-16 must be accompanied by a paying parent or guardian.
Students are required to provide appropriate clothing and safety gear (long pants, closed toe shoes, eye/ear protection, cotton clothing, no DRI FIT/Polyester clothing).
Coffee, Water and Soda is provided, but students should bring their own lunch or snack if needed.
All participants must fill out and sign a Release of Liability Form (release form will be sent via email when class is booked or fill out in class).
Due to the preparation that goes into each class, if you cannot make it to class please notify Derek as quickly as possible to reschedule or cancel. Tuition is non-refundable within one 7 day week of the class date.