Forged Fashion: Body Adornment

August 18 - August 22, 2023

Forged Fashion: Body Adornment


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $735
Material Fee: $85

This workshop, open to beginner through advanced participants, will be focused on forging a metal piece to be worn on the chest or neck. Ellen will help you through the design process to a completed piece; don’t worry if you can’t draw! We will work with combining different forging and forming and techniques using bar stock that also help with hammer control. The workshop will focus on creating balanced symmetry in steel by repetition of form. Forged fashion helps participants to design an object that becomes personal and alive when worn on the body.  Demonstrations will cover various organic design elements, inspired from Ellen’s personal work.  Each person will include aspects of the forging  demonstrations in their own individualized pieces and combine with their own ideas!

Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day
Lunch is included for all participants

Level: Beginner and Beyond
Workshop Levels

Definitions of Skill Levels for Workshops

  • Beginner and Beyond: Introductory level course that presents basic knowledge of tools, materials and techniques and is geared towards first timers or those who want to improve and expand their technique. It takes time to build skills.
  • Advanced Beginner and Beyond: Instruction that assumes some familiarity with tools, materials and equipment. Includes reviews and builds on basic skill sets, allows for those with more experience to work at their own pace. Further development of fundamentals, participants have had at least one class or equivalent with professional instruction.
  • Intermediate: Course content that assumes a working knowledge of basic studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored. Participants feel comfortable in the studio setting.
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Course content that requires a proficient working knowledge of studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored in class.
  • Advanced: Assumes proficiency and advanced working knowledge of materials and studio tools and equipment so that the focus is on artistic narrative and/or technical development.
Ages: Adult


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Ellen Durkan

Ellen is an artist blacksmith from Wilmington Delaware. She teaches part time at a college and has her own business: Iron Maiden Forge.  Ellen creates wearable “Forged Fashion” art that she presents through a performance runway show in addition to her large scale drawings.  Ellen teaches blacksmithing classes during the summer at different craft centers as well as forging demonstrations for conferences and events. She received her graduate degree in Fine Arts but found metal working intriguing while in college and her curiosity and determination has led her to her current body of work. Ellen includes different techniques such as chasing repousse or leather work to enhance her ideas as well as skills. Her metal work started as forged stationary “metal dresses” in which Ellen would place a nude figure. Her current body of work is still inspired by the human body, it is created to be worn and it is inspired by the concepts of emotional vulnerability. Ellen enjoys creating pieces to fit the complex forms of the figure and how each piece takes on a new presence with a new wearer. She creates forged work to decorate the body as visual and metaphorical armor. The metal forging and forming process constantly inspires her to build challenging new creations to be worn.

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