Forging your First Blade

September 28 - September 29, 2024

Forging your First Blade


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $395
Material Fee: $70

This class is designed for first timers in the blacksmith shop who have an interest in knifemaking. We will focus on basic forging techniques and how they are applied to bladesmithing. The knives we make will be simple camping style blades with an emphasis on forging not fine finish work. Due to the short nature of this class, we will be moving fast and working on the basic foundations of knife making, coal fire operation, hammer control, low tech heat treatment, simple grinding and basic sharpening. We will not cover much in the way of woodworking or handle making. This workshop is designed for beginners, and participants need no previous experience to take part.

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



Sean Fitzsimmons

Sean Fitzsimmons is a blacksmith and bladesmith from Sussex county NJ. He got his start right here at Peter’s Valley 10 years ago and has been a full time metalworker for 2 years. He has also taught at the John C Campbell Folk School, and has completed residencies at the Center For Metal Arts. He currently makes bespoke blades and tools for home, craft and harvest use.

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