Learn blacksmithing skills and more at The Crucible

The Crucible is a non-profit arts education organization in Oakland, California. From this web site you can learn many of the skills used in ancient arts and crafts, like blacksmithing, glass working, metalsmithing, foundry, and jewelry making.

Hephaestus was the blacksmith of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. A supremely skilled artisan whose forge was a volcano, he constructed most of the weapons of the gods, and was himself the god of fire and metalworking. Throughout history blacksmiths have produced items for every day use and for the glory of the craft -- things like wrought iron gates, grills, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils, horse shoes and weapons.

At The Crucible, they may not forge from a volcano, but their Blacksmithing program can teach you the basic skills that allow you to forge metal and specialized classes in bladesmithing, medieval helmet construction, and more. They even offer a special women’s blacksmithing workshop just for women that is taught by women.

Partial List of Classses

This list focuses on the blacksmithing classes, but The Crucible offers classes in glasswork, foundry, and jewelry making as well. Visit their web site for a complete listing.

Introduction to Blacksmithing
Entry-level class
This basic blacksmithing class teaches fundamental skills needed to forge steel and understand blacksmithing tools. We’ll introduce tapering, upsetting, flattening, dishing, and bending of hot steel. Students will make small projects, such as spoons, knives, forks, bottle openers, and candle holders.

Women’s Blacksmithing
Entry-level class
This special workshop—taught by women just for women—is designed to give students the fundamental blacksmithing skills needed to forge steel. You will have a chance to make a small project while practicing basic forging techniques, such as tapering, upsetting, flattening, and twisting.

Continuing Techniques in Blacksmithing
Previous experience required
Prequisite: Introduction to Blacksmithing
This class, designed as a sequel to Introduction to Blacksmithing, develops your basic blacksmithing skills. Techniques covered will include scroll making, collaring, basic tool making, and heat-treating. This class provides the skills you need for advanced classes, such as Bladesmithing and Techniques in Ornamental Ironwork.

Bladesmithing
Previous experience required
Prequisite: Introduction to Blacksmithing; Continuing Techniques in Blacksmithing
This highly specialized course focuses on the forging techniques needed to produce sharp-edged tools of high-carbon steel. Instruction will cover blade design, forging techniques for blade steels, and control of steel’s grain structure, as well as hardening and tempering methods, steel finishes, and handle construction. Emphasis will be on learning the fundamental skills needed to forge a good knife. Don’t pass up the opportunity to take this rarely offered class!

Medieval Helmet Making
Previous experience required
Prequisite: Introduction to Blacksmithing; Continuing Techniques in Blacksmithing
Create a medieval-style helmet with your own unique flair using riveted construction process! This class teaches cold metal forming, using the techniques of dishing or sinking, raising, and planishing.

Techniques in Ornamental Iron Work
Previous experience required
Prequisite: Introduction to Blacksmithing; Continuing Techniques in Blacksmithing
Improve your blacksmithing skills and produce quality work that sells. This class will include orthographic drawing (an essential design skill) and traditional methods of making decorative ironwork. Techniques taught and explored will include scrollwork, hot chisel work, twisting, floral design, and other form-shaping procedures.

For class schedules and to register, visit the web site link below.