We are pleased and proud to announce that The Center for Metal Arts is relocating to the historic Cambria Iron Blacksmith Shop in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Built in 1864, this shop conducted industrial scale forgings continuously from the 1860s until the early 1990s when it closed. The site is a designated National Historic Landmark, having a historically significant and extensive collection of rare, large scale power hammers and original hand tools forged on site. We are excited to bring this amazing asset back to life, and to offer it as a facility for your learning and use.
We have been hard at work with the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority to solidify an agreement to turn the Cambria Iron Blacksmith Shop into the new home of The Center for Metal Arts. This move will help us grow and develop in all of our current activities, and more. We will have the room to expand and add to our programs, to better suit students of all skill levels and from all regions of the country. Our new, larger facilities will accommodate our growing artist residency and internship programs, and will allow us to offer longer term workshops.
We expect to accomplish our move quickly, and to resume our regular schedule of workshops beginning in late February. After that, we intend quickly to expand the program offerings of The Center for Metal Arts in Johnstown. Stay tuned!
Pat & Dan
About the lineup
2017 is here and I'm excited to say that the lineup is impressive, more than ten contemporary blacksmiths and metalsmiths from around the county and abroad have been invited to teach more intermediate and advanced workshops. We have expanded the amount of Introduction and intermediate classes taught by the residents of CMA to help encourage students to continue developing technical skill.
The goal for this years workshop schedual is to offer a wide range of quality classes that will suit student needs and cover a broad scope of technical/artistic skills. I hope to see you at a workshop soon! Take a look here to see the complete list of workshops.
In the blacksmithing shop we have some visiting artists returning to CMA to share there knowledge with a new group of students. Many of the popular classes such as hammer making, forge building, and beginer tool making will be offered again.
With the new addition of the jewelry and metalsmithing studio I have spent the last few months putting together a group of visiting artists to come teach advanced level classes that will cover a broad range of skills from stone setting to forging silver bracelets to pewter holloware.
Signup at www.centerformetalarts.com
Below is a complete list of 2017 visiting artists and a brief description of the workshops they are teaching.
Thank you for your support and checking out our workshop lineup! As always if you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime!
what time is it?
BAGEL TIME !!!!
Hello again and thanks for reading.
As I’m sure many of you know, we are passionate about forging tooling at the Center for Metal Arts. I recently had the opportunity to film the forging of a cross peen hammer with a GoPro camera, and am excited to share process with you.
Here in the shop we try hard to work carefully and intentionally. Being interested in process, we always forge as close to the finished shape as possible. We believe this produces a stronger better functioning, longer lasting tool.
As well as producing the highest quality tooling we can we also like to spend as little time in front of the sander as possible. Personally I find it much more rewarding to be working at an anvil or powerhammer than in front of the belt sander, and the shop here is really well setup for that mentality.
Throughout the years many hammers and top tools have wound up in the scrap bin, but I find this helps one grow as a blacksmith and is an important exercise in development. If we are not 100% happy with a tool we produce we are not comfortable selling it to a fellow metalsmith and we welcome feedback about or tooling from people who use it.
It's always awkward to do what you normally do in front of a camera, It forces you to overanalyze every single move you make, moves you usually make on instinct without thought.
cross peen from the video
Most of this process is pretty straight forward, but I thought I would mention a few things. I wanted to capture the point of view if an assistant, when I’m lucky enough to have one. Good help is sometimes hard to find, but this illustrates how seamless some of the process can be with another set of hands.
1. Shaping the blank to the right size and breaking the corners.
2. Punching the hole
3. Pressing in a small drift to prep the hole for the larger handled drift
4-6. Larger drift for forging the cheeks with the fuller dies. This opens the hole for the hickory handle. Fullering the cheeks accentuates the hourglass shape hole, which is necessary for proper seating and wedging of the handle. It also increases surface area of the hammer head contacting the handle which helps for a tighter fit and prevents loosening over time.
7. Shaping the face on the rounding dies
8. Forging the peen
9. Packing and shaping the face and peen. The last step we do is shape the face of the hammer and the peen. We use a bottom swage to shape the peen wile using the top die of the hammer to gently pillow the face. This is one of those instances where we do the work through forging rather than sanding. This step is important because it packs the grain structure and greatly reduces time at the sander.
We use a wooden swage block for putting the drift back in for this step so as not to dungus the forgings. (still working on a permanent solution for that setup.)
Thank you for watching and reading. Thank you for your support, please check out the tooling we have available at www.centerformetalarts.com, and as always feel free to contact us with any questions.
Thanks to everyone who helped me put this together!
forging a stake anvil
Power Hammer Class
A quick note about some upcoming workshops I'm teaching, and why we're offering them here.
Thank you: a look inside my head.
2015 was a great year for us, full of growth and development. The shop is continually improving, and our passion for tool making facilitates a great learning environment for our students. At the Center for Metal Arts it is important to us that every student has the proper tooling to participate in the workshops, that means a hardy tool that properly fits every anvil, tongs that strongly and safely hold the stock, and a forging hammer comfortable for anyone. A mindset like that takes time, and we would not be where we are today or made the progress we made last year without the support of you and the community. I appreciate everyone that came to take a workshop or bought our tooling, every bit of support we get helps us continue to grow CMA into a state of the art learning facility for blacksmithing and metalsmithing.
I've started up this blog again as bit more of a personal look into whats going on in the shop, with our community, and in my head. My aim is to keep it light, informal and fun. (I'm not going to heavily edit, and I don't spell very well, so go easy on me) Sometimes I feel like letting folks know what I'm thinking, like why I chose to offer a class, or whats important about certain workshops for forging or metalsmithing development. I feel in the future the blog will be less about "take this workshop" and more about "this is how that workshop went, check out what we're forging, this is whats happening behind the scenes......" That sort of thing. Follow me on instagram @handforgedinvt and the shop @centerformetalarts, whats happen here is really exciting to me and sharing it with you is important.
Thanks again, fell free to contact us about any forging or metalsmithing needs or ideas, we love helping if we can!
This is the July 3, 2015 newsletter in image format. If you want these delivered to your inbox (with clickable links) just sign up with this super easy form.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.