The New Agrarian School COVID-19 Policy for 2021
The New Agrarian School, like all craft schools in America is struggling envision a path forward during this Covid-19 pandemic. We are a small and relatively adaptive organization and intend to offer a full schedule of classes for 2021.
Please see the full Covid-19 policy posted on this website here. Our commitment to quality education in the craft of blacksmithing has not diminished, and despite the challenging circumstances, we look forward to a bright future. We appreciate your interest and please write or call if you have any questions.
Workshops in Blacksmithing and Rural Crafts
In the Mountains of Northwest Montana
The curriculum and technology of the New Agrarian School
is thoroughly steeped in history and tradition.
However, don’t expect an indulgence in nostalgia. The tooling, the attitude, and the imagination is very much in the present, and looking into the future.
The design and hand skills involved emphasize self-reliance,
which is never outdated.
Fusing imagination with a practice rooted in very tangible skills, we endeavor to fuel individual creativity with heart, mind, and hand. We believe deeply that human beings are inherently makers, and that the practice of making enhances our lives both as individuals and members of a larger community.
New Agrarian School
2021 Internship Opportunity
Applications are now being accepted for a seasonal internship position at the New Agrarian School.
New Agrarian School
Reflections on 2020
2020 was the second summer of workshops at the New Agrarian School, and while some classes did not run due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we were able to run two full classes and an experimental workshop in smelting. A great group of students transformed a lot of iron (and themselves!) by working hard at making iron from scratch, blacksmithing tools, and axes. Each intensive class crystallized into a working identity, each with its own particular character. Two weeks is a big commitment in time for students to take away from their normal lives, but the opportunity to completely indulge in a focus of building skills and relationships proved to be worth it for the folks who spent time at the school last summer.
The school was conceived as a place for deep exploration; where risks can be taken, mistakes made, and successes are hard earned. We strive to be among the many learning centers emerging in this century where our relationship to this extraordinary planet we inhabit is part of every thought in what we do. This year we built on our ongoing commitment to dramatically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels with the construction of a big new Charcoal kiln to process local excess wood supplies into high quality fuel for smelting and forging iron. We will continue to build our infrastructure with salvaged and renewable materials sourced locally. And plans are underway to install solar electric panels that will provide most, if not all of the needed electricity for the school. These developments will serve to support the main work: to foster a positive learning environment and continue to make things of beauty, meaning, utility, and importance. Made by people passionate about the process in which they participate. Objects that deserve to be made.
The 2021 workshop schedule includes a few popular classes offered last year along with several new ones. We are pleased to welcome Haley Woodward, adjunct professor of the Blacksmithing program at Austin Community College, who will lead a collaborative class in creating another new sculpture for the school. Jeffrey Funk will teach a workshop on axe making, and also explore iron making from the ground up with the help of Nick Tomlin in the new class, “Wild Iron”. And we are including what will be a terrific class in the making of kitchen knives with Jordan LaMothe. For those new to the craft, consider one of the introductory classes offered by our newest instructor, Peter Haarklou.
We hope you will look into the workshop schedule for 2021 and join us for one or more of these great opportunities to deepen your connection with the craft of forging iron. And whether you can take a workshop yourself or not, we would be delighted if you would tell others who might be interested about the programs here.