Jeffrey Funk, director of the New Agrarian School, has been Blacksmithing in Bigfork, Montana for the past four decades. With work ranging from plowshares to public sculpture, his recent emphasis has been a wide variety of architectural metalwork and tools of all types. A regular demonstrator at conferences around the country, as well as instructor at numerous craft schools for many years, Jeffrey is directing his primary attention to sharing this extraordinary craft of blacksmithing. Expect a broad foundation in traditional forging technique, along with innovative tooling and problem solving from Jeffrey’s classes.
Jordan LaMothe began pursuing his interest in blacksmithing at age 14, taking a class, reading books, and setting up his own forge in his parents' barn. His interest in making hand tools led him to make his first knife two years later, and knives quickly became his primary focus. After receiving his B.A. in music from Williams College, Jordan began bladesmithing full-time. He makes a wide variety of knives and swords, from "user" knives for the kitchen and field to presentation blades, and teaches regularly at several craft schools. Jordan earned the Journeyman Smith ranking in the American Bladesmith Society in 2018, and was a champion on History Channel's bladesmithing competition Forged in Fire, season 4, episode 7.
Peter Haarklou has been blacksmithing since early 2015, at first working with the well-known smith Scott Lankton and in conjunction with the Webster Township Historical Society in Ann Arbor Michigan. He has been living and working in Montana since 2018 where he was instrumental in helping to establish the New Agrarian School and has continued to deepen his experience in the craft. Serving as assistant in classes led by the school’s director, Jeffrey Funk, Peter has proven both his passion and patience in guiding students to succeed in blacksmithing.”
Nick Tomlin operates the Providence Hammer in Rhode Island, specializing in historical and restoration ironwork. Since 2016 he has been exploring iron smelting in both the US and Colombia. His interest in smelting includes the bloomery process, which will be the focus of this workshop, but also extends broadly into other realms of fiery transformation. Nick has a deep interest in processes that involve the development of human skills over-reliance on technology. Bloomery smelting involves a powerful combination of common sense and intuition, an ancient and eternal chemical process that will speak directly to those who engage with it.
As a blacksmith, steel, iron, and brass give me a pallet of colors, textures, and physical properties to work with. Each material comes with its own long history within the context of the human experience. They are complex, rewarding materials that I continue to evolve with as a metalworker.
My work starts as technical challenges and investigations into the process of blacksmithing. When new forms and process become illuminated, new sculptural ideas tend to follow. More often then not, this leads to more technical challenges and the drama continues. Technique inspired by the work, and work inspired by technique.
Haley Woodward is an adjunct professor in blacksmithing at Austin Community College.
Tony Stewart (2019)
Tony Stewart has practiced blacksmithing for over thirty years, first in Kent, England, then Kenya (east Africa), and for the past two decades in Northwest Montana. Tony’s Iron Thistle Forge produces a wide variety of architectural metalwork using a broad pallet of traditional blacksmithing techniques. He brings to his teaching a great deal of practical experience, humor, and a healthy dose of whimsy. Unfortunately not well known beyond this region, students should expect an instructor with a rare depth of insight into his medium, and an unusually authentic craft experience.
Rachel David (2019)
Rachel David, raised in Maryland and a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana is a blacksmith, sculptor, designer, and maker. In her practice, she synthesizes self-reflection and societal systemic criticism translating it to making change in the world she lives in through her works, words, and actions. Her practice includes sculpture, custom architectural work, and furniture, all working to convey social and environmental justice, and workshops that build community rather than competition.
Rachel has been the visiting artist at SIU Carbondale, IL, NOCCA the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, LA, The Crucible, CA, and Community-First Forge in Austin TX. Rachel has shown nationally in solo, intimate collaborations and group exhibitions. Her work has been published in books and magazines including Ironwork Today 4, Imago Mundi; Reparations, and (T)Here Magazine and collected by the City of New Orleans, the Simone Benetton Foundation, and numerous private collectors.
Andy Dohner (2019)
Andy Dohner works out his iron studio in southern Oregon, focusing on functional and sculptural objects. His background in steel manufacturing helps to inform his high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Andy employs both modern and traditional design sensibilities to the work he does in both steel and bronze, all with a strong emphasis on forging process. In addition to his work as a studio artist, Andy has exhibited and taught widely across the country.