Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Metal Arts Workshops at Shake Rag Alley

Shake Rag's Blacksmithing program is now in its third year and going strong.

Classes take place outside under the overhang of the Old Barn just above the Federal Spring. There are three forges, plus anvils, hammers, tongs, and safety glasses...all the equipment needed and plenty of scrap metal on hand.

Classes are small, no more than six students, ensuring plenty of individual attention from our terrific instructors, artist and art teacher, Eric Donaldson, who was named an Illinois Outstanding Art Educator in 2009; Bob Tuftee, a 25 year blacksmithing veteran and past board member of UMBA (Upper Midwest Blacksmithing Association); blacksmith Keith Ray who has sold his hand-forged knives on the rendezvous circuit for years; and our good friend Denny McKernan, local blacksmithing and welding enthusiast whose assistance was invaluable in helping us get our blacksmithing program going.


Instructor Denny McKernan fires up a torch.
Blacksmithing classes range from introductory workshops to making hand-forged knives to making simple projects for the home such as hooks, flower pot holders, dinner bells, and more.

And this year we were able to add Welding to our metal arts offerings, which has proven to be so popular that there will be a pick-up Intro to Welding class next weekend to handle the overflow!

New classes in Arc Welding and Wire Feed Welding will be offered in October.


Welding is not just for guys!


A finished project.


Still time to register for some great Blacksmithing and Welding classes this fall.  But don't wait too long...spaces are filling up fast! 

  • Blacksmithing for Home & Garden with Bob Tuftee, Sept 24-25
  • Forge a Springsteel Knife with Keith Ray, Oct 1
  • Intro to Wire Feed Welding with Bob Tuftee, Oct 22
  • Intro to Arc Welding with Bob Tuftee, Oct 23 

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