Metal Arts

Blacksmithing at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum began in 1989 during construction of the replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II. Since our local hardware stores do not carry fittings for Revolutionary War gunboats, our staff and volunteers had to create ironwork for the replica themselves. An 18th century-style forge was built on site, with a central stone chimney and hearth, a massive, hand-operated bellows of wood and leather hanging from the ceiling, and cast iron anvil secured in a sturdy stump.

Today, the 18th century-style forge is used to introduce thousands of students each year to the craft of blacksmithing, and offers a variety of Metal Arts workshops for teens and adults year-round in specialized facilities.

Workshops at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum are taught by skilled instructors in small group settings. Most workshops are designed for those with little to no experience in the field.

For questions not answered here, please feel free to email or call (802) 475-2022 x114

Blacksmithing

Beginners Blacksmithing

This weekend-long class is open to students with no prior forging experience. Students will learn the basic tools and their uses, how to manage a coal forge/fire, and several controlled hand forging techniques.

If you have some prior experience feel free to join as well in order to enhance your skills, explore new techniques, and perhaps create an heirloom.

Classes meet on Saturday and Sunday, 9:30-4 each day. Tuition includes both days and the cost of all materials. Please bring a lunch and water, and wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and preferably clothing made from natural fibers. Dress warm for winter workshops! The forge will warm up over the day, but starts out chilly. 

This class is open to students ages 14 and up.

Maximum class size is 5 students. 

Tuition: $245 ($220 LCMM Members)

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Dates

  • September 28-29, 2019
  • October 26-27, 2019
See Schedule & Register

Bladesmithing

Bladesmithing

This two-day course will teach students how to forge a hidden tang knife blade including the basics of how to heat-treat and temper blades. Each student goes home with a completed knife. 

Students start with a 6″ piece of high carbon steel, and will spend the first day forging it into a knife, and learning about the heat treatment process. The second day covers the finishing processes and putting a handle on the blade.

Classes meet on Saturday and Sunday, 9:30-4 each day. Tuition includes both days and the cost of all materials. Please bring a lunch and water, and wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and preferably clothing made from natłral fibers. Dress warm for winter workshops! The forge will warm up over the day, but starts out chilly. 

This class is open to students ages 14 and up. 

Maximum class size is 5 students. 

Tuition: $245 ($220 LCMM Members)

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Dates:

  • November 16-17, 2019
  • November 30-December 1, 2019
  • December 14-15, 2019
  • January 18-19, 2020
  • February 22-23, 2020
  • March 28-29, 2020
  • April 25-26, 2020
See Schedule & Register

Bronze Casting

This is a one-day hands-on introduction to the sand casting process. Participants will experience sand casting bronze objects by doing it themselves: ramming up the mold, attaching gates and vents, lighting the furnace, and pouring the molten metal. By the end of the day they will have enough experience to be able to purchase equipment and supplies to begin working on their own.

See Schedule & Register