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♻️ Bring them back to the RMSC or Strasenburgh Planetarium to be reused! Simply give us a visit and drop them off at the Museum & Science Center Welcome Desk or Planetarium box office. Deadline to drop off is May 1.

Cumming Nature Center > Programs & Events

Blacksmithing

Learn blacksmithing skills in small-group, hands-on sessions with expert instructor Jonathan Bernard.

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • May 4 & May 11

  • $65-$90

blacksmithing1

Our ever-popular blacksmithing workshops are back! Join instructor Jonathan Bernard to learn the heritage craft of blacksmithing in small-group, hands-on training sessions at Cumming Nature Center.

Classes for all skill levels will be offered in April and May, ranging from Intro to Blacksmithing to Advanced Blacksmithing. New in 2024, we’re offering two new Intermediate classes this year: Letter Opener and Utensil Set.

Each class participant will go home with an object they created during the class to enjoy for years to come. See the full schedule below!

INtro | Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced | the Instructor


Intro to Blacksmithing | $65

Learn the fundamentals of blacksmithing in our small-group, hands-on training session. Topics will include learning how to heat with a coal-fired forge and techniques for safe hammer usage. The student will have the choice of creating either a wall hook or bottle opener. This is a 2-hour class. All tools and materials are included with registration.

Students are recommended to bring their own safety glasses and wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans for protection. Other safety gear will be available if needed.

Register FOR INtro to BLACKSMITHING

Saturday, May 4


BASIC BlacKSmithing: FIRE POKER | $65

Saturday, May 11 | 8:00am

Beginner blacksmithing is a 2-hour class that builds on the intro course, and introduces students to the challenge of working with thicker metals. Students create a fireplace poker with decorative twists and tapered handle. Students are required to have either taken the introduction class or have prior experience blacksmithing. All tools and materials are included with registration.

Students are recommended to bring their own safety glasses and wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans for protection. Other safety gear will be available if needed.

Register FOR Basic BLACKSMITHING: FIRE POKER

Saturday, May 11


Intermediate BlacKSmithing: Letter opener | $80

Saturday, May 11 | 10:00am

Intermediate Blacksmithing: Letter Opener is a 3-hour class that introduces the student to heat management skills when working with dissimilar sizes of metal on the same piece. The focus of the class will be on how to draw out an open handle style of knife known as a Blacksmith blade. This class will establish a basic understanding of forming the point and bevel on a blade. Students are required to have either taken the introduction/basic class or have prior experience blacksmithing. All tools and materials are included with registration.

Students are recommended to bring their own safety glasses and wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans for protection. Other safety gear will be available if needed.

Register FOR Intermediate BLACKSMITHING: Letter opener

Saturday, May 11


INTERMEDIATE BlacKSmithing: Utensil Set | $90

Saturday, April 20 | 1pm CANCELED

Intermediate Blacksmithing: Utensil Set, is a four-hour class that introduces the student to heat management skills when working with dissimilar sizes of metal on the same piece. The focus of the class will be on how to draw and shape out a fork and knife set. Students are required to have either taken the introduction/basic class or have prior experience blacksmithing. All tools and materials are included with registration.

Students are recommended to bring their own safety glasses and wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans for protection. Other safety gear will be available if needed.

Register FOR INTERMEDIATE BLACKSMITHING: Utensil set


ADVANCED BlacKSmithing: Railroad spike knife | $80

Saturday, May 4 | 2pm
Saturday, May 11 | 2pm

Advanced blacksmithing introduces the student to the art of knife making using a railroad spike to create the wider form of a skinning blade.  Topics will include the use of the cross peen fuller to draw out the width of the blade as well as quench or case hardening to form a simple working edge.  This 2.5 hour class will test the endurance of a student who has either taken the intermediate class or has prior experience in bladesmithing. All tools and materials are included with registration.

Students are recommended to bring their own safety glasses and wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans for protection. Other safety gear will be available if needed.

Register FOR ADVANCED BLACKSMITHING: Railroad Spike Knife

Saturday, May 4

Saturday, May 11


ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Jonathan Bernard began blacksmithing at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA where he volunteered from 2000-2013 in their Colonial-era smithing shop. In 2012 Jonathan purchased a portable forge and farrier’s anvil, and began demonstrating at school programs as part of the 9th Mass Light Artillery, a Civil War reenactment unit. In 2014 he moved to the Rochester, New York, area and currently works with school groups as part of the 1st NY Light Artillery Civil War reenactment unit. For the past three years he’s been invited by the Gettysburg National Parks service to the Spangler Farm site for presentation of his craft with the unit’s traveling forge wagon.  Jonathan takes great joy in teaching blacksmithing to people of all ages and skill levels to ensure that the craft lives on.


About The Event

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • May 4 & May 11