Steel Smithing at Anderson Ranch

I just came back from a fantastic class at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village, CO. The mountains are beautiful this time of year and cooler than in Fort Collins. If you don’t know about Anderson Ranch you need to check it out. They offer 1-2 week workshops all summer. The ranch offers arts and crafts classes including painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and woodworking, and the topics and instructors change every year.

This year I took a class from Natasha Seedorf on steel smithing. I focused on learning skills, but still ended up with a few finished pieces. I plan on using my new skills for my encaustic, for example these rings will be a frame for a wax piece I’m working on.Steel-class1In sculpture I can use both hot and cold connections. Hand formed steel rings are at the top of the necklace and cold riveted bars on used on the bottom. The two pieces below on the left are bar steel torched while in a vice and then twisted while red-hot. I have to admit how fun it is to twist steel like putty! Far left is a “bead” for a future necklace and the long piece is an awl for woodworking. I can also use these connections for my fiber arts and sewing.
Steel-class2In addition, it never hurts to make a piece of jewelry once in a while! Below is a necklace and a couple of simple earrings.Steel-class3I went home and immediately gave away my Acetylene/Air torch and purchased a Smith mini torch that uses Acetylene/Oxygen to get a higher temp. I’ll keep you up to date on my future adventures with metals!Little smith