Year of the Blacksmith, and the Cooper, and the Chair Maker…

Tillers’ 2017 Class Schedule is out and online (though the catalog isn’t quite finished) and things have shaped up quite nice for the Blacksmith and for other artisans as well.  We are happy to announce that Clay Spencer will be coming April 26-30, 2017, gothic chestwhich is a Wed. through Sunday, to teach a class on how to forge a “Gothic Chest” (picture of the project to the left).  There are already three people signed up for it, which means that there are nine spaces left. Give us a call at 269-626-0223.

Clay was raised on a farm in north Alabama and has had a lifelong interest in metalworking. He earned 2 engineering degrees from Auburn and worked at Marshall Space Flight Center until he retired in 1988. He started blacksmithing in 1986 and teaching in 1987 and was a student in all Francis Whitaker’s classes at John C. Campbell Folk School. He took over Francis’ classes in mid 1990s. He designed and lead workshops all over the US to build treadle hammers and tire hammers.

Tom Latane, from Pepin, WI will also be coming to teach in 2017.  He’ll teach a four day class (June 26-29, Mon.-Thurs) on how to forge a hewing hatchet with a socketed eye (hewingproject minus the ornamentation seen below). Tom started forging reproduction colonial and early American ironwork in Maryland in the early 1970s. After moving to the Midwest in 1981, he was introduced to the creative whimsy of Norwegian folk iron. Tom and his wife, Catherine, have a shop in Pepin, Wisconsin, where Tom repairs antiques and creates original pieces using a traditional design vocabulary and historic hand techniques. Tom has demonstrated for blacksmith groups and has taught at folk schools around the country (bio is from Vesterheim).

See below, photographs of Clay with his hammer (on top) and Tom below.

Tillers’ Museum Curator and  blacksmith Jim Slining will also be teaching 4 special topic classes this yeclayspencerar, not to mention the standards offered by John Sarge, Tim Carr, and Joe Rafasz.

In the woodshop we have anther great year Coopering with Eric Edgin, Jeremy Waara, and of course Chuck Andrews.  Jim Crammond will also be here to teach a Windsor stool and chair class.  Finally, we are happy to have Brad Smith on site to teach an intro to woodworking with hand tools.

Please contact soon to make sure you secure a place in these great classes.  Or, buy a gift card/certificate online as a great gift for friends and family.