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Farmstead Toolmaking

16 Sterling Drive
Craftsbury Common, VT

Connect to the environment through making. Learn smithing and carving to sustainably build tools that every new American farmstead needs. In this course, students will practice foundational skills for working with both metal and wood, such as fire management, materials selection, shaping techniques, heat-treating, and sharpening edge tools. They will also explore how these time-honored crafts connect to and reinforce each other. Over five intensive days, students will both use and build hand tools that require no electricity. Each student will leave the course with at least one complete tool of their own making. Depending on the collective skill levels, group interest, and pace of student production, we will practice skills to create tools such as straight knives, crooked knives, froes, mallets, hewing hatchets, punches, and drifts. Beyond the physical manifestation of new skills, students will also learn to source and create with common materials available near their homes. Outside of class time, students will have access to the Sterling College Forge, providing further opportunity to hone skills between sessions. A small class size ensures that the students will have ample one-on-one attention from the instructor. The course aims to help students cultivate “making” confidence and curiosity. Armed with the knowledge that they can supply many necessities for themselves, their families, and their communities, most students will be motivated to further develop skills in blacksmithing and green woodworking.