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Forged Sculpture


Course Price:

Material & Equipment Fee:

July 22-25 2022



About the Course

This intermediate level project-based sculpture workshop focuses on developing forging skills through experimentation and group discussion. The class will help you think both critically and creatively about the knowledge and skills you currently have and about ways to push beyond your comfort zone. The goal is to leave with a finished sculpture design, a maquette, forged samples and a fresh understanding of your creative approach.

Over the course of four days participants will draw, forge and engage in group discussion about design. You will be guided through a series of design sessions and forging exercises that encourage creative thinking and thoughtful reflection.

The group will collaboratively produce a collection of drawings and forged samples based on ideas generated through first-hand observation of the Ness Creek Forest. These will function as inspiration for the design of your individual sculptures.

We will focus primarily on line, transitions, texture, volume and space. You will be encouraged to answer the following questions: What are the boxes I put myself in? What concepts or forms do I want to explore further? How do I get from a concept to a prototype? Be prepared to take a few small personal risks.

“Between the idea

And the reality …

Falls the Shadow” – T.S Eliot, The Hollow Men


  • Participants will leave with a small sculpture (maquette or samples).

  • Participants will be guided through many exercises in alternative ways to manipulate steel.

  • Participants will learn about and move through the design process both as a group and individually.

  • Participants will gain confidence in their ability to design and talk about their work.

  • Participants will explore aspects of their personal research and interests with peers who understand how metal moves and can provide mutual support and ideas.

  • Participants will produce a series of conceptual and technical drawings.

Your Instructor:

Sandra Dunn

Sandra Dunn is a craft based Canadian artist.

A graduate from University of Waterloo, she established a full-time blacksmithing practice in 1993. Seven years later she founded Two Smiths, a design and prototyping studio that has developed and built a wide variety of sculptures, functional objects and architectural features in forged steel, hammered copper and bronze for both private and public spaces.

Sandra has lectured, taught and worked on projects across Canada, and internationally, in Belgium, France, Australia and the United States.

Recently her work has focused on designing and making larger scale public art sculpture.

Sandra Dunn


Participants should have some previous forging experience and should be prepared to get hot and dirty.

What You Need To Bring

Before arriving at Ness Creek, collect 10 examples of visual information that inspires you, comprising of both primary and secondary source material to bring with you.
Primary source material can be: e.g. observed drawings from your sketchbooks, photographs taken by you, actual objects, investigative forge examples, etc.
Secondary source material can be: e.g. downloaded or magazine images, examples of work by others, research, creative writing, etc.
(Try to avoid collecting examples of ironwork that you like as this will tend to push you towards working within an existing style. )
As you collect the information try to be selective and intentional in your approach - have a reason for your choice. Choose images and words that excite and inspire you.
For each example write down a word or sentence that ‘explains’ what you like about it. Use emotive rather than descriptive language. For example ‘I like this because it reminds me of the spring’ rather than ‘this is a snowdrop’.
(You might like to investigate the potential for developing a personal style/creative identity or perhaps you are more interested in looking at a particular design problem such as something that addresses a specific site or uses an established aesthetic style that you are interested in.)

Also bring:
Closed toed shoes and cotton or wool clothing + safety glasses, ear plugs and gloves, dust or particle mask.

What Is Provided

Blacksmithing forges, hammers, anvils, tongs etc. as well as consumables - coal and steel
Drawing paper
Charcoal, pencils, pens, soapstone
Drawing boards
Plastic triangles and ruler
Mechanical pencils
Blue pencils
Tracing paper
Design Elements and Principle Cards
Power Point Presentations
Drawing exercise templates

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