207 Greenfield Rd, Colrain, MA  01340
phone: 413-624-1200
fax: 413-624-1201

email: artisans@morrellmetalsmiths.com

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Blacksmithing Class Testimonials

One of the reasons we love teaching is that we get to share our love of this craft with others. The relationships formed through the classes we teach have been some that we cherish greatly. It isn't strange at all to end up with students who have no desire to leave. 

 

Hearing how we've impacted someone's life is one of the great joys we experience through teaching. The first testimonial listed is a bit long, but well worth the read. It made my day when he sent it, and it gives an excellent account of what you can expect at one of our classes.  

"Morrell Metalsmiths Introduction to Blacksmithing Class Critique

In any classroom, there is usually one student who shows little to no aptitude for what is being taught. I am that student. At least in this case.

In sixty-four years I’ve had my share of successes and failures. Like anyone else. Yet, while having done quite well in any number of disciplines, this time I really felt like a fish out of water. Years of woodworking, cabinetry and boat building didn’t prepare me for the kind of experience I was about to undertake.

When I first entered the shop, I felt uneasy. I knew from the start I was in over my head. So this sounds like I was in for a miserable day doesn’t it.

Actually, this was a very memorable day.

First, let me say that Evan and his father were very welcoming. We received a quick historical background of blacksmithing and the importance of that skill in shaping this country. Next we were told of several notable individuals who came to prominence having been initially trained in this art.

With this as a base, we were guided through the shop. Various pieces of equipment were carefully explained, not so much that we were about to use all of them, but to understand the scope of the trade.

We were then assigned stations to work from and given appropriately sized tools. Adjustments were made to be better suited to the individuals in the class as we got underway. Safety was always at the forefront due to the obvious nature of working with hot metal, coal fires and propane forges.

At each step in our project, in this case a fireplace poker, there was a group demonstration to cover the techniques used for that aspect. Evan made everything look so easy. His careful balance of skillful precision with an eye to both form and aesthetic boosted my spirits. I can understand this! Then I picked up a hammer.

Let me back up just a bit and remind the reader that my skillset revolves around, screws, glue, clamps and a lot of handwork. Swinging a mallet at a red hot piece of metal and pounding it into a shape was well outside my wheelhouse.

Nonetheless, I dove in. We were given a piece to practice with so we could try, fail and ultimately succeed in each step along the way.

Both Evan and his father would walk the shop and help each student individually. A quick study of each participant was met with helpful advice, thoughtful consideration and words of encouragement.

Now, I have to admit that my project was not progressing as rapidly as others in the class. How many of us have ever sat in a room full of students and was among the last to finish the exam? You get the picture.

With the allotted class time having already passed and my project falling behind in its final stages, there were moments that I felt I should skip a few final touches and just finish the work and let Evan and his father go home for dinner sometime that evening.

That was not going to happen. Evan was committed to my having fully completed the project as intended regardless of the time. With his careful guidance and support, he led me through the final touches with professional integrity and patience bordering on sainthood.

I finished!

I’m very pleased with the final result. Not only did it look like I knew what I was doing, I developed a true appreciation for the craft and will never look at another piece of metalwork without understanding the skill and thought that goes into making that effort.

By the way, the poker is a marvelously designed tool. Simple and very functional. I quickly put away my “Big Box Store” mass produced fireplace tool set and have had nothing but appreciation for what, with the proper guidance and encouragement, has become a feeling of pride and accomplishment for what I had achieved.

My heartfelt thanks go to Evan and his father for this experience. While I’m not anticipating a career change at the age of sixty-four, the knowledge and insight I’ve been given into this wonderful practice will live with me for years to come.

Thanks again,

Sincerely,
Jeff Spring"

-Taste of Blacksmithing May 2017

"Great class. As a complete beginner I learned a lot and appreciated having so much time to practice the different techniques multiple times. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone with an interest in blacksmithing."

-Taste of Blacksmithing May 2017

"Had a great time at the Taste of Blacksmithing class this past weekend. Both Justin and Evan are very knowledgeable in their craft and do a great job teaching. I was very impressed with the time Evan spent helping my son during the class to make sure he learned some basic skills and had a good looking completed project by the end of the day. Thank you very much for an excellent day."

-Taste of Blacksmithing April 2017

"We had a great time and would highly recommend this class to others as a great intro to blacksmithing.  A great overall experience!"

-Taste of Blacksmithing April 2017

"I wanted to thank you guys for today’s class and express what a fun and humbling experience it was. It’s an art/craft  like this that we need to keep in our veins and pass down to generations behind us or it will fade away.

 

Thanks again for the educational time and fun learning experience."

-Private Group Class 2017

I took both the Taste of Blacksmithing in Sept 2017 and the Beginner Blacksmithing in Nov 2017.   I have always had an interest in blacksmithing, and the Taste of Blacksmithing class was an affordable way to find out.  It was a good, challenging class.  I enjoyed it so much,  I then took the Beginner Blacksmithing series of classes.  The best part of these classes was how everyone was able to work at their own pace and everyone was being challenged regardless of ability.  We could hone in on our individual strengths  with no pressure to keep up with the person next to you.   

 

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Evan and Justin.  The classes are great and I would recommend them to anyone who thinks they might be interested in Blacksmithing. 

-Taste of Blacksmithing Sept 2017 & Beginner Blacksmithing Nov 2017