In-Person – Forging Fundamentals

Folk Art School

Vesterheim Folk Art School

In-Person – Forging Fundamentals

Sunday, October 10 - Tuesday, October 12 (9am-5pm) with Doug Swenson

Level of Instruction
Very beginner and beginner.
$155.00 Members
$205.00 Non-members
Materials Fee
There is a $25 materials fee, payable to the instructor.

In this introductory class, you will learn many techniques to fabricate your own key rack with the use of a gas forge and anvil. You will learn to taper, bend, rivet, and scroll. You will also make your own heat-treated tools for punching holes and embossing. The goal of this class is to develop an understanding of forging safety, techniques, and terminology useful for tackling more advanced projects.

Please wear clothes made from natural materials such as cotton or linen and sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Synthetic clothing can melt when close to heat. 


***This class is an in-person class at the Vesterheim Folk Art School in Decorah, Iowa***

Please read our COVID-19 Policies here.


The Folk Art greatly values the health and safety of its learners, teachers, and staff and is continuously monitoring local and national COVID-19 statistics, government recommendations, and peer institution guidelines. As with any activity in a public place, there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 infection, please stay home. By registering for a class, attending a program, or visiting the Folk Art School, you voluntarily assume all risks related to COVID-19 exposure and assume them willingly and you agree to follow Vesterheim's COVID-19 policies. Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and respect for the safety of our community as we navigate these difficult times. If you have additional questions, please contact Josh Torkelson, On-Site Program Coordinator, at or call 563-382-9681.


Enrollment Deadline: September 19, 2021

Registration for this class has closed.

About the Instructor

Doug Swenson

Doug Swenson

Doug Swenson began experimenting at a young age with a 1890s forge and anvil while growing up on a northwestern Minnesota farm. This early experience developed into a life-long passion that he continues to cultivate today through ongoing research into the tools and techniques of traditional blacksmithing. Doug does his primary work out of a shop that attempts to recreate the rural village shop of the time period from 1890 to 1910. His work is significantly influenced by early Scandinavian work with a special interest in the Viking Age.

Watch this video to tour Doug Swenson’s forge! In the series Folk Art In Place, explore and learn with folk artists as they take us through their workspaces and demonstrate their craft.

Learn more: Tour Doug Swenson’s forge in this episode of the Vesterheim series, Folk Art In Place!