HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE
CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721
CONTACT: DEBBIE DAVIS
OR DIANA CONARD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HAND WROUGHT METALS COURSES AT HCC FORGE NEW CREATIVE OUTLETS FOR THE PROFESSIONAL CRAFTS PROGRAM
In HCC’s Hand Wrought Metals courses, students can take a pound of scrap metal, which costs 10 or 15 cents from a local junkyard, and make as many different items as their creativity will allow. From functional tools to cool modern art, the student projects can take you in a thousand different directions. While they make something useful, they express their own style, flair, and uniqueness. At the 10 forge stations, a visitor may find a knife made from a cable or a chisel that used to serve as coil springs on a vehicle’s shock absorbers.
David Burnette, hand wrought metals instructor, says anyone with the desire can learn the craft. From dual enrollment high school students to 80 year-olds, these classes appeal to everyone. "It takes thinking, a willingness to get dirty, and encouragement to experiment," he explains. "There’s many different ways to do the same thing. It’s exciting to see all the different ideas students want to try."
Burnette says he sees himself as a mediator to help students go where they want to go in his classes. He has been practicing smithing techniques for over 20 years and is a member of the Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA) which has over 4500 members. "Teaching these classes are a way to preserve the culture of the area and the blacksmith trade in general."
Traditional blacksmiths used to do necessity work, making most tools used by other masons. But in HCC’s hand wrought metals classes, students will find a mixture of old style traditional smithing with modern applications. The forging and shaping of metal will unite the functional with the aesthetic while fostering artistic creativity.
The beginning hand wrought metals classes teach students basic skills. Students learn the use of tools, how to build and keep a fire, where to position metal in the fire, hammer control, how to manipulate metal, and other techniques used in hand forged metal work. "They learn the basic building blocks to become a blacksmith and to move the metal," Burnette says. "We start at ground zero with some students that have never seen the shop." Students participate in four structured projects before embarking on their solo projects.
Barbara Bewernitz, a 2001 graduate of HCC’s Professional Crafts-Wood program, says she is taking the classes because she wants to blend metal with wood as a way to compliment her woodworking. "This class is a great way to learn and refine basic skills even if you have no background in this craft. Then, like anything else, it takes a lot of practice," Bewernitz says. "It has opened my eyes to scrap metal and recycling."
The advanced hand wrought metals class focuses on creative projects, using patterns, and incorporating hand wrought metal in mixed media art. The classes are a continuation of the basic skills.
The hand wrought metals courses are a great addition to HCC’s one-of-a-kind, world-class professional crafts program. The courses reflect the hands-on approach that is practiced throughout all the programs at HCC, while inspiring and motivating the creative spirit and the concept of self-expression.
For more information about the hand-wrought metal classes taught at HCC please call 828-627-4500. Enroll today. Fall semester begins August 16.
Photo attached: Barbara Bewernitz, a 2001 HCC Professional Crafts-Wood graduate, uses wrought metal accents in her woodworking pieces.