Blacksmithing and Metal Art - Certificate
The ancient art of blacksmithing is alive and thriving in the School of the Arts Blacksmithing and Metal Art Program. Enthusiastic and dedicated instructors share their passion and skills with you in the metal studio. With an emphasis on developing proper techniques and hands-on studio practice, you will learn how to bring your ideas from design to completion.
Learn how to conceptualize, draw and produce objects in steel. Discussions in the classroom, demonstrations in the studio, field trips and guest artists all contribute to your learning experience. You’ll get the opportunity to propose, plan, model and iterate your ideas with time for critique and problem solving.
In the School of the Arts Blacksmithing and Metal Art program, you will develop the skills of a blacksmith using time-honoured techniques to craft your own tools and objects. In the second semester, you will advance to bladesmithing skills, pattern welded steel, advanced tool making and portfolio projects. A year-end show and sale will showcase your newly honed talents.
You will be immersed in a vibrant and rewarding creative experience at the School of the Arts Victoria Street Campus where students are also pursuing the crafts of Ceramics and Textiles.
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Use foundational skills, tools and time-honoured techniques in metal arts
- Communicate design ideas verbally and visually within an industrial and arts context
- Implement the creative design process through critical design thinking, experimentation, iteration and critique
- Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of marketing and entrepreneurship
- Construct a portfolio of creative works for future employment, education or apprenticeship
- Follow health and safety guidelines for the use of equipment, tools, materials and processes in a studio or shop environment
In addition to meeting the general entrance requirements for admission to Selkirk College, an applicant must meet the following Blacksmithing and Metal Art Program entrance requirements:
- English 12, or equivalent, with a minimum of 60%.
- Students whose first language is not English must fulfill the college’s English language proficiency requirement. See Policy 8611: Admissions.
- Submit a completed admission application form and other required documents (i.e., secondary school and any post-secondary transcripts) to the Admissions Office.
All applicants must complete and submit a questionnaire at least one week prior to their scheduled interview date. The questionnaire helps us to understand the applicant’s interest and commitment to the studio program.
Submit the questionnaire using the Kootenay Studio Arts (KSA) online form.
All applicants are required to participate in an interview with a program instructor from KSA. Telephone interviews will be arranged for those applicants who, because of distance, cannot attend in person.
The interview is an opportunity for applicants to introduce themselves, present their work and discuss their interests within the arts. The instructor will assess the applicant’s preparedness for entry into the program and will ask about commitment, goals and expectations, design knowledge, experience and communication skills. It is also an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions they might have about the program and for faculty to recommend upgrading if necessary.
The portfolio is designed to assess your skill level to help instructors increase your chances of success in your studio program. KSA is looking for a demonstration of visual awareness, creativity and technical skill. The portfolio pieces may be of any medium and they need not be specific to studio preference.
For portfolio guidelines, see our website.
In order to receive your credential in your program, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00.
BKMA121 - Metal Studio Safety and Devices
BKMA 121 Metal Studio: Safety and Devices will teach students all aspects of studio safety. Students will learn safe behavior expectations and safe operating practices. Students will be given an overview of the Blacksmithing and Metal Art program and will develop the skills necessary to proceed into BKMA 123 Fabrication Techniques: Welded Forms.
BKMA123 - Fabrication Techniques: Welded Forms
BKMA 123 Fabrication Techniques: Welded Forms will teach students the safe use of the MIG welder, oxygen and? acetylene gasses, and the plasma cutter. Students will learn basic welding skills and forms.
BKMA125 - Blacksmithing Foundations
BKMA 125 Blacksmithing Foundations will develop students’ ability to manipulate hot steel with hammer and anvil, with an emphasis on hammer control and safe tool use. Students will apply a variety of basic blacksmithing techniques in the completion of simple projects.
BKMA127 - Primary Toolmaking
BKMA 127 Primary Toolmaking will teach students more advanced blacksmithing skills and techniques. Students will develop their ability to conceptualize and problem solve in an iterative design process. Students will make their own chisels and punches. Students will learn safe operation of the power hammer.
PPD101 - Drawing as a Basic Visual Communication
PPD 101 Drawing as a Basic Visual Communication. This is a basic drawing course designed to give students a background and experience in the fundamentals of drawing as a basic visual communication. Through exercises and assignments, the student will learn to use drawings as a tool to record a concept, manipulate, develop, communicate and refine those concepts.
BKMA132 - Basic Bladesmithing Skills
In BKMA 132 Basic Bladesmithing Skills, students learn and practice basic blade forging techniques. Students will actively engage in the design, production, and finishing of a rudimentary steel knife. By the end of the course students will be familiar with the techniques required to complete a simple shop knife.
BKMA134 - Pattern Welded Steel
In BKMA 134 Pattern Welded Steel, students learn and practice the ancient art of Damascus steel commonly known as pattern welded steel. The process includes learning about the characteristics of different steel types and hand forging. Students will form the pattern welded steel into a billet by forge welding, drawing out, twisting, annealing, and etching. The finished billet can be further developed in BKMA 138 Artisan Portfolio Project.
BKMA136 - Advanced Tool Making
In BKMA 136 Advanced Tool Making, students combine their blacksmithing skills. Building on the foundation of blacksmithing fundamentals, students will develop their ability to conceptualize and create advanced forms. Tool making and creative problem solving are utilized while students create their own hammer and tongs. Other tools may be assigned at the instructor's discretion.
BKMA138 - Artisan Portfolio Project
In BKMA 138 Artisan Portfolio Project, students integrate techniques, materials, skills, and objects developed in previous courses to produce a base body of work. Students begin to identify their unique artist voice in the blacksmith studio. Design iteration based on critique from others is implemented. The project requires permission from the instructor and may be individual or collaborative.
PPD111 - Professional Practice and Design
PPD 111 Professional Practice and Design provides information to assist the emerging craftsperson, designer, and maker in developing skills for selling their work in a commercial context. A variety of approaches will cover three broad areas of study: management, business, and marketing.
Tuition & Fees
All amounts are estimates and are subject to change. Tuition amounts are based on a full-time course load. Please note that many programs have additional costs beyond those listed here. For more information, please visit Tuition & Fees.
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