Two Smiths

Design Masterclass with Adrian Legge

301 | Design Masterclass with Adrian Legge


Developing a rigorous design process is integral to producing well designed and successful functional objects and sculptures.  Adrian Legge from Hereford College of Art in the UK will be teaching a three day course that involves utilizing one’s personal research to inform, design and forge a functional object or sculpture. Participants will be asked to arrive with a collection of objects and images they have gathered. Day one will involve randomly picking a project idea out of a hat and then designing that object using one’s personal research to develop the design. Individual designs will go through a critiquing and design development process - yes, all of this in day one. Over the course of day two and three participants will experiment, forge and assemble the object they’ve designed.

This is an area of blacksmithing that has its own difficulties, with practical makers' often being unsure how to come up with original ideas and develop them into a well-considered result.   We tend to excel at solving technical problems but aren’t so great at articulating and identifying the skills used to develop really strong original designs.  Many of us disregard the fact that it takes a lot of time to develop a really good design and fall into the habit of minimizing the value of the design process, cutting it short and proceeding without assessing, critiquing and refining our designs.


Adrian looks at how we can use research to generate ideas that have quality, depth and rigor. He focuses on both observational drawing techniques and tips, as well as experimental drawings exercises:  making marks, tracing, chopping, cropping, to get students to create drawings of potential forge samples - connections, surface, shape etc.   Key to developing a personal style and approaching forged metal with a fresh perspective is acquiring a vocabulary for critiquing designs. Group discussions will raise issues such as relevance, comparisons, groupings,  importance, quality, and personal perspective.  All of this will come together at the forge where participants will produce a series of samples that explore a particular aspect of forged work that they are drawn to.

Adrian is a dynamic teacher:  funny, insightful and guaranteed to challenge you to learn as much as possible in a short period of time. This course is ideal for blacksmiths looking to develop their capacity to express ideas through the medium of forged metal with clarity, imagination and confidence.

A long standing member of staff at the National School of Blacksmithing, Adrian has been teaching since 1987. The BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing course was initially his vision after he identified that the blacksmith students he was teaching needed to be designers as well as blacksmiths and so he approached the Art College and an exciting collaboration between the two institutions began.

" I find that the way that metal moves when it has been forged is fascinating. It has the ability to be structural and at the same time appear to be delicate. I have been a blacksmith for over 30 years and in that time have been involved in work as diverse as the restoration of 17th century gates and railings, the design and making of contemporary garden sculpture and the teaching of my craft to others. "

- Legge


COST:  $600.00 + HST + eventbrite registration fee ($20.22)

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