October 15 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
This class will cover the basic process of forging pattern-welded Damascus steel. Students will weld up several small billets and explore the basics of pattern development. Students will also explore several common methods of forge welding as well as covering the science of forge welding. Students can expect to learn the process of choosing steels that will give good pattern and function well together in the final billet. The class will cover how to lay out and prepare the steel for forge welding both in the starting stack and in subsequent re-stacks. Special attention will be given to hand work and the making of patterns well suited to limited machinery. The main areas of pattern development will be explored as well as touching on some more advanced patterning techniques. Once the billets are forged and patterned, the class will grind and polish a window or sample tile to etch and reveal the pattern. The class will cover several techniques to etch the sample for higher contrast. The techniques taught in class should offer students the building blocks to begin an exploration of Damascus patterns on their own. Experience of basic blacksmithing techniques suggested.