The American College of the Building Arts

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Forged Architectural Iron

Blacksmithing

Metal has been used throughout history for diverse purposes: beautiful ornamentations, weapons, hinges, axels, household objects, and tools to master other materials. Contemporary artisans who work metal still use many of the same methods and tools that have been developed over millennia. Modern metal techniques and tools have increased precision and productivity. Traditionally, this term in known as blacksmithing.

At the College, we recognize the role of the blacksmith in the community, but believe that what we teach goes far beyond the traditional image of a blacksmith. In their apprentice lab, students are introduced to age-old techniques while also learning the new innovations and practices. This craft specialization is titled Forged Architectural Iron. Wrought ornamental iron, gates, fences, balconies, railings and many other built-in decorative elements are among the techniques and skills learned in our apprentice labs, which also include the ability to forge, join, and weld materials to create unique objects of utility and beauty that enhance their architectural surroundings.

A skilled metal artisan is able to forge, join, and weld materials to create unique objects of utility and beauty. Students in the Iron Program spend the first two years concentrating on traditional forging. The third year introduces contemporary welding tools and techniques as well as other materials such as steel or bronze. In the fourth year, students integrate the traditional with the contemporary to complete a series of increasingly difficult projects.

Throughout the program there is an emphasis on research – both in the field with a sketchbook and in the library with a notebook. ACBA metal student-artisans are expected to be competent in all areas of the trade including theory, design, drawing, and hand-skills.


Forged Architectural Iron Coursework

BAAI101 - Introduction to Forged Architectural Ironwork

BAAI102 - Forged Architectural Ironwork I

BAAI201 - Forged Architectural Ironwork II

BAAI202 - Forged Architectural Ironwork III

BAAI301 - Contemporary Practices in Forged Architectural Ironwork I

BAAI302 - Contemporary Practices in Forged Architectural Ironwork II

BAAI401 - Advanced Studies in Forged Architectural Ironwork I

BAAI402 - Advanced Studies in Forged Architectural Ironwork II

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