Adrian Legge, Blacksmithing Instructor at Hereford College of Art in the UK developed a Design Masterclass (along with Delyeth Done) for the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths and he’s bringing it here to Canada in September.
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.
This three day intensive course maps out the natural progression of the design process, asking such questions as, Why do we need a design road map? and, What does it take to make? Adrian looks at how we can use research to generate ideas that have quality, depth and rigour. 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.