West Virginia

Forged in Fire: The Art of Blacksmithing in the Appalachian Mountains

Fire up your forge as you discover your passion for metalworking in this week-long artistic exploration of blacksmithing set at the base of the Appalachian Mountains.
Not yet reviewed
Program No. 6244RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

With a hammer in hand and flames in your forge, create intricate pieces of art from wrought iron and steel. On this learning adventure, discover the age-old blacksmithing techniques like welding, punching, upsetting and swaging from expert instructors in the picturesque foothills of West Virginia. Use these newfound skills to create metal masterpieces of your own and set aglow your blacksmithing passions in this tranquil mountain town.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Minimal walking and standing on this program.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn blacksmithing basics from top-notch professionals and hands-on demonstrations.
  • Complete beautiful art pieces to display for the entire center to admire in an open studio exhibition.
  • Explore the rustic West Virginia town of Ripley in the evenings on excursions throughout the city.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Peter Buchanan
Peter Buchanan is a local metal artist who lives and works in Bedford County, Virginia. He began blacksmithing in 1991 after being introduced to the craft through historical reenacting. Deeply impacted by the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, he started doing metal sculpture. His current work, which focuses on spirituality and the inner person, is heavily influenced by both primitive and tribal art. Peter’s most recent exhibit was a two-artist show in February at Rivermont Studio in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Peter Buchanan
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