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A rewarding craft to learn, blacksmithing has been a vital cornerstone for communities since man learned to work with iron.  The blacksmith made essential tools such as hammers, chisels, saws, axes and wrenches as well as items such as horseshoes, nails, hooks and wagon wheels.  The village blacksmith would have been the main resource for some of the most basic tools and hardware that people needed for farming, cooking, and transportation up until the end of the nineteenth century. Around that time, the role of Blacksmiths shifted predominantly to repairing existing tools, as industries shifted to machine-made products from cast iron.  By the 1970’s they were hard to find. 

Our introductory class requires no prior blacksmithing knowledge or skills. You will learn the basics of starting and maintaining a coal fire, terminology, hammering technique, and start our making tapers.  Once you’ve taken our beginning blacksmithing classes, you can choose to attend any of the workshops offered every month.

Instruction is provided by Certified Instructors and our workshops are designed to complete the curriculum nationally recognized and developed by the California Blacksmith Association.  Once you’ve completed the course you are eligible to apply for a state or national certification. 

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Victoria Ritter

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Victoria has always been a crafter, trying one thing after another starting at an early age.  Apart from knitting, nothing held her interest for long until she tried her hand at metal working in a class held at the UC Davis Craft Barn in 2011. Blacksmithing was a small component of the class: it was fascinating, unique, and challenging. She was hooked and soon was blacksmithing regularly at The Square, an open-air museum associated with the Folsom History Museum. This progressed to a monthly teaching engagement around 2017 and a recent appointment as the Lead Smith.  When she retired from her Nursing Administrative job with UC Davis Health, she set up her home shop and became more involved in the inner workings of the California Blacksmith Association (CBA).  She started by working on conference committees, served as Treasurer for 3 years and is now the Education Chair for the CBA. In 2022, she was certified as a National Curriculum Instructor and regularly teaches courses live or via Zoom. She enjoys turning her ideas into metal; however, her main passion is watching others get hooked on this exciting and timeless craft. 

Lead Blacksmith

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