HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) – Benson Designs in Howard is offering blacksmithing classes for beginners.

Jeff Benson has been teaching the fundamentals of blacksmithing since the early 2000s.

He says, “I came from woodworking, which I still really love, but blacksmithing is entirely different. Instead of adding or subtracting material, I’m taking a volume of material, heating it up, and changing the shape.”

The classes were originally on hiatus because of the pandemic, but they are back for many dates throughout the spring.

In the 6-hour Introduction to Blacksmithing course, anyone can learn to strike while the iron’s hot. Participants can also take any item home they create.

“It’s something that most people never get to do, and to have a chance to come into a blacksmith shop and learn from somebody who’s been doing it for a while,” Benson says.

Many of the people we spoke with taking the class were enjoying the hands-on nature of the experience.

Monica Hoff from Howard says, “I find it relaxing because you’re just focused on this one thing and nothing else comes into your mind because you’re paying so much attention to what you’re doing.”

Matt Borneman from Antigo was taking the class with his brothers-in-law. He says, “It’s a lot of fun. He’s got it set up well with a couple different forges for all of us to work and learn different techniques.”

It costs $210 to participate in the beginner class.

Appleton native Jon Johnson received the class as a gift from his daughter and he says it was money well spent.

“I thought it’s been really good because it’s really hands-on, so instead of having to sit and listen for a long time, you get the safety demo and then you get right into actually start doing things with your hands,” Johnson says.

Only 2 spots are left for the beginner classes in April. Benson will host the classes again in the fall. He also has a more advanced class, Blacksmithing 101.

If you’re interested in signing up for a class, click here.