2022 Summer Program


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Class #32

Entrée: A Fine Pairing Of Forging & Woodworking

Curt Wessel & Jeremiah Backhaus

June 12 - June 18, 2022


instructor imageThis week, to delight your creative palate, two crafts will be combined, giving you the opportunity to work with both wood and metal, along with enjoying The Clearing during early summer.

You’ll spend Monday with Curt making a coopered container or tray. Along the way, you will learn some basic woodworking and table saw skills (and dust off the high school geometry book too) while you make a beautiful container or tray. There will be wood options from which to choose, and you may make multiple pieces of varying sizes if you like and if time allows. As needed, additional woodworking shop time will be offered.

You’ll spend the remainder of the week with Jeremiah in The Clearing’s blacksmith shop. He’ll lead you through the fundamentals of forging and introduce you to the “power of the fire.” Your time in the forge will be mostly spent with a hammer in your hand. The goal of the forge time is to make ironwork that will accentuate and enhance your wood project or projects. There will be options for those students seeking different levels of difficulty in their ironwork. Students can rightly expect to bounce back and forth between the two shops, which are located right next to each other.

For woodworking, please bring appropriate clothing for working with power tools, along with eye and ear protection. For forging, please bring cotton clothing, some form of hair restraint (if needed), leather-palm gloves, safety glasses, ear protection and closed-toe shoes or boots.

Curt Wessel builds custom furniture and cabinetry in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin and has taught a variety of woodworking classes at The Clearing for many years. His work is found throughout Door County and is well-represented at The Clearing. He has been featured nationally in Home Furniture magazine.

Jeremiah Backhaus built his first forge when he was 11 years old. It wasn't much to look at or to work with, but it fueled a passion for metalwork that continues to this day. These days, Jeremiah is self-employed as a blacksmith, producing items for the home, the shop, the barn and just about anywhere in between. Focusing on controlled hand forging, he has produced work for clients around the world. Jeremiah competed in the History Channel's forging competition show, Forged in Fire. He won that episode, earning the title Forged in Fire Champion.

Either Curt or Jeremiah will contact students prior to class.

Level: All levels
Materials Fee: $40

Pricing (per person):
$1180 Dorm Room Package*
$1280 Two-Person Room Package*
$1920 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$675 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 7 meals


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NEW IN 2022! In order to register online, you will need to sign into a Clearing User Account. Complete user account info and "How To's" can be found on our Clearing User Account Page.