2022 Summer Program


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Class #69

I Forged A Carving Knife & I Know How To Use It

Jeremiah Backhaus & Erik Rinkleff

August 7 - August 13, 2022


instructor imageDuring this unique forging and wood carving workshop, you will not only design and forge your own wood carving knife (or a small every day carry (EDC), paring, utility, hunting, skinning or small kitchen knife), but you’ll learn to carve wood as well.

During the first day(s) of the class, Jeremiah will introduce you to the blacksmith shop. Here you will go about forging, by hand, a small blade. While small in size, your project will be large in science. Design and angles will be discussed, as well as properties that are ideal for desired blades.

Once your knife is finely honed, Erik will introduce you to wood carving basics, including wood properties, the proper and safe use of your knife and how to keep it sharp. Painting and finishing techniques will also be included in these discussions. In only a few days you will have several completely finished carving pieces ready to place on your mantel!

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.

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.

Erik Rinkleff learned to carve at The Clearing in 1998. He now enjoys carving a variety of subjects, including Santas, snowmen, country characters, gnomes and wood spirits. He also designs and builds rustic wood furniture. Erik is the Assistant Director of The Clearing and also owns and operates his own woodworking business, Rustic Road Studio. He has been teaching wood carving and rustic furniture classes for 20 years.

Level: All levels
Materials Fee: $30 ($15 for steel and handle blanks, and $15 for wood and painting supplies)

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.