Touchstone has changed considerably in the last two years. They now
have an incredible new blacksmithing studio that is fully equipped,
with lots of natural light and breezes. There are always plenty of
classes for beginners, if you feel the urge to really pound some
The jewelry studio has just undergone a major remodeling, including
the addition of a “hammering room” surrounded by windows, and new,
professional benches, torches, and equipment in the jewelry room.
The view from the studio is beautiful and inspiring: you look out
into a woods filled with ferns and flowers, along the banks of a
trout stream. There are some very interesting classes offered this
year. Enrollment is kept small, so you get a lot of personal
attention, but this also means that classes fill quickly.
The cabins are primitive, surrounded by woods, and the bathrooms are
located in a central building. Early spring or late fall can be a
little wet and cold, but this is a really wonderful time to visit.
“Falling Water,” Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, is located
nearby, and you can also spend a day running the whitewater rapids
on the Yougegheny (probably not spelled correctly, but everyone
calls it “The Yock”) river. They have just completed a large Admin
building, with a great room lounge area with a huge stone fireplace,
library, gallery, gift shop, etc.
I really enjoy teaching here. Classes run for a week during the
summer, and weekends in the spring and fall. Check out the web site.
I can also highly recommend the workshops and classes offered at
Revere Academy in San Francisco, and New Approach School in Virginia
Beach. Both of these schools offer top notch professional workshops.
The studios are very well equipped, and the instructors are
professional metalsmiths who make their living doing what they
I have also heard great things about Metalwerks and Kate Wolf’s
school in Portland Maine, but I personally have not taught at either
Hope this helps, Doug Zaruba