I can’t say much about anvils but I can tell you about Touchstone.
They have just buildt a new blacksmith shop. I didn’t see the new one
but, the old one was extensive.

You are in the woods up a mountain in a cabin. Each cabin does have
electricity, screens, and some funiture. The food is ok.

The classes are wonderful in all areas. The opprotunities besides
metalsmithing and jewlery are excellent. They have many different
kinds of kilns for pottery not just raku, salt and, normal reduction.
(I was a potter for a good 10 years.) Watercolor, painting,
printmaking … all have wonderful teachers. The painting building is
located next to and on top of a stream. You can even paint in the
rain under the building, while looking at the stream with the
interesting bridge.

It takes me a while to drive to Touchstone from Detroit. I wish it
were closer. Then I could take more classes there.

I have gone to classes for 3 summers. The first 2 summers to take
Marne Ryan’s texturing metal and last year to take Steve Midgets
mokume class. I only regret not taking Blaine’s stone setting class.
I am going back again. I wish I could split myself so I could be in
all the classes at once. You do get to meet the other classes and
people if you have time. I love seeing what the tin can class makes.
Bobbie Hansen always is a stitch. He wrote the book on "Tin Can Art."
I’m not sure of the title. It’s the class with the most humor.

Touchstone is located south of Pittsburg, Pa, if you’re looking at a


I too spent a week at Touchstone a couple of years ago. I found it
to be worthwhile. I took a class with Tom Muir. All the instructors
appeared to be excellent. The surroundings are great. We took an
afternoon off to visit Fallingwater and Kentuck, the famous Frank
Lloyd Wright houses which are nearby. The food is fine. The housing
leaves something to be desired. Unless it has changed since I was
there, the cabins are similar to those of a children’s camp. The
bathroom and showers are in one large building that you have to walk
to, which could be inconvenient for us “old folk”. I stayed at a
nearby motel. The jewelry studio could use more and better equipment.
On the whole it was fun. Frances Visit me or “beam me up” at:

There are some changes in store for Touchstone this year…a generous
grant has enabled the school to seriously upgrade the benches and
equipment in the jewelry studio. Every year, the cabins and the
paths through the woods get better, and this place has some great
woods to wander through.

The new blacksmithing studio is nothing short of awesome. Makes me
want to pound some iron! There are several advanced workshops in
both the jewelry studio and blacksmithing studio, so even those of us
who have been around a while can still learn some new tricks.

Yeah, it can be a little “rustic” for some older folks, but it’s not
too bad. For those of us in need of a “back to nature” dose, this
place is fun.

D. Zaruba