New Ornamental Iron Fabrication Class

Ornamental Iron Fabrication

The Welding Department has a new class: Ornamental Iron Fabrication (WELD 0076). This is a hands-on, first-level apprenticeship for blacksmiths.

Students in the new class will use anvils and coal forges to learn classic blacksmithing techniques.

Traditional Forging

WELD 0076 will teach traditional processes:

  • Forge welding
  • Tool making, including punches, chisels and tongs
  • Basic joinery
  • Making decorative elements like scrolls and leaves

Ornamental iron has a long history of art and craftsmanship. You can find railings, gates and fences created by this tradition.  Ironworks also include fireplace screens, stove hoods, pot racks and cabinet hardware.

Instructor is a Past-President of the CA Blacksmiths

WELD 0076 instructor John McLellan started blacksmithing at the age of eight when he inherited a forge and anvil from his grandfather. In 1978 he joined the California Blacksmith Association. 

In the 1980s, he became an architectural blacksmith. Today, he designs intricate metalwork for high-end homes and international clients.

Sierra College Welding Department Chair Bill Wenzel is excited about welcoming McLellan:

We are delighted to add John McLellan as an instructor. He produces amazing artwork and students will benefit from his expertise.

John McLellan

Class at McLellan Blacksmithing Shop

Part of the class will be spent at McLellan’s metal shop in Loomis. The McLellan Blacksmithing shop opened in 1977 and is 8,000 square feet. The facility includes a machine shop and fabrication area. There is also a painting area, a showroom, and an upstairs class space. 

The shop is in a beautiful setting, and the forge area overlooks the year-round creek and beaver pond.