Our instructors are drawn from a wealth of talented teachers, including nationally known artists from across the country and across the street. They are innovative craftsmen and artists who enjoy trying new techniques and love sharing what they do with their students.
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After retirement as an architect, Hal Aavang was looking for a way to combine a practical skill with his lifelong love of working with metal, and to also use this skill as an art form. He found the blacksmithing program at Shake Rag Alley, and started with a basic blacksmithing class taught by Bob Tuftee using the traditional coal forge. In order to continue blacksmithing at home, the propane gas forge provided a clean and readily available forging heat for his projects. A MIG welder and oxy-acetylene torch added additional support for his home blacksmithing shop where he works on many pieces such as traditional hooks, fire pokers, flowers, custom live art tables, other art projects, and an expanding list of future works. Hal is a member of the Upper Midwest Blacksmith Association. He keeps, sells, donates to charitable causes, and displays his work, and accepts commissions.