Bloom Iron

Iron Smelting Workshop 2024

When: June 17-28, 2024 (two weeks)

Where: New Agrarian School. Bigfork, Montana

Sign up here:

This will be a deep dive exploration of multiple forms of smelting furnaces spanning thousands of years in history. These will include the Iron Age bloomery, the Catalan furnace, and the Evenstad remelting process. We will also investigate “fining” techniques to decarburize cast iron into a forgeable product. Through experimentation and careful use of our senses we will take you through the process of working multiple unknown variables to move towards a greater understanding of the intricate interactions at play in these powerful and sensitive systems.

This is a very physical and labor intensive workshop. Space is limited.

Bloom iron bloomery smelting

What is ‘bloom iron’?

This material began as iron rich rock that I collected from old mine sites deep in the woods of New England. These are then sorted, roasted, broken into pieces, and finally smelted in a clay furnace with charcoal. This process removes impurities and creates an iron “bloom” through intense heat, chemical transformation, and maybe a little magic. This is the same process utilized by our ancestors for thousands of years to create forgeable iron from raw earth. The material is unique from modern steel and is not attainable through any other method. Each bloom is unique in its character and chemical properties. A balance of calculation, intuition, and observation is the basis of each step. A skilled bloom-smith can guide the process but must also be willing to let go of total control and work with the individual nature of each bloom.






These sculptures are an exploration of bloom iron’s unique qualities and their creation is a practice of spontaneous self expression through intense observation while letting go of expectation. This is my oasis of presence in a profession that requires constant planning.


agricola smelting
De re metallica. 1556

” Everything Changes Everything: a homage to ”Nyamakala #1′ “



bloom iron sculpture
bloom iron forged

“Growing Pain 1, 2, &3”

7-8″ tall


“An old man reaches the top of the hill and finds a hole in his heart”

12″ tall


forged bloom iron sculpture
detail forged bloom iron
forged bloom iron sculpture detail




Bloom Iron Sculpture Eric Dennis

Functional Bloom Iron

Useful objects made from bloom iron or refined bloom steel

bloom iron blade
Bloomery Iron Hammer
Bloom iron forged drinking horn stand
Bloom Iron Knife