Desert Metal Craft Issue 2



Title: Trailblazer in the making:


Desert Metal Craft in Tucson is a program that’s fun and educational for people of all ages. Combining the ancient art of blacksmithing with the modern science behind the craft of metalwork, DMC packs a BIG punch.


DMC is the one company of its kind. They are the only company that teaches the ancient art of blacksmithing combining the modern sciences behind metalwork. With guest instructors being brought in from around the world, DMC’s courses are designed for all ages, skill levels and taught by teams of experienced blacksmiths, metal workers, artists and metallurgists from the local Tucson area.


Liz Cameron, an instructor at Pima Community College in applied metallurgy and a Master of Science in materials science and engineering from the University of Arizona, invited Rich Greenwood, a 2-time contestant on History Channel “Forged in Fire” to teach a lecture about blacksmithing to the applied metallurgy classes.

After the lectures, Greenwood started to become intrigued with the idea of growing someones blacksmithing skills and proposed the idea of DMC to Cameron. The collaboration begun shorty after.


Their passion and sheer desire for blacksmithing and metalwork, drove them to creating the DMC that we see today.

Camron and Greenwood share their love for the southwest, their love for metalwork and because Tucson had no such company or organization in place, this would make for the perfect opportunity to take the company off the ground.

A short time later, DMC added Pete Brown to their team as the head of the media, marketing and communications department.

Brown, who has been a scientific journalist and an engineering technical writer is also the Communications Director for the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona. Brown also shared a passion for blacksmithing which started when he was a young boy.

He was added to the team shortly after taking one of Greenwood’s classes and the two have inspired him into becoming a “blacksmith in-training.”

Desert Metal Crafts has something that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Rich Greenwood and I started collaborating on this idea of building our own school/camp about two years ago. We both wanted a place to do bigger things and things that weren’t already being done around town and we tried to work within the current infrastructure Tucson had for these kinds of metallurgical en-devours and we just couldn’t find a space that could accommodate what we needed that we could afford. So we thought maybe we should just open our own space to do all the weird stuff we wanted to do with metal,” said Cameron.

Their online enrollment program facilitates the process of enrollment. DMC offers summer camps, classes, workshops.

The classes include but are not limited to: Bladesmithing 100, bladesmithing 200, Blacksmithing for beginners, for juniors, for adults, Sonoran art fab, Tamahagane reduction. The workshops include: handle, sharpening, mokume-gane. The programs range between 100 and 700 dollars.

“We wanted an environment in which we could try new things without running them up the ladder, like at the college level. An area where if we had an idea, we could try it out without the approval of the hierarchy first,” said Greenwood

“And that’s what we wanted from DMC. Anyone can come in and lean the craft. From 7-70 years old, I even had a 74 year old man take a couple of my classes.” Greenwood said.

“I never saw my work as a failure or that I failed, I either succeeded the first time or I learned and tried again,” said Greenwood.