The first forging courses began in the 1970s, organized as a sort of workshop experience where aspiring iron craftsmen learned to handle traditional tools. These courses did not have a well-defined program and even the places where the lessons were held, were the most disparate. This way of working also continued in the following decades, all supported by the volunteers of the Association who have repeatedly cherished the dream of creating a place in Casentino dedicated to the teaching of artisan trades with a permanent location for the School of Forging.
An important turning point took place in 2014 when the entrepreneur Mario Magni made his premises, located in Porrena available for the courses. For 5 years, these premises hosted forging courses until, in 2019, the Municipality of Pratovecchio Stia, thanks to the participation in an invitation to tender of the Tuscany Region, was able to build an “Arts and Crafts Workshop“. Here the Forging School would find its definitive headquarters, a laboratory that was created with the restoration of an old railway building located near the train station of Stia.
The Association, having to provide the users of the training courses with a specific and complete preparation, in which the learning of traditional techniques is accompanied by an openness to the needs of evolution and innovation typical of modern art, has set up a training course with different levels, starting from those aimed at offering a basic technical preparation up to improvement courses for locksmiths who already have a complete training base.
The “Laboratory of Arts and Crafts” which houses the school, is equipped with 10 forges with all the necessary equipment and presents itself as a place of transmission of knowledge, traditions, and competence, also aimed at offering interesting employment opportunities to young people through the learning of an ancient trade, also capable of evolving according to the needs and tastes of the contemporary world. In fact, with the creation of the Arts and Crafts Laboratory, a fundamental process was concluded and this led to the reintroduction (inside the “Repertorio Regionale delle Figure Professionali” of the Tuscany Region) of the professional figure of Technician of the design, creation, and realization of metal objects also through forging. This will allow students to obtain the Certificate of Attendance of the Forging School recognized by the Tuscany Region.