Sculptural Metal

Explore your personal expression by pounding red hot metal against ancient anvils in our shop that exudes character. Molten metal is an equally powerful force that you can master. Manipulate steel for beauty and function in this medium that’s literally hot right now.

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  • The course is action packed and full on. The instructors are artists themselves so not only do you have practical information but real life lessons in the art world. There is evening studio time  where you can really explore your artistic abilities.

    Alexis Mainland

  • I regard my time in the metal shop at School of the Arts as an important milestone in my artistic career. It opened my mind to the possibilities of the metal casting world and reunited me with the timeless implications of blacksmithing.

    Eben Finer

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Kevin Kratz


“The experience in our classroom is akin to a student going to work in their own studio. Pretty much, from the time they walk in, until they leave at night, the idea is to be hammering, welding, riveting, sanding, drawing, growing hot from forging and getting dirty from assembling and finishing.”

Making big cool things out of steel, mainly recycled from industrial uses, has always brought Kevin joy. He’s been a metal worker for more than 35 years. He’s earned an Artist/Blacksmith Certificate from Sir Sanford Flemming College in Ontario. He spent 12 years working as a metal engraver with my father at our family business, Precision Engraving Co. Ltd. He worked with Kootenay Forge as a sub-contractor where he honed his production skills by making thousands of metal art products for the home. He has his own forge set up on his Goose Creek property. He’s  created many one-of a-kind sculptures and commissioned works.

Kevin instructs in the Blacksmithing program.

Kevin takes inspiration from nature and Kootenay life:

“I live rural, between Nelson and Castlegar, on a small piece of land by Goose Creek. My shop (the Goose Creek forge) is a 100 year old barn. I like being outside so, after getting some work done forging in the shop, I might head down to the creek for a swim. Split some firewood. Head down to the river and try and catch some trout. If it’s winter, I am taking Friday off to ski some of the best ‘pow’ in North America. I do a lot of vegetable gardening and have a couple of fruit trees. I raise chickens. This past fall, the bear ate most of the apples. I had a bumper crop of pickling cukes, so I fermented them all, Kosher-style. That’s Kootenay Living…”

Denis Klein


“I try to understand each student to get the best out of them and push them as much as they can take so they get the most out of this short and intensive program. I help them understand they they can also learn from each other.”

Denis has been sculpting in bronze, stone, snow, ice and sand for 40 years, professionally for 36. He earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the David Thompson University Centre in Nelson. His many public commissions include the recently completed Frozen Moment, in Loveland, Colorado; Passenger, in White Rock, BC and Wo-man, in Cerna V Posumavi, Czech Republic. He’s exhibited in Castlegar’s Sculpture Walk and Sculpture International in Atlanta, GA among many others and has several permanent collections. He also was the owner of Pyramid Bronze Works, fine art bronze foundry in Kelowna, BC.

“Students are learning from professional practicing artists, not just instructors. Students discover a lot about their creative side working in clay.  And they are always fascinated by how good their creations look once they cast and finish them in bronze.  Their first bronze pour is like opening up gifts for the first time at Christmas!”

Denis has been teaching as a bronze casting instructor at School of the Arts at Selkirk College since 2006. But, he has been with the school since 1997 dating back to when it was a co-op.

“I love to be creative and work with my hands.  No matter what the medium, as long as I feel something coming out of my heart that has meaning or beauty, then I feel inspired and have energy to give to my creation.” 

Wright Simmonds

Faculty Assistant

Wright Simmonds

Faculty Assistant

Krista Patterson


A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a Jewelry major and an Art History minor (1993), Krista has also taught for Nunavut Arctic College in northern Canada. Her studio experience includes the creation of one-of-a-kind jewelry and sculptural objects, as well as production craft and design.

Kate Tait

School Chair
Kate believes strongly in the mission of Selkirk College and is passionate about the diverse learning opportunities available in the region.

Kate moved to the Kootenays in 2008, after growing up in the Yukon, and spending years in Vancouver and travelling abroad. She worked in various industries on three continents including fashion, hospitality, construction and research and engineering. Kate joins the School of the Arts after several years teaching math in Academic Upgrading and the School of Business. She believes strongly in the mission of Selkirk College and is passionate about the diverse learning opportunities available in the region. When Kate isn’t on campus, she enjoys team sports with her five children, gardening, hiking the local trails, and trying out new math puzzles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sculptural Metal

How many images can I send in the online portfolio submission form?

The maximum number of images allowed on the online form is eight. Please send a separate link if you would like to send more than eight images.

Links to an online portfolio are also an acceptable way to submit images.

Why do I have to interview for Craft Programs?

The interview allows us to discuss the program. We will be asking you questions but our instructors will also give you an overview of the program and scheduling. This is a chance for you to ask questions as well. We want to ensure the best possible match to ensure student success. The interview takes about a half hour and we will be conducting it in person at the Victoria Street Campus or by phone. We are currently not set up for Skype.

Do I have to have experience in the Craft studio I want to apply to?

No. Many of our students have completed a workshop or continuing education course in the studio they are interested in, but it is not a requirement.

Do I have to provide my own tools, materials and equipment?

Yes, each studio has its own supply list that is provided to applicants upon acceptance. Most materials can be purchased through KSA; however, students may need to independently source and purchase materials. Equipment such as kilns, forges, wheels, drill press, sewing machines, etc. are all provided for student use.