Under Pressure! hydraulic press forming steel – S1313-17

Date: Aug 28 - Sep 01, 2017

Skill Level(s): III i

Instructor(s): Vivian Beer

Tuition: $925
Studio Fee: $150
Registration Fee: $45


Bend, collapse, move and arch steel with grace in this five-day intensive workshop. Our main activities center on a Dake 25-ton hydraulic press. Using this powerful force, students design dies that efficiently and easily cold-form thick steel plate and hot-form even thicker plate. The course focuses on technique, the potential of this machine, and our ability to customize it to our imagination. Compound curves and the natural forms that are inherently developed in hot manipulation of metal are empathetic to our own form.

Media & Techniques:

We explore die design and fabrication, as well as safety and efficient use of the Dake 25 ton hydraulic press. Students also engage in steel sheet and plate forming hot pressing textures, simple hot forming of heavy stock materials, and steel fabrication using MIG, TIG, plasma cutter, torch cutting and welding.


We begin with basic shapes such as saddle, sphere, cylinder, and work toward more challenging techniques, including hot pressed textures and forming. Demonstrations include safe operation of the press, die design and development, metal fabrication (welding, grinding, cutting), jig and fixture development, top tool use, and more.


Vivian Beer is a designer and maker working in New England. Her collections include the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, MFA Boston, Museum of Art and Design and the Brooklyn Museum, and public art for Arlington, Va., and Cambridge, Mass. Vivian holds an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art and was a Resident Artist at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, SUNY Purchase, SDSU and Penland School in North Carolina.

Vivian Beer, Untitled

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