We specialise in weekend introductory blacksmithing courses.
Based right next to the world-famous Fire and Iron Gallery, in a pleasant semi-rural setting, the courses are managed by Richard and Pauline Quinnell. Richard was a prime mover in the 1970s revival of the craft of artist blacksmithing in the UK, and he was awarded the MBE in 1989 for his contribution.
Our courses are suitable for absolute beginners (adults, and teenagers from the age of 14 upwards***) or for metalworkers seeking to gain a basic understanding or improvement of iron-forging techniques. Classes are limited to 8 students, each with a fully-equipped workstation. We’ve been running courses now for more than 22 years.
[***We can now take younger students, down to 11 years old, but only on condition that they must have a parent also booked on the course with them, must be well-motivated and really want to take the course, and must have reasonable stamina. Phone us to discuss.]
The emphasis is on learning the seven basic techniques of hot forging during the making of decorative and/or useful objects; students can expect to make several such objects to take home at the end of the weekend.
The work rate is intensive and you should expect to become quite pleasantly tired by Sunday afternoon.
Students are encouraged to discover the properties of hot iron, with the sympathetic expert guidance of our excellent tutors.
Past students have described the experience as 'amazing' and 'mindblowing', and the satisfaction of proud makers showing off their achievements at the end of the weekend is very evident. With our decades of experience, and over 1200 very happy students to date, we can confidently guarantee that you will enjoy yourself enormously!
A course makes a terrific, unique present for a birthday, Christmas, retirement, or anniversary (6th is Iron; 11th is Steel - why not do it together?) - we supply you with a personalised gift certificate to give on the day.
It's also a great educational experience for a young person*** - and a way for them to test their aptitude if they are thinking of taking metalworking up as a career (there are apprenticeships and college courses right up to BA (Hons) and MA level, and opportunities for study abroad, that we can advise on).
A coat hook rack designed and made by one of our students: