The 2018 courses are now completed - we had a fully sold-out year, with 80 students on 10 courses - and bookings for the first courses in 2019 are already going briskly, with the first two already fully booked; so please don't delay booking - if you're unsure of your own, or a gift recipient's, commitments, do book anyway to avoid disappointment - a booking can always be moved to a later date, as long as you give us reasonable notice, and of course subject to availablity of later places. Contact me on 01372 374791 or at email@example.com to check availability - Richard Quinnell
Blacksmithing as an educational experience:
I spotted this in ‘The Times’ editorial on Saturday, 10 February 2018:
“… Executives at Google, Ebay, Yahoo and Apple have sent their children to a school that does not let phones and tablets into the classroom. Schools in this country may want to follow its example.
The Waldorf School of the Peninsula, a $25,000-a-year elementary in Los Altos, California, educates children the old-fashioned way. The children discover the secrets of Shakespeare not by watching a film adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, but by acting-out plays themselves. They might learn about heat energy not by listening to the whirring of a computer fan, but by blacksmithing with a forge…”
The full article on page 35 elaborates on this (emphasising the “...blacksmithing with the 1500-degree forge”!) and prefaces this by saying that the children at this school “…are learning to explore the world through physical experiences and tasks that are designed to nurture their imagination, problem-solving ability and collaborative skills.”
I (RQ) have always recognised the immense value of this kind of education, which, growing up with my parents’ blacksmiths’ forge workshop and mixed farm right beside the house, and a large wild woodland and river just beyond both of them, I had the great privilege of enjoying for myself – some of it even at school!
The Quinnell School of Blacksmithing has always welcomed young people curious about the blacksmithing experience – the forging of hot iron – on its intensive courses; doubly important as an educational experience, as our civilization is even now still in the iron-forging age – think of bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, ploughs, cruise-ships, Tesla cars, trains, your garden tools, the kitchen sink, knives and utensils – all still totally dependent on iron and steel and their hot-working. The computer I’m typing this on is housed in a protective shell of hot-rolled steel sheet. Our children need to understand this at a deep level.
We get a steady stream of young people on our courses; one young man of fifteen has just done his third in twelve months – he tells me he’s finding out a lot more – not least about himself – each time.
Laurels for our Tutors in 2017:
In September 2017 at the International World Blacksmithing Championships in Stia, Italy, our tutor Ambrose Burne was part of the victorious Gold Medal winning 'Team UK 1' in the team category, beating hundreds of other blacksmiths from around the world. Other members of the team were Matthew Garton - another of our recent tutors - with Sam Pearce and Victoria Gaskile.
Matt Garton was also runner-up Silver medallist in the individual World Championship category, again in a field of several hundred.
Our senior tutor Peat Oberon, past winner at Stia, and twice in recent years a member of the distinguished international Jury, was runner up in the Design Drawing category.
These are fantastic results for British Blacksmithing - and for the Quinnell School of Blacksmithing. We're very proud. Congratulations to all of them!