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2017 COURSE DATES
1 DAY COURSES
Jan 21st …Feb 4th… March 4th…April 22nd.. May 13th… June 3rd…July 1st… Aug 5th… Sept 23rd…Oct 21st…Nov 4th …Dec TBC
2 DAY COURSES
Jan 28/29th …Feb 18/19th …March 25/26th…April TBC… May 27/28th.. June 24/25th…July 8/9th… Aug 19/20th… Sept 30th and Oct 1st…Oct 28/29th …Nov 25/26th… Dec TBC
One Day Course : £130
One day courses are run on a Saturday only 9.30 – 5pm
2 Day Course : £260
– Sat 9.30 to 5.00pm and Sun 9.30 am 5.00pm
WE ARE NOW RUNNING OUR ONE DAY COURSES SEPARATELY TO OUR FULL 2 DAY COURSES
Make your own Ironwork!
Come and learn a new skill in beautiful Carmarthenshire. We run one day and two day ‘learn to smith’ courses for beginners. Never so much as picked up a hammer? Don’t worry, we are used to teaching complete novices – we don’t expect you to have any pre course knowledge or skill. Aaron uses his teaching skills to gently guide you through the whole process, explaining each step comprehensively and allowing you to work at your own pace. Small groups (never more than 4 at a time) ensure that you are given individual and personal attention. He will also provide you with lots of useful nuggets of information, whether that is about technical aspects or historical and cultural elements of smithing. With more than two decades of blacksmithing experience under his belt, there is not much Aaron doesn’t know about the art and craft of the smith, feel free to ask questions.
On a two day course you can expect to learn the following ; different types of forge and how they work, basic smithing tools and equipment, basic metals knowledge, different types of heat and what they are used for. You will learn the basic skills of drawing the metal down and upsetting it (making it thinner and thicker as you require it), learning what the various faces of the anvil are for and using these to produce curves and angles, bending, hot cutting (cutting through the metal when it is hot), punching (making a hole through the metal when hot). Joining metal – on the beginners course we teach you to join metal using modern equipment such as a mig welder or via riveting. The traditional, more complex skill of fire welding can be taught on request but we usually find that at this stage it is unsuitable. You will learn hammer skills and practice using a range of blows to produce different effects.
You will make around 4 items to take home with you – a typical collection would be a simple rat tail poker, two hammer in beam hooks, two cooking hooks and one other larger item (either a hanging basket bracket or candlestick). If there is something in particular you would like to have a go at email us and let us know.
Two day courses run over a weekend – Sat 10.00am to 5.00pm and Sun 10.00am 5.00pm. Costs are £260 per person per weekend.
On a one day course you will learn many of the basic skills identified above (with the exception of joining metals). You can expect to make 2 items. This may include a simple poker and some useful kitchen hooks.
One day courses are run on a Saturday. Costs are £130 per person.
“I was impressed with how much we managed to get through and how much I had to take home” course attendee
Who would want to come on a blacksmithing course?
It is surprising – we have had art and design teachers, students hoping to take their skills further and apply for full time smithing courses, people have bought them as presents for family members.
Here are some ideas
Why not buy a course for a special day such as father’s day or a birthday. You can pay for the course in advance and we will send out a personalised gift certificate that can be redeemed at any agreeable time over the following year. Don’t forget mother’s day – it is not only men who smith.
Couples – why not book yourselves a ‘smithing together’ course and learn a new skill together? Combine it with a romantic long weekend near the beach.
Brides to be/ grooms to be – what about making your own candlesticks for the top table?
Doing up a barn or other building? Why not learn how to make your own door furniture or door knocker – make a little piece of your dream home with us.
Planning a holiday in west Wales – why not incorporate a day or two in the forge as part of your holiday and take back something really special to remind you of your stay.
Stressed out? Feeling the need to hit something really hard? Smithing is great for getting it out of your system.
Smiths in the family tree – why not come and have a go and experience what your great, great grandfather did?
And of course for anyone simply called SMITH (or any variation of this) a course in smithing would be ideal – we will do you a special ‘SMITH’ gift certificate that can be redemmed at any agreeable time over the following year.
Courses are only available for those 18 years of age or older.
Do you have some smithing experience already?
It may be that you have already done some smithing in the past and consider yourself beyond the ‘basic’ level. We also run individual one and two day training days for ‘improvers’. Contact us and let us know what your needs are. We do not have a set plan for these training days – we tailor them according to what YOU want. It may be that you want to spend a day or two really getting to grips with a single aspect of smithing, or it may be that you just want to generally improve your overall skill level. Please note: we do not teach people how to make knives, swords or other weapons. The prices are the same as for the basic one and two day courses.
All prices include insurance, (we hold the necessary public liability insurance), practice steel-stock, fuel used, course handouts, further reading suggestions and, of course, your handmade ironwork to take home
There are a few things you will need to bring with you on any course. You must bring your own safety boots these do not need to be steel toe capped, walking boots or similar are fine. Wear old work clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Long sleeves are a good idea. It is even better if you have an old overall or boiler suit. We supply safety goggles which must be worn at all times in the forge as well as work gloves and leather aprons. If you have long hair, tie it back and be sensible about jewellery etc. Bring a packed lunch and drink with you. We do not supply food or drink ourselves.
Blacksmithing can be a physically demanding activity so students need to be reasonably fit and healthy. If you have any health or mobility conditions that may impede your ability to participate it would be helpful if you could let us know. You will be asked to sign to state that you consider yourself well enough to undertake the course. Whilst we do everything that we can to assess, manage and reduce risk it must be recognised that working with fire and hot metal is potentially risky regardless. You will give basic safety advice at the very start of each course – please ensure that you attend to this important aspect of the training.
Places to stay can be found via http://www.visitwales.co.uk/there are a number of local options including B&B, hotel, caravan and camping etc. We also send out details of local accommodation on booking. When booking your accommodation it may be helpful to know the approximate distance to St Clears which is where the forge is based. If you are really confused or stuck, give us a ring or email.
Distance to St Clears:
Carmarthen: 12 Miles
Pendine : 14 Miles
Laugharne: 4 Miles
Tenby 17.6 miles