About the Course
Learn blacksmithing with master blacksmith Pete Smith at Bluefoot Forge on the English/Welsh border. This 3 day course is suitable for beginners and all those with experience and will start by unravelling the mysteries of the fire. Pete will do a demonstration on basic hammer skills, techniques and working rhythm, whilst also demonstrating process and process design, to create the first artefact you will make.
As the course progresses new skills will be added via narrated demonstration and you will have the opportunity to make another artefact. As you increase your skills portfolio, your ability to design a process for the creation of your own artefact will also be expanding. This learn/make process will continue up until lunch on the third day.
On the afternoon of day three you get the chance to “do your own thing”. Your only parameters will be your skills portfolio and your imagination. Using your new skills you will be encouraged to design a small artefact that reflects your entire skill base. If you don't feel ready to break out, Pete will demonstrate an alternative piece for you to try, or you can remake any of the artefacts you have already been shown.
Throughout your course you will receive close guidance from Pete in everything you do, therefore making the best use of your time at the anvil. You will be encouraged to think like a Blacksmith and how to train your eye to see what the Smith must see to succeed. You will receive no end of encouragement from Pete when/if it goes wrong, backed up by one to one micro demos of the component not working for you.
The pace of teaching is entirely flexible to fit your requirements so there is no pressure, after all, this is supposed to be fun too, not a three day trial by fire. One thing is for certain, you will have surprised yourself by making things, you never thought you could. If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you've never done. You will have fun. Try it and see, you won't be disappointed.
Minimum age restriction of 16 years applies to this course.
If you have a medical condition, please advise us in full confidence so we are aware and can respond faster in the event of an emergency.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials are provided, as are the essential and obligatory safety glasses.
Courses are taught by Pete Smith who has spent 40 years in the field and 10 years teaching at the National School of Blacksmithing.
Other dates may be available on request. Email is best via the form above.
A light lunch, tea and coffee is provided. Please advise us of dietary needs.
In September this year I will be going to study Blacksmithing and metal work in Holme Lacy College. A tutor from the course reccomended Pete Smith to me, Ive done 3 three day courses with Pete. Throughtout the days I was with him I learnt so much more from what I knew from the beginning. He is an amazing person, very understandable, but also an excellent teacher, I am really grateful of how he's helped me on my journey to become a blacksmith a little easier, and that I recognize the differences of metal, or certain temperatures for certain bends etc.
Harry Gwatkin - - #16073
With my rudimentary blacksmithing knowledge, the tool making course provided
an exciting challenge in working with tool steel. The 3 days were organised
well, starting with making the tools needed to produce the final tool, a hot
sett. Pete demonstrated clearly the processes before we tried them for
ourselves, during which he gave gentle guidance and help when necessary. The
tools produced were, surprising, better than I hoped and will form the basis
for long future use. The hospitality offered by Pete's wife Heather during
tea breaks and lunch was fantastic with scrummy food. It was a pleasure to
share experiences with the two other fellow course members and to benefit
from Pete's long experience. I would recommend a 3 day course at Bluefoot
Forge to anyone with any level of interest in Blacksmithing.
Phil Platt - - #7830
The course was fantastic. Pete moved at our pace to ensure that we made the most of the day. Consequently we ended up making at least 3 items all of which had clearly been carefully selected to ensure that we could try out key blacksmithing skills. Despite it being our first time, under Pete's tutelage we were able to execute them so that we now have some beautiful and useful mementos of the day, plus learn how to fold, heat weld, cut and develop hammer skills.
From 14 to 46 all three of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend this to anyone interested in blacksmithing and learning form a true enthusiast. Oh and the lunch was delicious and tailored to accommodate my peculiar dietary requirements!
Beth Rudolf - - #7780
Attended course from 18th to 20th July 2016.
Didn't know what to expect found Peter was very hands on gave me the confidence to work the heat in the forge then working the metal on the anvil.
Heather always made a lovely lunch with fresh produce out of the garden and fresh bread from Prestigne. I really enjoyed the 3 days and would love to go back and build on what I was taught. Would really encourage anyone who is thinking about this course to go ahead and do it. Great fun !!
Martin Boundy - - #5694
In September (2016) I will be going back to study blacksmithing at Hereford and Ludlow college for another year. It was during my first year that I had Pete as my tutor, and he was the one to take us through everything we learnt. He has such a huge wealth of knowledge about blacksmithing and was a great tutor both practically and when discussing techniques away from the forge. For me there was a lot of frustration at first and he was really patient and kept encouraging me so that my confidence grew. I really enjoyed having him as a tutor as he totally understood what my interests were, I was coming from an art background and wanted to learn blacksmithing as a way to take my art practice forwards. Pete was really understanding of this and helped me on this journey. What i love most is that you are bound to learn a lot more than just blacksmithing in every lesson.
Katie Louise Surridge. - - #3698
Pete taught me blacksmithing for a year. I started as a beginner having never worked metal and with low confidence in my ability. Through out the year that Peter was my tutor my confidence grew. He helped nurture a rounded view of the processes involved, from the first design to the completion of the artefacts. Pete was always available and enthusiastic to help and never made me feel like any question I asked was a stupid one. He also steered me toward self learning, giving me the freedom and ability to experiment for myself using a variety of techniques he taught and an eagerness to share any knowledge he had. His confidence in his students ability and capacity to learn transferred to me, giving me the foundation needed to push myself out of my comfort zone and really try new and exciting things. He helped work through frustration of not getting a process straight away, patiently coaching me through the process one on one. I felt like Pete tailored the teaching to me, picking up on my weaknesses and strengths and working on both with me.
Katie McLennen-Dobson - - #3697
This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
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