Basic blacksmithing or knife making at Bearded Pig Forge

1 Day knife course


A basic blacksmithing or knife making course is a great way to learn about the beautiful craft of blacksmithing.

This course focuses on making something for you to take home with you whether that be a practical knife or something more decorative for your home or garden.

The course is based in Quex park in Birchington in a large and spacious workshop, during the course you will learn how to use a traditional coke forge as well as using more modern tools such as belt grinders.

Courses are either one to one or up to four students.

Over 18s only.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

You will need to bring appropriate non flammable clothing and footwear, trousers are a must, no open toed shoes.

I provide all tools and safety equipment but if you have your own you are welcome to bring them.

We will stop for lunch which is usually an hour. Tea and coffee and drinks are also available all day.

All materials are included.


Spike G Martin at Bearded pig forge


Quex Park

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners


7 hours (9:30am to 4:00pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

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In-person course
Tom Joy - - #35497

Bearded Pig Forge is tucked away in a lovely spot, which felt ideal as a location to get away to and make something by hand in this method. I did the one day course, making a viking knife and it was an excellent start for someone who has never crafted metal work before.
Spike was a great teacher in every way. Super patient, very clear with directions and ready to help whilst also instilling confidence in us to learn the process through the trials and errors we could afford.
I was delighted with the results and it's brilliant to be able to make a functional knife that I can use in the kitchen daily. I'd highly recommend this course and Spike to anyone! I hope I can go back and learn some more some time!

In-person course
Josh - - #35194

First of all the information email received before arrival got me to exactly where I needed to be no trouble! Secondly Spike is a wicked guy! Welcoming, talkative and funny! Throughout the day we had demonstrations step by step on how to complete our work. While working he is not overbearing but will help show you correct any hiccups along the way! By the end of the day I walked away with a massive sense of accomplishment, an experience I’ll never forget and a potential new hobby! But always remember FIRE HOT!

In-person course
Gordon - - #35081

A fascinating day, well out of my usual comfort zone. We start with a small bar of iron and finish with a basic knife, all without cutting, simply "hammer and tongs" (and a lot of heat). Come with clothes able to get dirty (this is a forge, not an exhibition) and you will get very hot at times. I liked being treated as an Adult but with careful safety briefings. I felt that Spike really got the best from us all, and he carefully helped when my skills were struggling.
Allow time to find the place on the site, it takes a while and is not that clearly signposted (not at all at the start). Bring your own (simple) lunch, as the serving time for a sandwich take-away at a café on site was rather long.

In-person course
will pearson - - #34915

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In-person course
Jon Stokes - - #34404

I did the one day basic blacksmithing course, coming out of the end of the day with a knife (which when you start the day with a rectangular piece of steel seems a bit daunting!).

Spike is an excellent teacher, explaining and demonstrating each part of the process at a time, and the pace of the day never feels rushed. He's also really patient, helping where needed, but making sure you understand what you are doing. Overall a really, really fun day which I'd recommend to anyone.

We also learned a bit about the history, chemistry and physics of blacksmithing as well. Will definitely be back soon to do some more :-)

In-person course
Olivia - - #34325

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to have a go at something new! Spike was a brilliant instructor. Really helpful, friendly and extremely knowledgeable (I learnt some really interesting facts from him!)
Couldn’t fault the day at all. 10/10 would recommend!

In-person course
Colin Newman - - #34017

Fantastic day led with skill and very supportive manner. Great mix of teaching, great practical learning and a careful yet relaxed approach to learning. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

In-person course
Pete Halloran - - #32871

After doing the knife making day with Spike I can only highly recommend it! Spike was an awesome instructor, showing us what to do and offering advice as and when asked. He was also a fantastic source of knowledge over all areas of smithing as well as a teller of bad jokes :-)

This was such a good experience taking a plain piece of steel and coming out with a fully useable knife at the end of the day. I'll definitely be looking to go back again to do the two day course to get experience of handle making.

In-person course
Chris Organ - - #30088

Great day. Never done forge metalworking before but Spike explained and demonstrated every process clearly and then supported me through making my own knife, which I now have to keep.

In-person course
Nathan Payne - - #27336

I spent two days at the Bearded Pig Forge with Spike as a course bought for me as a gift. It was one of the single most fun and interesting experiences I’ve had.
Spike is incredibly patient and very easy to work with, offering help and guidance whenever you need or want it. Clearly a very good teacher! He is also very knowledgable and clearly passionate about his craft which adds even more to the experience.
It is hard work but you definitely get as much out of it as you put in. I would recommend a course with Spike to anyone and everyone. Will definitely be looking at going back and working on another project.

In-person course
John - - #26074

I received this present as a gift after geeking out on forged in fire and I wanted to try and see how hard it was. The answer is that it was harder and easier!
It takes a lot longer than you think to work the metal and it's quite technical in places. What I found though was that Spike was infinitely patient, allowing you to work after he demonstrated the techniques and then making suggestions to improve your own technique. I felt like the work I produced was mine even though Spike gave me as much or as little guidance as I needed.
He is a good teacher and it is obviously something he is passionate and skilled at. He was keen to pass on these skills.
I highly recommended this course to anyone.

In-person course
Kellie Farley - - #25692

As fans of the TV series ‘Forged in Fire’ I thought this would make the perfect Christmas gift for my boyfriend and let’s just say it didn’t disappoint. Spike is extremely knowledgable in his field and clearly very passionate about what he does. He also makes a mean BLT!

My boyfriend and I are complete novices, but with Spike’s teaching were able to make some great knives. What a fantastic day and a unique experience. Thanks so much Spike.

In-person course
Lee Scott - - #25422

Spent a fantastic day at the bearded pig forge with Spike. Decided to male a knife which went way better than i expected. Spike is a great teacher and extremely informative. If you looking for something a little different as a present or a day or so learning this amazing craft i couldnt recommend Spike highly enough.

In-person course
Chris Weekes - - #25416

Had a great day with Spike. Made a bracket for a hanging basket in the garden. Learnt lots about blacksmithing, both practical and theory. Great guy to learn from as he has a very wide knowledge and is happy to answer all your questions. Also a wood turner which I didn't know in advance and pleased me no end. If you are interested in something new and quite different I would recommend this course. As someone else said, he makes a lovely BLT sandwich!

In-person course
jamie newin - - #23425

Amazing day with Spike, the course was everything I hoped it would be and more! Spike's an excellent teacher that allows you get on while keeping an expert eye on you. I can't rate this experience highly enough.

In-person course
Colin Anderson - - #23343

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In-person course
One Day Knife Making Course - - #21698

Absolutely loved my knife making course - Spike is so knowledgeable and passionate about blacksmithing and both myself and my husband who came along as a guest learnt so much. It's a great laid back atmosphere and don't worry if you've never made anything out of metal before, Spike is on hand to give you tips and direct you on how to turn a lump of metal into something more interesting! We will be returning to do some of the longer courses soon. Thanks Spike for a great day!

In-person course
Elliot Manarin - - #21668

I attended the 1-day knife making course as a guest, I bought the experience for my wife for Christmas. As usual, I left things right to the last minute but Spike made sure I received my wife's gift voucher in time.

From the moment we got to the forge Spike made us feel completely at home, his relaxed manner coupled with both his extensive historical and scientific knowledge made the day one of the best experiences I've been to, and I was just spectating!

Furthermore, there will be only one request for my birthday present, a day at Spike's forge!

p.s. he makes an awesome BLT sandwich!

In-person course
Phin Hall - - #21385

If asked to sum up this course in a single word, I'd have to say:

I've been on a lot of craft courses over the years, from making Tudor Christmas Decorations to building a Cob Oven, and my day at the Bearded Pig Forge was easily the best to date.
Bearing in mind I'm a complete novice working with orange-hot metal, heavy hammers, super-sharp blades and a crazy-fast belt sander, Spike (the blacksmith) was immensely calm and patient, only stepping in when I was in danger of losing an eye, ;-) setting fire to myself and the forge or, worse of all, messing up my knife! He explained and demonstrated everything clearly and concisely and answered all of my questions in much the same way.
Added to that is the fact it was a lovely, sunny day in glorious surroundings and that Spike is great company, it was - in a word - brilliant.
Next stop: axe-making!

In-person course
Dale - - #20751

I had a one day course and feel very proud of the knife that I made with Spike’s expert tuition. A very enjoyable day which I hope to repeat and would highly recommend. Spike is very knowledgeable and passionate about his craft and very good at sharing this his student in a way that I could understand and apply.

In-person course
Bob Phillips - - #20719

I had a day course with Spike and decided to bring my own design.
This was a pruning knife with a curved blade.
With Spikes guidance this was completed with time to spare.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day, with Spikes easy way and excellent teaching.
Highly recommended

In-person course
caro hamilton - - #20035

Great one day knife making course at the Bearded Pig Forge. Spike is a patient and knowledgeable tutor. I'd really recommend this as a course for yourself or a gift. Thanks!

In-person course
Stephen Lasslett - - #19951

What a great day ,directions are clear and easy to follow.Spike made me feel very welcome at his forge and is very easy to talk to.
After a coffee followed by a saftey talk, then started with the knife making,spike is a very good teacher of his craft,and shares his knowledge and skills
with you, he shows you each process and talks you through each stage and explains why it is done that way .
I started the day unsure if i could achieve what i wanted ,before i knew it the day was over and i am now the proud owner of a great little knife made by myself,all thanks to Spike. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in knife making, hopefully i will be taking another course with him later in the year .

In-person course
Leigh musson - - #19651

Was excited about doing something different and it didnt disappoint. Day was excellent and Spike was brilliant, even coping me being left handed. Spike is obviously passionate about his craft and loves to pass his knowledge on. Would recommend this day and looking to book the knife day

In-person course
David Purnell - - #19467

A really enjoyable and rewarding day with Spike, he was welcoming, informative and great fun. Something i’d been looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. Looking forward to the next course already.

In-person course
Charlie Clay - - #19036

Absolutely loved every minute of the day! Spike was very welcoming, professional and an excellent teacher. Catered for everything throughout the day offered very good teaching tips and cues and allowed me to forge a Viking seax from scratch. Will definitely book to do another days experience loved it that much.

In-person course
Mike Richardson - - #18980

An all round fantastic day with spike who is knowlegable and an excellent teacher of this amazing craft.I will be booking another course in the future and would highly recommend that anyone wanting to give this a try look no further than the beardedpig forge

In-person course
Dan Plane - - #18882

This course was awesome! Spike was great, helpful, encouraging, knew loads about the craft, the history, and the science of what we were doing. I was so happy with the knife I made, it's so pleasing to hold and feel and know that I made it from a bar of steel. I cannot recommend this course enough on every front! Thanks Spike!

In-person course
chris king - - #18603

I had two days with spike making a knife amd i have to say he is an excellent guy wiyh a vast knowledge of the trade. Explained each step along the way and to why it was done that way.
A very friendly approachable guy making the course very enjoyable.

Would highly recommend spikes courses to anyone thay wants to try blacksmithing anf i will be definitely taking more of his courses.

Keep up the good work and look forward to seeing you again on the nwxt course i take.

In-person course
Sam - - #18371

Form Start to finish , I can say feel very humbled, an amazing talented Kind man with a wonderful mind , full of interesting and inspiring knowledge.
This was a great Course to do, and put any worry’s at bay, explaining each stage and why. Was an absolute pleasure working with you today , I would recommend to anyone to give this course a go . Great teacher. As well as Supertalented . Thank you Spike I look forward to the next course adventures , keep going with all what you do.

In-person course
William Roach - - #18233

Had a great time and learnt so much about the trade, would recommend spike to anyone who is looking for a great day blacksmithing.

In-person course
Thomas Miles - - #18066

Fantastic course, brillaint teacher with Spike who is very patient and approachable specially if you haven't done this before, yet doesn't dumb anything down, so you walk away with an all round learning experience. Very pleased with the course.

In-person course
Nicole - - #17992

I really enjoyed my knife making day. Spike is very patient and encouraging, a natural teacher. He is also really fun to chat with and has a lot of great knowledge that he is very willing to share which is so valuable. It is obvious that he really loves doing this and wants everyone who visits to love doing it too. The best thing about the course is that it is all your own work, if it goes a bit awry spike just tells you how to fix it, so you can be really proud of your work at the end. Great sandwich too! Would love to go back soon. Thank you very much!

In-person course
Jannis Stracke - - #17378

Spike is an excellent teacher who also knows lots of little Storys and bits of Information around blacksmithing to fill the waiting time while the steel is heating up. I had a lot of fun and actually already went back for another day.
Highly recommended!

In-person course
James - - #16953

Highly recommend. Spike great teacher loads of knowledge and untold amounts of patience if like me never done anything close to blacksmithing. Any way stop reading my review book your course and find out for your self.\m/

In-person course
Nigel East - - #16751

Completed a one day blade course. Spike is engaging and clearly enthusiastic about his work. He spent time in discussing all aspects of the work we were doing, from safety aspects, management of the forge and in working the metal itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and can’t recommend it highly recommend enough!
Looking forward to going again!👍

In-person course
Danny King-Smith - - #16747

What a great day!
Spike is very knowledgeable and passionate about blacksmithing and it shows in how he talks about what you're doing and why you're doing it. A great learning experience, I highly recommend and am planning on doing more of his courses in the future.

In-person course
Vicky Lockwood - - #16712

Just completed 2 days knife making course with Spike. What an absolutely awesome experience. Spike guides at every step of the process, explaining and demonstrating techniques on scrap metal so that your piece is entirely your own work. Spikes teaching style is calm collected and encouraging. He is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of his craft as well as the techniques and skills involved. I felt reassured and gained confidence quickly . And produced a gorgeous Damascus (pre-made pattern welded steel) Kriss Athame dagger. I thought perhaps i was asking too much when i first enquired about making one, however, Spikes tuition meant i was able to achieve everything i wanted in the knife in good time. I highly recommend his course and teaching and i fully expect to be booking again in the future.

In-person course
Alice Milner-Watt - - #16347

My husband and I did a one day course on Saturday to make a knife each. Spike was fantastic - clearly passionate and a fantastic teacher! We left very happy and very tired. Would definitely recommend for anyone interested in forging.

In-person course
George Hirst - - #15920

Just completed my second course with Spike. First time made a quiver stand, today have come home with a very splendid knife. I have learnt so much in these three days and wholeheartedly recommend these courses to anyone with an interest in the craft of the blacksmith. Spike has a real passion for his craft and is skilled at sharing his knowledge. Very educational, very enjoyable.

In-person course
Luke Cross - - #15552

This is a brilliant experience that i would highly recommend to anyone interested in blacksmithing, Spike is a brilliant tutor that explains every step clearly both verbally and practically.
He is a genuinely nice bloke who is knowledgeable in his craft.
I am definitely going to be booking another course with him.

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