Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
About the Course
1 to 1 Session. Experience a day in a working forge right in the centre of Bristol City. No previous experience is necessary. Learn a variety of blacksmithing techniques in a relaxed environment and create a range of items made by you to take home. Taught by Joanna Williams, Artist Blacksmith of Fire Iron Art.
We start the day with an introduction to health and safety and an induction into the forge.
You will learn some fundamental forging techniques to start you off. These exercises will get you used to working with the fire and controlling your heats. I will watch you work and give you advice on your stance and hammering techniques which will enable you to continue the day with a good method of working. You will then move onto other forging techniques which will produce different items.
After lunch, we discuss how you are feeling and I assess your ability so we can move onto pieces/exercises that are best suited to you.
My Blacksmith Experience Days are adapted to you, the individual participant. I want you to have the best experience possible in my forge and to achieve creating and completing pieces you are happy with and proud to say 'I made this!'
Currently sessions are running as one to one, so you have my undivided attention!
When: Please contact me for more information on bookings.
Terms & Conditions:
Prior to booking please contact me for a copy of my terms and conditions and cancellation policy.
My forge is located on Bristol harbour in a historic boat yard where other traditional crafts are practised. There is also a visitor’s centre and local cafe. Being in the centre of Bristol means access is quite easy, you can get here by car, bus, foot, bicycle or boat!
If you want to make more of a day out tourist attractions such as the SS Great Britain and Clifton Suspension Bridge are just a short walk.
A bit about your tutor... Joanna Williams A.W.C.B
I began my journey into metalwork and blacksmithing whilst studying my degree at the Dartington College of Arts. After working in a variety creative roles, I chose to specialise by training at the National School of Blacksmithing in Herefordshire. I set up Fire Iron Art and have been forging ever since. My skills, experience and knowledge have been recognised by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths who awarded me with a Journeyman's Certificate and a Diploma of Merit (AWCB).
My professional work uses traditional forging skills and modern methods combined with my artistic background to produce a wide range of items. I make bespoke pieces and take on a variety of commissions that keep me busy and my work varied. I sell items direct from my forge, exhibit at shows and open my workshop and demonstrate for various events during the year.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
When you make a booking, I will send you some information on health and safety and what to wear on your day. I will provide you with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E) however you are welcome to bring your own. I am unable to supply footwear.
Tea and coffee are always on offer and maybe even a biscuit or two!
All the items you make, you take home with you.
Sessions run 10.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday (Saturday's are by arrangement only and subject to an additional £15 fee).
Joanna was brilliant. Really good.
She covered all the bases, admin, H&S, equipment, tools, techniques, really clearly. She knows her environment and the capabilities of all materials so well after many years of experience, which is the invaluable element a good teacher brings to a new student. And this is a student that she has no idea of what they are able to do!
She demonstrated, in stages, a basic learners piece which became my hands on introduction. She was fully attentive and guided my abilities without undermining my shortcomings in anyway, she was patient when I hadn't quite 'got it' without ever making me feel uncomfortable.
She was also great in guiding and nudging me on personal pieces that I might want to try or trying other techniques not used on the learners piece given the limitations of time and skills. A one day workshop will not equate to a three year degree, a 7 years apprenticeship or a life long career, so that at the end of the workshop day I left with 5 trophy pieces I was thrilled with and also had a deep respect for the craft was a proper result in the hands of a wonderful teacher. Thankyou Jo!
G Evans - - #27717
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:Hi Gyl, Thank you for the review and kind words. So glad you enjoyed the day and were happy with the pieces you made. It was a pleasure teaching you. Joanna
It was a really enjoyable day and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to have a go in the forge. Joanna is a good teacher and teaches you techniques and even a novice like me was able to make some items I’m happy to show off.
John Woods - - #27542
This was a wonderful birthday for my big 3-0 from my partner! I've never done any metal work before so wasn't entirely sure what to expect but it was such a brilliant day! Joanna was brilliant at explaining the steps, doing practical demos and then giving helpful guidance when it was my go to get stuck in. I was really proud of the hooks & handles I made and I cannot wait to put up around the house as a nice reminder of my day! Joanna is super talented as both a blacksmith and a teacher (a rare, but excellent combination of skills!) I cannot recommend this course enough!
Laura Riddell - - #27515
Had an amazing day crafting iron with Joanna. Really informative as well as creative. Haven't made anything since leaving school over 20 years ago and loved every second of it. Really wanting to do more.
Thanks Joanna for being so patient and making me feel relaxed and welcome into your workshop.
Best of luck with everything in the future.
William Dracott - - #27485
Blacksmithing had been on my list of things to try for some time, but I'm pleased that I found Joanna to learn with. She had endless patience even when it took me a few attempts to 'get it'. You learn all the basic skills and then have an opportunity to create pieces that both appeal to you and play to your strengths. I feel that one to one tutoring is best for this craft, so what Joanna offers is the perfect package.
Gill Godden - - #27367
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:HI Gill, Thank you for the kind review. It was a great day and you picked up forging really well which showed in the good quality and beautiful pieces you created! Really glad you enjoyed the day and it was a pleasure to teach you.
Even being a time served industrial blacksmith, although last worked as such over thirty five years ago, Joanna was able to teach me 'new tricks' and skills. She structured the day to suit my requirements which made it extremely enjoyable and productive. I am due to retire next year and wanted to refresh my skills and do some smithying as hobby to fill some of my free time. She has given me the confidence to do this again.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience day, as Joanna is an excellent teacher and you will come away with a sense of pride and something to show for your efforts.
Thanks again Joanna
Mike Reynolds - - #25564
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:Thank you Mike. It was a great day in the forge with you and really glad you enjoyed it. You had certainly not lost any of your forging skills from the past and I am glad i was able to show you some new techniques and things to make - including useful tools i have in my tool boxes! I think you will be busy in your retirement!!! Have fun and stay in touch.
Joanna is a very good teacher, I really enjoyed my day 1 to 1 course in a lovely setting. Joanna guided and instructed me to make several useful items. Joanna is very knowledgeable in her field and has done some lovely pieces of art. I would highly recommend this course.
Julie Kilkelly - - #25322
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:Thank you Julie, I am glad you had a good day. You made some nice pieces and hope the poppy stem you forged works well!
Absolutely brilliant day, have worked with steel most of my life, but not done any serious smithing, Joanna is a great teacher, and I learnt a lot whilst there. Pick up your hammer and beat some steel, you'll go home with something unique to you, made with your own hands, carefully guided of course, and a smile on your face when you show off your creation.
Andrew Wheeler - - #23844
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:Thank you for your review! It was great fun teaching you and you picked things up well and the pieces you made were very well forged and good quality. So glad you enjoyed the day.
I had an amazing time on a Blacksmith Experience Day at Underfall Yard with Joanna - she’s a fantastic teacher with a good balance of direction and freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, and I left with a surprising number of useful creations! Great birthday present :)
Steve - - #21547
Received this course as a gift after endless hints that I would love to give Blacksmithing a go, and I was thrilled with the experience I received, Joanna is an excellent tutor who takes the time to make sure you really understand the techniques required to make each piece, and gave support and encouragement when needed, I left feeling very happy with everything I made, and with a desire to learn more! For anyone who is looking to get an idea of what Blacksmithing is like, I highly recommend this course!
Andrew Stoodley - - #20568
Had a great day at the "Fire Iron Art" forge last week. Joanna was a great tutor encouraging and guiding me in making various objects. It was great fun learning the techniques … … something I’ve fancied doing for some time. Thanks Joanna.
Alan P - - #20413
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:Hi Alan, Thank you for the review. I had a fantastic day teaching you. Really glad you enjoyed it. Joanna
What a great day - Jo and her workshop are truly inspiring. I learnt loads.
Excellent tuition, safety, encouragement and expertise.
I highly recommend this fabulous course. Do it!
Jess Hughes - - #19472
Response from Fire Iron Art Blacksmithing:It was a pleasure to teach you Jess!
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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