About the Course
A blacksmithing experience day at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet in Sheffield.
I have been running this course for a year or so now, and it is designed as an introduction to the wonderful craft of blacksmithing for those with no prior experience. It takes place in my 200 year old forge at the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Museum in Sheffield.
You will learn fire and hammer control, as well as a number of traditional blacksmithing techniques such as drawing out, bending, twisting, punching and hot cutting. You will be guaranteed to take home at least one finished article (typically a hook, poker, toasting fork etc.), made by you, in a traditional blacksmith's forge.
Your tutor will be the resident blacksmith, David Southgate, who has studied the craft at Cold Hanworth forge in Lincolnshire, and received a Diploma from the National School of blacksmithing in Hereford.
The course is open to all aged 16+ who can swing a hammer... I can cater for one or two people, please get in touch with any specific requirements.
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?
Steel, coke for the forge, use of all tools, aprons, gloves and safety glasses is included in the price.
I also provide tea or coffee and biscuits (including jaffa cakes if you are lucky!). I don't provide lunch, but the museum has a cafe on site which does toasties, sandwiches, cake coffee etc. Or you can bring a packed lunch.
You will need to wear sturdy shoes or boots and natural fibre clothing (not nylon) with long trousers (jeans are fine). A hat and several layers is a good idea too. Forges are not as hot as people expect, especially in winter!
David is an excellent teacher and provides a great experience. He is very patient and will help you get the most out of the day. You'll learn various techniques and approaches. Can't recommend highly enough.
Andrew Taylor - - #26697
Thank you David, for a very enjoyable experience in smithing. I thought I might enjoy it, but my wife called my bluff and booked the day as a birthday present.
I really, really enjoyed it.
A large part of that is due to David’s very low key style.
It’s a bit daunting grabbing hold of a metal bar glowing red or orange hot at the other end, and then taking a hammer to it. After the first time it quickly becomes normal and the challenging part is just to absorb new skills. David makes that happen, and before you know it you’ve made your first piece. A great instructor.
On the drive back to Manchester I was already wanting to do it again / do more.
Peter Ferguson - - #25453
We thoroughly enjoyed our day with David. Excellent 1-1 teaching, simple to follow instructions and a great experience. We are so pleased with the Hooks and Froe that we brought home!
Tim Garwood - - #24536
Thoroughly enjoyed my day. David is an excellent tutor - he has the impressive ability to make genuine positive comments when you do something well, plus he's very patient and explains everything so you learn why as well as how. At first I was nervous and so couldn't hit anything with a hammer, but he was understanding and in the end I came away with a bottle opener and a hook (very proud of them). I would recommend this course to anyone wanting a good taster in blacksmithing (though remember to take plenty of clothing, it is not warm in there!)
Eleanor Rogerson - - #23476
Absolutely fantastic experience - very informative and well taught. It was very hard work but great fun, and I now have a new appreciation for all the effort that goes into blacksmithing! Came away with great little mementos. Will be recommending to friends!!
Natalie - - #21744
A must for anyone wanting to experienced forge craft. David guided us through all the techniques with ease and expertise. A brilliant tutor and had plenty of friendly banter. A thoroughly brilliant day and we had something to show for our efforts at the end of the day.
Well worth the experience. 10 out of 10.
Paul stray - - #21713
Booked this for my partner and Dad to spend a day with David. They haven't stopped talking about it since!
David was so patient and his expertise and banter were brilliant. They really appreciated the fact that what they made, David also made, thus learning in the process, rather than trying to achieve something without guidance. They were so impressed by their day and I appreciated the fact that David spent the time and effort to ensure they made items that they actually wanted to take home with them (my Dad made arrowheads) and giving them a choice.
Book immediately, it sounds like such a fun and exciting day. I will probably book in for myself after all the positive things I've heard about their day! Thank you David :)
Sheree - - #21676
David made The Blacksmith Experience a thoroughly enjoyable day. He started by covering Health and Safetl in what is a hazardous environment. His instructions throughout the day were always clear and precise and I never felt under pressure. The fact that I came out of the day with two lovely pieces of ironwork ( much admired! ) owes much to David’s teaching and technical skill. Thank you , David, for a great day.
Gerry Stuart - - #21118
Fantastic introduction in the perfect setting!
I took the half day introduction class. It was a gift from my wife, and I couldn't have asked for a better one.
This course is great if you're new to blacksmithing, or interested in it and it's history.
David is very knowledgeable, and a great tutor throughout. He's friendly and works through everything methodically and quickly, but in a great can manner.
He shows you they what may look like a simple J-hook (which is what I made) requires a number of blacksmithing skills.
The setting of the 200+ year old forge just adds to what is great day.
My only disappointment was when it finished. I could have stayed the rest of the day.
I'll definitely be booking another course with David. This time a full day.
Gerard Hunter - - #21025
What an amazing day ! Learnt so much and created 2 wonderful pieces to take home .
David was a great teacher could not recommend this course more highly.
Francina Whelan - - #20889
Great introduction 1 day course to the craft of Blacksmithing at Forge Four, in Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Museum. David is friendly, very knowledgeable and an engaging host! His Forge is amazing and unique. What a privilege to be able to work in such a wonderful historic museum. We got to use lots of tools to experiment with different ways of forging steel. I made a hook, to play around with different techniques in the morning. Then a plant stake with a twisted leaf eye, in the afternoon. A great memento in my garden from a fantastic and inspiring day! Would definitely recommend this unique and interesting craft experience to all. Thanks to David and the museum!
Victoria Cox - - #20785
Had a great day at Abbeydale Hamlet learning the basics of Blacksmithing with Dave! We were able to learn techinques in the morning that allowed us to make what we wanted in the afternoon. David was really friendly and helpful - had a brilliant day! Would definitely recommend to everyone.
James - - #18426
We had a really good day with David in AbbeyDale Hamlet, amazing setting for a great course! Able to make 2 projects during the day and learn lots of different techniques. Would recommend to anyone looking for a fun and different activity with friends/family. We loved it. Thanks David!
Becky - - #18423
Myself and a friend attended the course with David and thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was great that he taught us the skills whilst actually making our first piece rather than practicing on bits of scrap first. We both came away buzzing about it and made a J hook plus a unique bottle opener that was immediately put to use as soon as we got home! Would recommend 100%.
Spencer Pullin - - #17989
Was looking for a birthday treat for my friend, who I don't see as often as I should, and suggested a day blacksmithing might be something a bit different. We had a fantastic day, got totally immersed in the activity, and came away with some great memories and a fabulous momento made by our own hands (with a little bit of 'fixing' from David!) The historic setting of the museum was really special, and it was great fun to chat with some of the visitors during the day. David really knows his stuff, and has put a lot of thought into the techniques he tries to teach over the course of the day to give you a really good first taste of blacksmithing. He was very kind and patient with us, and we had some good laughs too.
Emma Crarer - - #16989
Everything about the blacksmith experience exceeded my expectations, I spent 2 excellent ( and busy ! ) days with David I came away thrilled at having been able to have followed his professional and inspiring tuition to have been able to produce a much admired and treasured piece of forged metal work. David is passionate at his craft and relates it to his "apprentice" in step by step stages building confidence and competence, thank goodness that the skills of the forge from times past are being carried by people like him to the future, its in good hands . The location at the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet could not be more sympathetic as you are immediately immersed within the enclave of what once was a thriving hub of the hand crafted metal products industry of days gone by , but the buildings and contents remain to allow to take a little trip back in time and inspire for what lies ahead on the experience day with David within the whitewashed walls of his 200 year old forge. Loved it .
Philip Murphy - - #15642
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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