Blacksmith Taster Course Lancashire
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About the Course
Valley Blacksmith Courses was set up 2 1/2 yrs ago by Daren Lamberton and Robin Sharples and has successfully delivered high quality,fun tuition of this ancient craft.
Daren is a fully qualified industrial & decorative blacksmith with over 20yrs experience. robin started an apprenticeship on leaving school and has become a passionate collector and trader of blacksmith equipment.
the premises has now been upgraded with a larger work space and more equipment to cater for group bookings of familys and business teams.
Please call Daren for bookings
couples forge day experience
family group day
business team days
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 courses include materials, safety glasses, protective apron
Please wear old clothes and stout boots, please do not wear fleeces as these will melt in contact with sparks.
We recommend wool or cotton garments for your comfort and safety.
Tea and coffee, herbal teas and water throughout the day
lunch provided from our local bakery.
please enquire about other dietary provisions:
vegan, vedgy, gluten free.
My 14 year old son and myself just spent a fun filled day learning the art of blacksmithing with Darren.
As we are looking to set up our own hobby forge, it was great to learn so many techniques that go into this great craft. We were soon moving hot metal from forming clean tapers through to making square corners, My son came away very happy and excited, clutching a small decorative knife (made from mild steel not able to be hardened) and myself a number of pieces showing the different techniques I learnt and a fire rake.
Darren was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, lunch was good from the local bakery, tea, coffee, water and biscuits where available all day.
I would recommend this course to anyone that wants to learn how to blacksmith or those who would like to spend the day experiencing how this magical art works. A great day !!
Andy - - #16575
Just spent a fantastic day with Robin and Darren, ideal for people wanting a taster in blacksmithing. Leant some useful techniques and insight into working with metal. Darren and Robin are great teachers and between them have a wealth of knowledge which they readily share. Their enthusiasm is infectious. We made 2 very useful axes, one with an adze head on the reverse which was great fun to forge along with a very beautiful toasting fork. I would whole heartedly recommend anyone who has an interest in trying out blackmithing to attend.
Paul Ryan - - #11050
A very enjoyable day, with plenty of helpful advice and coaching, along with answers to all my questions. Left with a poker and a bottle opener, both forged into shape through the day. Rob and Daren were good company to boot. Highly recommended.
Kirk Mayer - - #10227
A great day this was. Enjoyable, inspirational, educational and good humoured. Robin and Daren were very helpful towards my making of a useful and decorative letter opener and a knife. I learned a great deal, about tools used and practical details, whilst they helped out where necessary. Lunch was ably provided by Susan, and was very nutritious. Many thanks for the experience.
John - - #10217
Had the absolute pleasure of spending the day with Darren and Robin today, the guys are absolutely fantastic. Their knowledge and patience were beyond were fantastic, helping me work a railroad spike into a knife and a bar into a beautiful fire poker. Unbelievably outstanding day, it has really helped assure my desire to persue this as a career.
karl bower - - #10192
Really enjoyed my day with Robin, Darren and Sue. I was expecting just to find out a little about blacksmithing but instead came away with loads of knowledge and some nice souvenirs. I now feel confident in having a go at home by myself.
Great teaching, enthusiasm and really friendly. Thanks for a great day.
Dave Colton - - #9966
Had a brilliant day with Robin and Darren. Both very knowledgable and easy to get on with. The day flew by and I came home with a mezzaluna and a bottle opener, really pleased with both. Food was excellent and he makes a cracking cup of tea. Would recommend this to anyone that has an interest in metalworking.
Peter Thompson - - #9864
We had a fantastic time with Rob and his wife Sue who did her fantastic cooking. Rob was very easy and friendly to get on with and so was Sue. Rob taught me (John) a lot of something I have been extremely interested in for a long time and would definitely do again in the hopefully not too distant future. I took along some items which needed Rob's advice about, but he instantly was keen to help and wanted to construct a stand for a large finial I had, which I had great fun doing. The next time will be stands for cast iron tractor seats I have. Yes we had a tour of his anvil collection and they are a sight to behold.
Angie and John - - #9035
My wife and I had a wonderful experience with Robin and Darren. When we consulted them about forging wedding rings they invited us around for a detailed consultation about what the possibilities and limitations of making rings in this way were, showing concern for the sort of thing we might run into if we met with less scrupulous smithies.
Following this, Robin kept us up to date with test rings he was forging, very diligent, then on the day we had loads of fun learning the ropes and making various hooks, having a hearty cooked lunch and hearing tales of the trade. And we got two beautiful steel rings that were the talk of our wedding. Thanks guys!
Ian Denno - - #8742
I was bought the blacksmith taster course for my birthday as i had always wanted to try it. Robin and Darren were brilliant teachers and have a vast amount of knowledge and expertise between them. They were professional and friendly from the minute i arrived,robins wife even made us a homemade lunch which was lovely!
From that day ive been in contact with robin and hes sold me an anvil and some tools etc for my own set up. I really do recommend these guys if you want to try blacksmithing or even just to learn something new.
Phil cooper - - #8697
Sent on the course for our birthdays, excellent day, Robin, Susan and Darren went above and beyond. Excellent lunch, would highly recommend. It's inspired us to build a forge.
Amelia and Tony James - - #8695
I have always fancied having a go at blacksmithing as a hands on mechanical engineer but never did anything about it. My daughter as a surprise booked for me and daughter with cowpe smithy. Rob and Darren were great, showed us a number of techniques and explained the basics. Being technically minded and interested in details rob and Darren were able to answer our questions. The course gave a good intro and the coke rake i made is now used on my own forge. Rob helped me with that. The course also included being looked after foodwise by robs wife ; who made us a fabulous dinner and supplied teas and coffee on the Cold rainy day. Following my daughter and I bought a forge and now practice the art of metal forging. Rob and Darren post course have helped with tips and sharing expertise. If you are interested in blacksmithing pick cowpe smithy....really glad we did. You will not be disappointed....Rob knows about history of the art too.for me this was a bonus...I could have spent a week with Rob finding out more. In a nutshell...brilliant!!!
Barry lyon - - #8694
It was a pleasure to learn the basics of blacksmithing with Robin and Darren - two highly skilled artisans who explained everything in such an easy to understand, common sense manner. This made the skills seem much more accessible, and I managed to produce a wonderful fire set for my newly installed wood burner, much to my surprise! A fantastic day full of learning and laughter.
Amanda Mills - - #8683
I booked a taster day course as a treat for my birthday. And what a treat it was. I absolutely loved it. Robin and Daren are both great guys with lots of passion for their trade and lots of patience for their students. They taught me lots of techniques so I will totally appreciate the hard work that has gone into any hand forged item. The setting is wonderful. The atmosphere great. And I have to mention Robins lovely wife, a great cook and a woman with a beautiful heart. My only wish is that I could go every week. I came away with two items I will treasure for ever.
Donna Kelty - - #8682
My son was taken under the wing of Daren a true master of the craft for part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award . My son thoroughly enjoyed the time he spent with Daren, he always came away absolute enthralled with what he had been taught and what he achieved under the fantastic guidance of Daren who's passion always rubbed off on my lad .. Go ahead, give it a go, you won't be disappointed . First class.
Janet Cheung - - #8673
Jules and I had a fabulous day with Robin, Darren and Susan. Robin & Darren are masters of their craft and Susan is a master at looking after people. Watching our idea taking shape from a single rod of steel was amazing. Getting the opportunity to be hands on and fashion the hot metal ourselves was fantastic. Thanks guys, we will be back!
Paul McGowran - - #7994
The whole day was so much better than we expected. We were the only two on the course and the day started with a cup of tea and a chat about we wanted to make. Our ideas soon developed into a project for a beer bottle/wine bottle or glass holder on a spike for the garden, plus a poker for our log burner. Daren came up with an ingenious design for the beer glass holder and Robin measured all types and sizes of glasses and bottles to a make it the correct size. We learnt about how the hot metal had to be worked to make lovely twists and twirls. Anyone could do this, don't be afraid to give it a try. We can't wait to go back again for another superb day with the wonderful guys at Cowpe and Robin's lovely wife Sue who looked after us so well.
Beverley and Mark Warwick - - #7993
What an amazing day!
i bought this experience day for my partners birthday and could not have been more pleased with the day. I attended as a spectator and i am glad i did, set in beautiful surroundings with the most extraordinary views we were impressed before we'd even started. you start with a cup of tea and a chat to discuss the pieces you'd like to make, then it's onto the projects!
half way through the day you're provided with lunch, the most delicious Tuscan stew i've ever tasted (vegetarian)! All the techniques were fully explained and demonstrated throughout which really gave you an understanding of the craft and how it works before you attempt the next step of your project.
my partner produced 2 beautiful bottle openers in this time on the course whilst i took photographs of the most impressive anvil collection, kept warm in the kitchen next to the fire or popping in to see what was happening!
Also you get to spend the day with 3 of the most friendliest and welcoming people i've ever had the pleasure to meet.
could not recommend this more!
Rebecca Kennedy - - #7548
I highly recommend this course. It was a great day and I learned a lot.
First, when I contacted them, they were very flexible as to time. I was their only student on a Monday, which created a great learning experience (2 teachers & 1 student). After arrival, they asked me what I would like to do, which is great because you can make something that you can actually use and like (of course, it should be feasible). [So I recommend, look online for something "small" and "simple"]
Robin and Daren are skilled, knowledgeable, friendly, and great tutors. I've never done blacksmithing before, so we started with a simple object to learn basic procedures. Soon after, we started my project (in my case a herb cutter/Mezzaluna). Robin and Daren also looked for good materials that make the item long lasting. So, that you get the best possible :). In the evening, we finished (sharpened, coated) it and then took it home with me.
It is also nice that lunch and a snack are provided. The food (vegetarian) was delicious and it was a very nice and welcoming environment. Robin gave me also a small tour around his anvil collection, which was quite impressive.
One last remark: It is quite remote. If you have a car, that is a bonus. But, I'm sure that you could reach it without one.
Stefan Trenkwalder - - #7339
Me and my brothers had an amazing day.
Blacksmiths are magical. They basically created items for our progress through history using a mixture of science and art. Robin and Daren were so skilled, knowledgeable and friendly. Having never done anything like this to walk away with a completed project was inspiring. (Now want to set up my own forge!)
Would highly recommend.
Tom - - #6689
What a brilliant way to spend a rainy Saturday, in a smithy that recently won an award on Shed Of The Year. Robin and Daren are great company - fantastic tutors, extremely knowledgable and very patient with a lady not used to wielding a hammer!
Me and the other student on the course had a reet laugh, whilst learning some interesting techniques with round- and square-section bars: how to draw out a tapered point and curl it into a beautiful scroll, how to make 'barleysugar' twists, and forge strong corners and decorative points, to create a handsome poker and fire rake which are now gracing my fireplace.
Robin's wife provided homemade scones and jam, and a huge, delicious vegetarian lunch to keep our strength up. If you go on this course, be sure to ask Robin for a tour round his extensive collection of anvils. You'll be wanting your own by the time you leave.
Maxine Dunham - - #5939
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Accessible by public transport
- Child friendly
- Suitable for beginners
- Suitable for events & groups
- Teen friendly
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