About the Course
Forget the idea of blacksmithing being big, sweaty men beating lumps of hot steel with large hammers. Forged steel can be as light and delicate or as substantial as you wish. It is a wonderful media with which to work, it can be bent, twisted, tapered, split, punched etc. Learn these basic techniques then combine them to produce your hand crafted piece, your imagination is your limit.
Courses are suitable for those of an artistic nature (perhaps visit the British Artists Blacksmiths Association web site for inspiration) or anyone just wanting to try their hand at a new craft. Engineers or mechanics might wish to add an extra skill. Catering for complete beginners or those with some experience, you can be assured of an interesting and productive day.
A full day course covering forge fire management, instruction in the basic forging techniques - drawing down, upsetting, hole punching, splitting, riveting etc. Choose one or more items that you might expect to complete in the time available and “away you go”! Bring your own idea and we’ll see if it’s feasible.
Normally one-on-one instruction but two students can be catered for if you wish to bring a friend (discount applies). Course structure and times are variable and can be tailored to your requirements. Evenings and weekends available.
For those wanting more technical instruction i.e. apprentices, college students and those wanting to improve their basic skills please see "Blacksmithing Hammer Skills" page on this site.
NB. No courses are being run during May 2018, however the "Blacksmithing Hammer Skills" course will run as normal. Please contact Bob direct.
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?
All tools, materials, protective wear (safety glasses, apron) and insurance is provided.
Stout footwear and work type clothes required, no nylon etc. – expect sparks!
Free tea and coffee all day. Bring a packed lunch or there is an excellent pub for lunches in the village (1/2 mile)and a Spar shop or a very good chip shop nearby (1/2 mile).
I had a fantastic day with Colin! He is friendly, patient and matter of fact. I was able to observe how to complete each stage of making my poker/ash scraper and hook and at the end of each stage/demo the reins were handed over to me to make it happen. It was great to see and take part in all manner of techniques and tool use. I felt absolutely involved in the process from design to completion. Couldn't be happier and very, very much recommend Colin's courses. Inspiring.
Penny Fouracre - - #21905
My friends and family chipped in to send me and a friend on this course after they noticed that I happened to be watching a lot of Forged in Fire lately and it was well worth the money. Working as a machine fitter who earns a living from a workshop, I had a small degree of confidence that I'd be going home with something that resembled a Viking kitchen knife and a functional bottle opener. This definitely would not have happened without Colin's guidance and wealth of experience and thanks to him the items came out better than I expected for a first timer.
The experience was both enjoyable and educational which leaves you finishing the day with a sense of accomplishment (I had to get some beer on the way home to test the bottle opener). Colin taught us how to properly heat steel, work it using a wide range of different methods, while also explaining what colours to look out for, how to treat the steel and how to rectify any mistakes using the best possible techniques. Although Colin kept us supervised to make sure we weren't about to ruin our work, once you work yourself into a rhythm you also get a liberating sense of independence while working on your project.
Overall, a brilliant day out, taught by a very experienced and down to earth guy. I would love to go back to make something else in the future and would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in trying their hand at blacksmithing.
Scott McKenna - - #21649
I bought my boyfriend and dad a blacksmithing day with Colin and it exceeded all expectation! They both had the best day and came away with two works of art each. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great day out or as a gift idea.
They now both want to learn more so I am sure we will be back!
Thank you :)
Jade Carr - - #19299
Many thanks to Colin for our fun and insightful day. Both my brother and I spent the day under Colin’s master supervision. Colin taylored the course to our interests and ability, teaching us some basic techniques in the morning which we untilised in the afternoon for a mini project. Colin taught in a patient and flexible way making breaking all the steps of the process down.m. The workshop is in a nice setting with a tasty eat in Fish and chip shop 5 minutes down the road.
If you have any interest in this skilled art then Colin is offers a great course and you get to take home some nice own made survenoirs.
Tim & Chris Barlow - - #19284
This is the second time I have been on a coursewith bob .I enjoyed it so much the first time I went away and bought myself a forge and anvil.After a year on my own I am producing some nicework .I have just had a day with bob learning the basics in the art of making horse shoes , there is a lot involved in just making one shoe , but with bobs patience and guidance, by the end of the dayI was getting the just of it .
I can’t recommend this course enough you will thoroughly enjoy it guaranteed .
Martin shep - - #19178
I started the day as a complete beginner but Colin took me through the basics and I managed to complete four items in a busy day at the forge.
Colin has a collection of photographs showing various items that you can make but he is happy to accommodate your own ideas. He demonstrates the techniques as you go along and then makes suggestions about ways of achieving your design ideas.
It was a pleasure to spend a day with a true craftsman. I learned a lot and I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in this traditional craft skill.
Stephen Blockley - - #18830
A really good day. excellent levels of instruction. Colin is very friendly and guided me through the production of two high quality items. A lot more than I had expected to be able to do in one day.
christopher hesketh - - #18828
I bought this as a present for my partner but also joined him on the course. It was absolutely brilliant and we’d definitely go back.
We were able to make what we wanted but Colin was also on hand to make suggestions too and show us examples. He is obviously very experienced and knowledgeable and was happy to share this with us. He answered our many questions and we produced some genuinely lovely pieces that don’t look like they were made by beginners.
I can’t recommend this course enough !
Suzanne - - #18484
I have really enjoyed my day learning a new skill with Colin, have made some really nice practical pieces that I hope will be in my family for a long time, Colin's clear and no pressure teaching style made me feel at ease and we soon had the first piece finished and polished up. I would definitely recommend doing this course as I have had a great overall experience and have made some unique items for my home.
John oldham - - #17995
This was given to me and my brother as a surprise birthday present and it was truly an excellent day. Colin was friendly and fun and helped even novices like my brother and I to create very beautiful items.
It was very enjoyable and I highly reccomend it for anyone else looking to try blacksmithing.
Thomas Barbera - - #17870
If it's on the floor or red it's hot and remember which end you put in the forge.
I spent the day with Colin and learnt so much. Colin is very experienced and explained the hows and indeed the whys of the blacksmithing techniques I learnt. Turned a flat bar into a simple, beautiful leafed and rounded coat hook and two other items. Wholly enjoyable day.
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend Colin / Anvilsring to anybody interested in giving blacksmithing a try!
Jason - - #16937
Wow .... what a great day!
Just got back from a full day, one to one blacksmithing course with Colin. It exceeded my expectations and I would strongly recommend it for anyone who is interested in iron work.
Colin is old school, down to earth and straight talking, a great guy. He’s extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher. I wanted to make a handle for a wood burning stove I’m making and Colin was more than happy to help design it and teach me the skills to craft it myself.
He teaches each stage of the project by building one alongside you and nothing was to much trouble to explain.
This course was a birthday present from my kids and I had a great time .... thanks Colin.
Graeme Whittle - - #16704
Absolutely brilliant day !! Colin is a great instructor, really easy to get on with and very clearly a well established Balcksmith. I attended the day's course with my wife (Jo) - we both had a fully interactive, creative and interesting day. This is an absolutely great event for anyone wanting a hands on practical course with no previous experience needed. I will definately be going again at some point. Thanks Colin for a great day !!
Steve & Jo
Steve & Jo Churlish - - #16396
Thoroughly enjoyed my one day blacksmithing course and left the forge with a fire poker, herb cutter and a keyring. Not bad at all considering Ive never done anything like this before.
Colin is a great tutor and I learnt a lot. More importantly I had fun working with him and wouldnt hesitate to return or recommend to anyone.
Philip Coop - - #16028
A really great and full day. I’ve always been interested in metalwork but have never had the opportunity to have a go at a forge. Colin’s one day course in Blacksmithing is a perfect introduction for a complete novice (with few ‘practical’ skills in general!) to get involved and have a truly immersive and thoroughly productive day in the (finer than expected) arts of metalwork.
Colin offers you the opportunity to make almost anything you can imagine and teaches you the skills necessary to make it happen. I came away with two pieces I’m really proud of whilst my fiancé (who joined me for this great day) made three.
I’m certainly coming back at some point to learn more from a true Master of Blacksmithing.
Thanks Colin for a really great day.
Dale - - #14469
Passing through the Smithy door, leave the world behind you.
Concentrate on Colin’s words, demonstrations and guidance as he takes you from the first strike of the hammer and way beyond until the day is done and your work complete
You’ll be amazed and inspired by the process, by what you’ve achieved and how the hours have flown
Colin’s teaching style can’t be adequately described, he’s just a Wizard with fire & iron
A totally uplifting experience; thank you Colin
Ron Humphrey - - #14422
We both spent a wonderful,productive day yesterday with Colin, on his 1 day Blacksmith course! It was a great taster to this creative skill and Colin was a very patient teacher - as I am not used to working with tools- and taught and helped me make a fire poker, pendant and key ring. Ant
who was much more of 'a natural' made a fantastic toasting fork with Colin's guidance and has made Ant definitely want to make his own furnace to develop his skills. Thank you Colin for a day to remember and souvenirs that are not only useful but will last forever!
Nicki and Ant - - #12923
Just spent a fantastic day with Colin. learned loads of new skills from a really good teacher and craftsman and with the added bonus of taking home some items that I am really proud to have made.
Richard - - #11578
Spent a most enjoyable day with Colin at his well equipped forge.
I always had a fascination with this ancient art, from watching as a child over the half gate of the village Smithy. I never thought I'd get to have a go until my wife bought me a course with Colin.
A real good day working as a dumb beginner next to a master of his craft (though Colin never made me feel that way).
At the end of the day I came away with a solid ring top poker, a leaf themed hanging hook and a weed hook to clean between the paving, and most importantly a great sense of achievement!
Many thanks Colin ......... I would recommend to anyone.
Bob Barber - - #10785
Great day, Colin is an excellent teacher and explains things well. We came away with a couple of items each which will go on show in our home!
Nicky and Gareth - - #10738
Just had a great day with Colin at anvilsring forge. I was a complete beginner with no metal working skills but came away with two beautiful and functional pieces. Colin is a great teacher, patient and encouraging. I would wholeheartedly recommend a day at anvilsring..
Ken - - #10531
Absolutely amazing day, I learnt so many techniques and have a newfound respect for the trade, Colin's a damn nice bloke and a very good teacher.
Josh Campbell - - #10370
Spent the day with Bob learning the art of moving and shaping hot metal. It takes a lot more skill and thought than I ever would have guessed - a million miles from simply getting it hot and hitting it hard! Bob is a great instructor and the one-to-one tuition was fantastic. Get the Heat right, Hold it right, and Hit it right.
This was a birthday gift from my incredible wife and what a brilliant gift it was.
Thank you Bob (and thank you Tracy).
Ken Taylor - - #10149
I went a couple of weeks ago and had a very enjoyable and informative day, the skills I picked up were immediately transferable to my maker business.
Colin is a patient and attentive instructor, I finished the day feeling like I'd just hung out with a friend yet my head was reeling with new information and I was flushed with the success of my achievements.
Very good course for those not afraid to get stuck in.
Matt Berry - - #10137
AWESOME!! I came back to UK to see family and found Anvilsring Ironwork on the internet not far from where I was staying. Colin was really great, sorted out a date at short notice. As a Technology teacher in New Zealand I had techniques I wanted to learn to take back to school to pass on to students. Learnt so much, really awesome course, great value. Thanks Colin
perry books - - #9971
Second Round - Great again!
Visited Colin for another 2-day class of basic blacksmithing a few weeks ago - This time for a specific toolmaking class. I went home finally with a big bundle of new tools based and made on my personal wishes in cooperative work with Colin. Of course including a lot of really helpful advises and tricks for realising my further tool ideas. Thanks Colin!
Flavian - - #9352
Absolutely fantastic day, me (matt) and my mate (matt) thought it was great. Colin is a proper down to earth bloke who tells it like it is and is a real laugh. His tea is so strong it'll knock your socks off and we got so much done in the day it was massive value for money!
We will be returning!
Matt - - #9213
What a brilliant day! Neither of us had any prior experience but Colin is a great instructor. He guided us through each new technique, letting us try everything for ourselves and offering support when needed. We learnt a lot and achieved a lot in a day, bringing home different items we’re proud of. The day was fun and thoroughly enjoyable. We’d highly recommend to anyone wanting to try something new. Thank you Colin.
Victoria and Richard - - #8807
I had the introductory course booked by my wife as a surprise. It was excellent and both myself and a friend thoroughly enjoyed the day.
As two complete novices, we weren't sure what to expect, but after being given some instruction we both eagerly started making pokers for our respective woodburners.
We used several techniques, and were both quite pleased with the result.
In the afternoon I managed to craft a toasting fork, which was more delicate work, but just as satisfying. My friend managed a bottle opener.
Colin demonstrated all techniques and make it look easy, but clearly this comes with years of experience.
Both of us really enjoyed the day, and would recommend it to anyone.
John Evans - - #8727
I went on this course not knowing what to expect.
Will I just make nail.
I had a great time and made a lot more than a nail.
Colin was a very patient and attentive instructor and guided me through various lessons with ease.
I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to experience the right stuff.
Satisfied student. Bill
Will be going again for more.
William Harrod - - #8712
Absolutely amazing. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Bob picard, who was a very good instructor. Complete patience with me, even when I was struggling. I was made to feel comfortable in every aspect of what we did. Also I would like to add, Bob made me look for my own mistakes, this i believe makes everyone get a better grip on what it is they are doing. I would do it all again, and from this experience will one day open my own forge.
Paul Chadwick - - #8338
A fantastic way to spend a Saurday.
My wife booked the day as a Christmas present for me and my son and between the two of us we didn't have an ounce of experience. The guidance and hands on help was perfect for building our confidence and we finished the day with 3 pieces of work each that we are both really pleased with. I'd have no hesitation recommending the day to anyone or going back for another day.
Allan & Nat - - #7839
A really great day.
I'd never done any sort of metal work and I ended up with three items I'm really proud of. Just the right balance of guidance and hands on help so that I felt like it was my work, but the end results was a much higher quality than I could possibly have managed by myself.
Chris - - #7777
Had a fantastic day on this one day course which was my birthday gift from my lovely wife .Colin made me feel really at ease and taught me lots of techniques and I was able to forge and bring away three items under his expert supervision.I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would really recommend this course to anyone interested in blacksmithing .Thank you very much for a great day.
Regards George Mew
George Mew - - #6970
A great birthday gift from the family and a really enjoyable day spent with my brother.
Colin's forge was fired early in the morning and wasn't put out till late afternoon, as he had us busy shaping and forging a variety of ironwork.
The relaxed atmosphere contributed to much learning and Colin was very supportive and encouraging.
Came away feeling very pleased with ourselves and new found skills.
Can certainly recommend the course.
Dave Fowler - - #6902
We both did not know what to expect as my son booked this day course for my brother and myself as a present, (he had already attended it previously with his girl friend) We both had a very interesting day learning just what you can do with metal if you heat it up enough. Colin was a good instructor showing you how to do something but then letting you get on with it yourself under his supervision. He started by asking us what kind of thing we wanted to do, we opted for a fun day to make a few bits and learn quite a lot but with no pressure. For a really interesting day out you would be hard pressed to beat this.
Pete Johnson - - #6868
As a student with blacksmithing experience, Colin had shown me in a two days course
a huge amount of different forging techniques . Combined with a lot of self-made
exercises a great possibility to learn and progress.
I really enjoyed the two days with Colin as a fabulous teacher.
A great craftsman with passion and a good humour. Thanks Colin!
Flavian - - #6585
Had a day with Colin bought for me as a birthday present by my lovely lady, and I'm extremely grateful! I had a great day working on a variety of skills, learning more about the intriguing properties of hot steel, while getting a workout at the same time..
Colin has an excellent way of teaching, giving just enough of a task to complete at each stage, then stepping back to let you attempt it, and only stepping in to give guidance if needed.. It takes away any pressure, and makes you feel like you're developing the skills, rather than having your hand held..
I've had an interest in blacksmithing for a long time, yet this was the first time having a go.. It certainly won't be my last, and I'm sure I'll be seeing Colin again soon for more.. He's a very knowledgeable and friendly man, with good humour, exactly what you want on a day like this..
I highly recommend having a go, and if you're thinking of buying someone this as a gift, then do it! It will be very well received I'm sure.. :)
Stuart Dearnaley - - #6099
I can thoroughly recommend an introductory blacksmithing course day with Colin. He's a relaxed but attentive tutor, with a wealth of knowledge about the various aspects and techniques involved in metalwork, and it was a pleasure to be guided by him through the basics of the craft. We wasted no time in getting started, and as soon as I had caught the gist of anything he would trust me to do it alone, offering guidance and assistance as required. I was absolutely delighted with the end products of the day; a beautiful poker, two hooks and a bottle opener, which I will use with great satisfaction knowing I made them myself. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a one-on-one session with Colin to anybody interested in giving blacksmithing a try!
Bobby Gard-Storry - - #5815
A very good day. Colin is very helpful, accomodating anything within reason and assists when things get tough. Definitely recommended.
Janet Richardson - - #5789
With the health and safety briefing over ("don't burn yourself") Colin took a look at the ideas I'd brought with me and explained the basic principles of the forge and the tools we would be using.
Each time we used a new technique throughout the day, Colin would explain it and demonstrate it, before letting me try it. This proved to be a good way to work and gave me the confidence to have a go myself.
Whenever my cack-handed attempts to copy him started to go awry, he was always on hand to offer guidance on how to correct things and, between us, we managed to make three utensils for my pizza oven and hooks to hang them on.
An excellent day out if you fancy trying something different!
Martin - - #5669
We had a fantastic day with Colin. He is a great teacher - shows you all you need to know and lets you really get into it, just helping out where needed. Very informative and relaxed, we're very proud of the items we made! What an amazing experience.
Tony and Caroline - - #5412
Colin is an excellent teacher and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending him and here is why...
He is clear & concise in what he wants you to achieve, he will give you a demonstration but then he is then relaxed enough to let you crack on and have a real go at it, you will make mistakes but he will then show you how you went wrong and how to fix those exactly the way he would on his own work, an invaluable part of the learning experience in my opinion given even the most experienced blacksmiths make mistakes, no stress whatsoever.
In terms of the equipment on hand, he has everything you could want. You have your own work space & tools for starts so you don't feel like you are treading on his toes by working away on a piece for too long. He has both gas and fire forges in the workshop and you will use both depending on what you are doing (I understand a good number of smiths tend to use only one depending on their preference), he also has various more modern machines to have a go with i.e. power hammers so your experience really will cover all bases.
One big thing to mention that may be overlooked, Colin's passion is in tool making so he has a tool for nearly everything you could think of, most of which he has made so they work with his existing kit perfectly, I barely scratched the surface with what he had available and even I can't remember all the bits and pieces I used.
All in all I really can't fault Colin or his workshop, a great guy and an even better teacher. I will undoubtedly use him again... Get him booked!
Chris Ennion - - #5397
Fantastic course with Colin, had a great day full of really good advice and guidance. Colin is a great instructor who shows clearly what needs to be done but then allows you to have a go and only stepping in when it's going a little pear shaped. This is the way practical courses should be run. Copious amounts of tea/coffee are on tap and the whole atmosphere is relaxed.
I would recommend this to anyone and have done! It's amazing what you can make in one day on a forge. Fantastic, thanks Colin, we will be back. Matt and Matt
Matt - - #5217
Spent the day with Colin and had a fantastic time. He is really a good instructor and has a wealth of knowledge.
Takes the time to explain everything no matter what your level of experience is. I had never done any blacksmith work before and was able to complete 4 pieces which looked really good.
Workshop is well setup and has all the tools required.
Would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone.
Greg - - #4936
Fantastic day. I booked this course as a surprise birthday present for my boyfriend. He made a poker, keyring and also a coat rack for our porch and really enjoyed it. I was kept company by cutie Molly the Jack Russell.
Sharon Murtagh - - #4516
I have just got back from a wonderful day on this blacksmithing course. I went with my friend Lisa and we had a fabulous time. We both made a poker each, then I made the cutest snail and Lisa made a letter-opener. Lisa finally made a key-ring and I made an "over-the-door" coat hook. We had a great day with lots of tuition and advice and a helping hand when needed. I would recommend this course to anyone. Five stars!!
Emma Vann - - #4449
Absolutely brilliant course, had a fantastic time with Colin (& Bob) and learned so much! Having never tried anything like this before I thought it would be impossible to make some of the things on the website but not so! Everything was so well explained and demonstrated I eventually walked away with 5 items I was proud of; which show lots of different techniques. I definitely want to go back and learn more skills!
Mike Pilkington - - #4386
Had a fantastic day with Colin making some cool things. Learned how to put twists in the metal and punch holes amongst other things. Colin is a great instructor and was happy to explain things to us and we had a laugh with him too. Can't wait to go back.
Neil - - #3978
Absolutely brilliant day. Colin took us through loads of different techniques on the different furnaces.
Technically quite challenging at times but also really easy to get stuck in when you get the hang of it. Although I underestimated how hard it is to lift a hammer after 15 minutes of striking
Took home three really neat prices of work and eager to go back to do something some other things.
Really recommend it, Colin had a good laugh with us and we had a great day!!
Thanks so much!!
Keith - - #3977
Spent an excellent day with Colin. Working with the metal was a great experience. With Colin's instruction I was able to forge several items that are useful and look really nice.
Fabian - - #3874
I spent the day with colin and bob,two great blacksmiths with a wealth of expeireance.i came away with a lot more idea of technique and will be back to do more
john leyden - - #3583
Absaloutly fantastic course, an all round great day that provides a practical real world introduction to blacksmithing principles and techniques. The instructor Colin is a great guy who has a wealth of blacksmithing experience to share with you. The setup is bob on all the tools and materials you'll need. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would recommend it to others 5 stars !
David Holmes - - #3490
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 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.