Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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.
Introductory course. Full day - £120
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.
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).
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).
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.. :)
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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 !