Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
Evening classes will be held on Wednesdays and will run for 5 consecutive weeks. The course will start with a short health and safety talk, followed by an explanation of the workings of the fire, fire control and working heat colours. Pete will do a demonstration on basic hammer skills, techniques and working rhythm, whilst also demonstrating process and process design, to create the first artefact you will make.
Each week further skills will be added via a narrated demonstration and as you progress, each week you will have the opportunity to make another artefact. As you increase your skills portfolio, your ability to design a process for the creation of your own artefact will also be expanding.
On the fifth week you get the chance to, “your own thing”. Your only parameters will be your skills portfolio and your imagination. Using your new skills you will be encouraged to design a small artefact that reflects your entire skill base. If you don't feel ready to break out, Pete will demonstrate an alternative piece for you to try, or you can remake any of the artefacts you have already been shown.
Throughout your course you will receive close guidance from Pete in everything you do, therefore making the best use of your time at the anvil. You will be encouraged to think like a Blacksmith and how to train your eye to see what the Smith must see to succeed. You will receive no end of encouragement from Pete when it goes wrong, backed up by one to one micro demos of the component not working for you.
The pace of teaching is entirely flexible to fit your requirements so there is no pressure, after all, this is supposed to be fun too, not a weekly trial by fire. One thing is for certain, you will be surprised at what you can d, that you never thought you could. Try it and see, you won't be disappointed.
What's included in the price?
All materials are provided, as are the essential and obligatory safety glasses.
Courses are taught by Pete Smith, Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. Pete has spent 40 years in the field and 10 years teaching at the National School of Blacksmithing.
Other dates may be available on request. Email is best via the form above.
Pete Smith was my tutor and mentor during three years of study at the National School of Blacksmithing in Holme Lacy, Hereford. By the end of those three successful years I took away a triple distinction and a life-long friendship and admiration for Pete.
In my humble opinion he is one of the most talented men I have ever met. I am still in awe at some of the things I have seen him create and I still can’t work out how he managed to do them. His creation of the Solar Eye was nothing less than a piece of wizardry.
It’s hard to understate the influence he has had on me, and my future career, and he is a truly inspiring figure. I honestly believe this man only has good to give and he is absolutely generous with his knowledge.
Hand on heart Pete Smith has changed my life for the good and I hope he will continue to do so.
After waiting a mere 20 years to learn the trade I had always dreamt about, I had the pleasure of training under Pete at Hereford college's Blacksmithing & Metalworking course in 2011. I’m glad I did.
Pete’s training approach is calm, hands on, no nonsense (the good kind) and to the point.
He understands the metal-working processes in great depth and applies them with an exceptional amount of skill, some even say wizardry ... you’ll find out why.
The way Pete demonstrates techniques and processes is easy to follow and clearly explained. He encourages note taking, but more importantly expects students to pay attention to what he is doing during the demo.
Students' questions are answered patiently and always with a sense of ‘try things out for yourself’.
Pete encourages you to try and learn from your mistakes as problem solving is a key skill; not just for blacksmithing.
While the training at Hereford college is a mix of old & new, Pete favours traditional techniques over their modern counterparts where ever possible.
If it can be done by traditional means instead of a grinder, welder & co. you will learn how to; or at least be told how.
You thought you'll need flux to fire weld? You’ll see you don't.
You thought you’ll need a belt-sander for a smooth tool finish? You’ll see you don’t. You thought you knew about sun-dials and stonehenge? You’ll see ...
I enjoyed every day of it and wish I could have done two more years.
I highly recommend training with Pete for anyone interested in learning the King of crafts from one of its masters.
I had the privilege of being a student of Peter Smith for two years at the National School of Blacksmithing. He taught me to make my first ever pair of tongs. For two years he was involved in my metalwork education and was always an inspiration and role model for me. He has a wide knowledge of all things metal, from the scientific side of blacksmithing to the creative and aesthetic side. Whenever Pete had a spare minute and worked on a fire I was always keen to see what magic he had created. When I talk to people about the blacksmith I want to be in twenty years time I use Pete as the level of skill I can only dream of; the way he thinks and his ability to picture form and function in his head and then apply his skills to create true art is incredible. I am truly lucky to have been a student of Peter, and will always remember his gentle and kind manner.
I am a fabricator by trade but in my spare time I make sculptures/ornaments etc. I have been fabricating for around 18 years and thought that I was pretty good at what I do!
One thing that I hadn’t done was blacksmithing. As a way to enhance my work and add another ‘string to my bow’, I decided to look at doing a course in blacksmithing. I found that there was a night class at Holm Lacey Campus.
This is where I met Pete, has he was the lecturer.
Just from talking to Pete for a few minutes I could tell that he was very passionate about the art of ‘smithing’ but, it wasn’t until he gave us a demonstration that I saw the talent that he had!
I was hooked! Pete made it look very easy!
(That’s the sign of a great craftsman)
When it comes to teaching, Pete is very patient and has the able to see the fine details that is required, where to stand, how hard to hit it, how hot the material is etc.
When you might be getting frustrated because it’s ‘just not working’ Pete just as the knack of explaining in a way that you can understand.
A truly talented craftsman and great teacher!