About the Course
Experience blacksmithing in a working forge on this one day taster course. Learn with Pete Smith, an experienced tutor and blacksmith at Bluefoot Forge on the Welsh border.
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.
As the course progresses new skills will be added via narrated demonstration and 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.
Come and experience the wonderful world of Blacksmithing in a purpose designed, acoustically insulated workshop at the end of a lane in the idyllic Welsh Marches, in the hamlet of Stapleton, one and a half miles from the border town of Presteigne. The workshop at Bluefoot Forge is fully fitted out with 3 forges, anvils and all associated hand tools you will need for a full on Blacksmithing experience, and with Pete Smith, a practicing blacksmith of 40 years experience in the field and 10 years teaching practice at the National school of Blacksmithing to teach you, everything is in place for an unparalleled Blacksmithing experience…except you!
Pete, has worked for all the major conservation agencies inc, National Trust, Historic Scotland, Jersey State Heritage, The Church of England and many interior and exterior designers. His work is recognised at the top end of the market and he is an accomplished 3D Installation Artist. Pete is predominantly self-taught starting up in business in 1976 and trading continuously up to the present day. Pete still uses the traditional methods that have served him well over 40 years, rather than modern techniques which he believes dilute the skills of the Smith. Pete has a Certificate of Education and was awarded a Licentiate by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths in 2013, a teaching award dating back to Queen Elizabeth 1st and currently held by only 12 other Smiths worldwide. It is the Blacksmithing experience, the quality of teaching, the traditional work ethos coupled with his ability to wry, observational humour that makes a Blacksmithing course with Pete so exceptional.
You will work under close instruction from Pete in a ratio of no more than 3 to 1, with clear demonstrations and 1 to 1 guidance over the finer details. The mystique and apparent magic of the Blacksmiths skills will be revealed as your knowledge grows and you will be amazed at what you, yourself can do so soon. You will not want to stop at the end of the day, but your body probably will!
These courses are popular with Blacksmithing/farrier colleges and applicants who have attended one of these private courses tend to fair better at interviews.
All courses start with a short, ‘The Life Jacket is under the seat’ (H&S) talk, to keep you safe and my insurance premium down. Once that's out of the way, we will get on with the task of learning the 3,000 year old skills of the Blacksmith. You will learn through clever guidance and practice how to manipulate the fire to give you the right heats which will allow you to forge the right shapes. This will be done on well proven teaching pieces developed during Pete's time at the National School of Blacksmithing. You will be making artefacts from the start, so you will leave with something tangible and useful that you made with your own hands with your newly learned skills.
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.
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 materials are provided, as are the essential and obligatory safety glasses.
There is an hour break for lunch which will be sandwiches etc provided by Pete’s wife, Heather. These can be eaten in the kitchen or in the beautiful gardens of Bluefoot Forge. You can of course, bring your own lunch if you prefer. If you have dietary needs, Heather can accommodate them so please tell us when you book your course.
Workshop toilet facilities are downstairs in the house close to the workshop. These are not residential courses, but there are plenty of B&Bs in and around the border market town of Presteigne. There are also touring sites for camper vans etc.
The day went so quickly and met our every expectation and more. It was a delightful inspiring introduction to the art of blacksmithing based in a beautiful landscape at Blue Foot Forge. Pete Smith was bounding with knowledge and enthusiasm for his art but was able to demonstrate what to do so clearly and effectively. It was very refreshing to meet both Pete and his wife, Heather, who are ethically minded people intent on making life more sustainable and rewarding. Pete made blacksmithing so much fun, we actually went away amazed to find we had actually made two useful tools/holders under his careful supervision. Heather has made a fine garden and provided an excellent lunch.
A day to remember thank you Pete and Heather
Phil Hughes - July 2018
Phil Hughes - - #16207
Wow! What a great day I had at the Bluefoot Forge!
As a complete novice this first experience of forging was better than I could ever imagine.
A fantastic day with Pete at his lovely forge where together with the other participants I watched Pete as he was transforming a simple piece of metal into something wonderful.
I couldn't wait to get started so I could try and do the same.
With Pete's guidance and help I was able to make my own pieces - a lovely leaf and a perky snail! I really enjoyed the session , I have learnt a lot and I hope to return for a longer course sometime soon.
Pete's wife Heather was a wonderful host too. She made us feel so welcome in her home and treated us with some delicious home made lunch, teas and coffees.
Thank you very much!!!
Lucy Kuzara - - #11912
I first met Pete at an evening course run by Hereford and Ludlow college. I enjoyed the course and Pete’s teaching so much I signed up for a 3 day course at Pete’s Forge in Presteigne and then the BTEC course in Herefordshire.
Pete is an excellent teacher with an extensive knowledge of blacksmithing. His short courses are a fantastic introduction to the craft and I’d recommend them to anyone. In his teaching, he demonstrates clearly and guides you through the steps to make some amazing items. I’m so pleased I met Pete and he encouraged me to follow the path I’m now on in blacksmithing.
Lottie Shaw - - #11586
I really enjoyed my day and never thought I would learn and make as much as I did in 1 day.
Peter was an excellent Teacher and very patient and great company the lunch was fantastic
I recommend this day it is value for money and to cut to the basics you get taught by a Guy who has done this almost all his working life and teaches people for a Living.
Jez Jones - - #8294
I have found Pete to be a great teacher that has a incredible amount of knowledge,
he is passionate about his work and has a natural talent to explain complicated processes to his student/ I have been his student for the last two years and I'm confident that I wouldn't be as good of a blacksmith without his guidance.
Leszek Sikon from Poland - - #3700
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