Vlakvark Forge is re-opening on 4th July 2020 with limited attendee numbers and Social Distancing. These restrictions will apply until the Government advises that they can be relaxed.
Under the tutelage of Graham Clarke you will learn to make a fully useable carbon steel knife.
During your first day you will:
* Shape your knife using a gas forge, hammer, anvil.
* Normalise your blade in the gas forge
* Grind your blade to it's near finished shape
* Heat-treat your blade (without the fiery theatricals as seen on television)
* Finish grind and sharpen your blade.
On your second day you will:-
*Attach handles to your knife from a selection of available materials (wood, Micarta, G10 etc)
*Cut, sew and stain a leather sheath
Graham is a qualified Metallurgist and has many years experience both as a knife maker and a commercial heat treater.
The course is open to all over 14. Children between the ages of 14 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials and safety equipment will be supplied. Please wear old clothing and sturdy shoes. No shorts or open shoes.
Lunch will be provided as well as refreshments throughout the day
If you have any special dietary requirements you may wish to bring your own lunch and refreshments for the day.
Graham Clarke at Clarke Knives
Vlakvark Forge Unit 21 Lower Basset Down Workshops Wroughton, Swindon Wiltshire SN4 9QP
My wife got me this experience as a Christmas present due to my Forged in fire addiction (beats Love Island). I had a properly ace day being taught an unknown skill by really friendly and truly talented smiths. You;ll keep all fingers and thumbs, don't worry they've got you covered 😉. The blade I came away with is now pride of place on my cheese board. I will definitely be going back for the two day course at some point!
Wow, what a fantastic day!!
A terrific experience that I would whole-heartedly recommend to all.
Graham had expert knowledge and experience of both the theory and the practicality of working steel and matched this with a wonderful personable manner that really conveyed his enthusiasm and passion, which made for a terrific learning experience.
Fantastic 2 day weekend knife making course. Graham, David and Decklan know their stuff, plenty of equipment and patience so no waiting around. Left on Sunday with a knife with handle and sheath. Also booked in for the following Wednesday and Thursday for one to one course with Graham. Graham is a fountain of knowledge on metallurgy, furnace work, quenching and just about any thing to to with bladesmithing. I have been collecting knives for years and have a small forge at home and have attempted to make a few knives to be fair they were rubbish and ended up in the bin, the knife I made on Thursday I would be proud to add to my collection.
I'm sure I will be going back to Vlakvark Forge to learn more at a later date. If you have any interest in knives or knife making, book yourself on to this course, you will not be disappointed.
These guys absolutely know their craft inside out. Fantastic atmosphere and suitable for any level. You will learn a new skill and have a great time doing it. Stop reading the reviews and just book it. You won't be disappointed! You'll also come home with a knife that will make all your friends jealous!
I had a fantastic weekend blade smithing.
The guys have so much knowledge of their craft you can’t help but learn. They make you feel very welcome and supply you with food, snacks and drinks. It’s the second time that I have visited the forge and I don’t think it’ll be my last. Many thanks guys, hope to see you all again.
Sent on the course by my wife for some bonding with our teenaged son, I was apprehensive as I'd not been in a workshop since middle school woodwork and avoid DIY, both of which I hated.
However I was amazed by the product we were all able to produce after the two days thanks to some brilliant encouragement and step-by-step coaching from Graham and David. The pace was just right and broken down into understandable and achievable steps. We were never hanging around waiting for stuff to happen or tools to become free. From hammering hot steel to angle-grinding to using bandsaws and grinders, we were allowed to get on with it with a light touch but a watchful eye from the instructors. There was plenty of refreshment and chances to chat while building some camaraderie over cups of tea. The atmosphere was fun and friendly with a serious undertone of wanting to do a good job.
I've been recommending it to all my friends and showing off the best knife I'll ever own ever since I got back. My son and I can't wait for the axe course.
This weekend course was a sixtieth birthday present from my children, my son and daughter attended the course with me. None of my family had ever been involved with Bladesmithing, but with the aid of our hosts Graham, son David and grandson Declan and their wealth of engineering experience and knowledge, they were able to guide us through and skills our final knives. Their explanation and communication enabled us to work the steel for the knife and also the wood for the handle. Skills and memories which will remain with my family and I forever, and we all have a unique and personal knife, one of the best experiences I have had.
This weekend course was a sixtieth birthday present which is now firmly in my top 5. The whole weekend from start to finish was paced beautifully and was full of new skills to learn and perfect. Our host Graham had a wealth of engineering experience and was knowledgeable in the explanation and teaching of the skills to produce your final knife. The wood working of the Knife scales and the leather work for the sheath complemented completely the forging of the steel blade which all came together on the final day to produce a unique and personal completed knife to take away and treasure.
Don't expect a neat and tidy workshop, this is a true engineering forge and workshop, with pleasant, knowledgeable and skilled people, an atmosphere matched to what you are trying to achieve, which all goes towards one of the best experiences you will ever have.
You will not be disappointed, Graham and Dave where fantastic ,very knowledgable and helpful,you get to do everything with their guidance ( pretty much the forged in fire experience but the right way ), highly recommend to anyone
Hopefully I will be going back soon .
Thanks again Graham and Dave