Firebird Forge Blacksmithing School

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Description

Traditional Blacksmithing one day tuition run by an award winning blacksmith with over 20 years hand forging experience. Students choose their own project to work on (within reason). This includes blades and axe heads.

Firebird forge is located in the heart of one of the oldest private estates in the south east and to the back of the forge is the woods where the stories of AA.Milne were set (The Hundred Acre Wood). The forge is in a 1500 square foot former dairy and has 6 individual forging stations with anvils and hand tools, along with a steel worker, a Sahinler Sm40 Powerhammer and a Hercules 120kg Powerhammer for larger work.

Both experienced students and complete novices are welcome and tuition can be arranged in such specialisms as Composite Pattern Welding (Damasus steel) and Repousse work if required (at extra cost).

Mort the Blacksmith was formerly a doctoral Archaeologist with various University degrees and specialises in the authentic forging of historical iron and steel decorative work, toolmaking and blade forging.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All tools and materials are included along with safety equipment and with tea/coffee and biscuits provided through the day.

Lunch is not provided but there is a very good pub at the end of the lane if required or there is kitchen equipment if you wish to bring your own food (oven, microwave, 2 gas hobs, saucepans etc). Most people simply choose to bring a packed lunch.

Students get to keep all the work they produce and extra finishes can be arranged by request (spray-galvanizing).

Maker

Mort at Firebird Forge

Message the tutor More from this maker All reviews

Venue

Firebird Forge, Unit 6
Buckhurst Farm
Withyham, Tunbridge Wells
East Sussex
TN74BB

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Learning difficulties (SEN)
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Tutor can travel

Duration

1 day (10:00am to 4:00pm)

Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

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.

Reviews

In-person
Simon Gadd - - #39926

Mort is a brilliant teacher, super knowledgeable about his art and the history behind it. The forge is fully equipped with lots of toys to learn how to use. We managed to make two knives in the one day course and learnt loads of new techniques.
100% I’ll be booking another day in the forge to make something else.

In-person
Jason - - #39623

Mort was a great teacher and I had plenty of 1 on 1 time to learn as well as get to grips with the basics before forging ahead with my project. He helped me sketch out of my idea of a Viking Axe head, talked me though the different kinds and got me started. It was a great experience and I was able to complete it (with a bit of help) in the end. I highly recommend this course.

In-person
David Thorndycraft - - #39428

What a great day! I made, with a fair degree of help, a nice unique welly boot stand to my own design which will keep my boots nice and dry. Mort was a font of knowledge and is passionate about his craft. I learnt the 7 basic blacksmithing skills and was able to practice them all myself and use them on the project. Physically the day is demanding -you are on your feet most of the day and wielding a 2lb hammer is tiring on the arms. To get the most out of the day you ideally need to be practically minded but the essential skills are well taught and the ability to complete a project in the day is very satisfying.

In-person
Sean - - #39072

Can't recommend Mort enough. So much more than an intro to blacksmithing!

Response from Firebird Forge:

Cheers Sean. It’s always nice to be appreciated, so thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed your day. All the best, Mort.

In-person
NJC - - #38674

I highly recommend this course. Mort is extremely knowledgable and keen to pass on his skill. I spent a fantastic day making a small axe head and a Viking knife (with a bit of remedial work from Mort...).

Brilliant experience, with an excellent teacher in a beautiful location.

In-person
Mike - - #38447

What a great day spent with Mort in his forge. I made a beautiful set of fire tongs which is exactly what I wanted, totally bespoke and unique to me. Mort knows exactly what he is doing and teaches in a fun, safe and exciting way. I had never been into a forge before let alone hit white hot metal with a hammer and chisel. Brilliant.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Cheers Mike. You did well; a set of tongs I’d have been proud to have myself. Thanks for coming and for the feedback, keep well, Mort.

In-person
Mark Cartwright - - #38439

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Response from Firebird Forge:

Thanks Mark. It was great to have you in the forge for the day and well done on the brilliant spearhead. It’s not many students that fireweld that well on their first day! All the best, Mort.

In-person
James Castle - - #38438

What a way to celebrate my 50th ! Mort is an excellent teacher. Kind, patient and hugely knowledgeable. I learned so much. not just about blacksmithing, of which he is an alchemist, but his historical knowledge is awe inspiring. He took a complete novice and guided me through the processes to make a small hand knife and a pizza oven scraper that I am so proud of. The forge is an exiting and safe place to be where students are gently guided through to make life lasting pieces. I am sure that the memories will last a lifetime too, but I hope that I will get the opportunity to come back to the forge soon. I couldn't give Mort more praise! Thank you.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Hi James, many thanks for your review and for your enthusiasm on the day. It’s hugely appreciated, Mort.

In-person
Ashley house - - #38295

I could not speak highly enough of this day. Mort was extremely knowledgeable and really help us understand the forging process. Very hands on no thrills course, exactly as it should be.
You will definitely enjoy every moment of this course. Thanks Mort , brilliant 👍🏼

Response from Firebird Forge:

Many thanks Ash, glad you enjoyed it and it was a pleasure spending the day with you. All the best, Mort.

In-person
Claire - - #38176

I literally can't rate this highly enough. Seriously, if you are thinking of doing it just do it! Brilliant fun, Mort is lovely and I felt very very safe there. Just brilliant. Don't question it, book it!

Response from Firebird Forge:

Hi Claire, thanks for the review. Im glad you had a good day, it was a great laugh to have you at the forge and best of luck in the future. Mort.

In-person
Phil Gurney - - #38130

Thoroughly enjoyed my blacksmiths experience day at the Firebird Forge. Myself and fellow pupil, Clare, learnt a lot in the day, had fun, and the time flew by. At the end of the day we both had a beautiful piece of work to take home and treasure. As much as it was a thrill to create something from scratch, it was equally a privilige to watch a master craftsman up close. Our blacksmith tutor, Mort, was a great teacher, and a great guy, with a story or to too! I would thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Thanks for the great review Phil. It was a great fun day and a real pleasure to have you in the forge. Students such as you and Clare make my job such a laugh sometimes, thank you sincerely. All the best, Mort.

In-person
Sue Brown - - #38058

Oh Mort, he taught
us how to forge
and his biscuits were gorge.
We went at it hammer and tongs,
Mort was there to right our wrongs.
Tap it gently ? no give it some welly,
they make it look so easy on the telly.
Bend it this way, then bend it back,
tap it gently ? No ! Give it a whack.
Stoke the fire don't let it die,
a forge is no good if the heat's not high.
Blacksmithing, would I recommend it ?
Only with Mort there to help you comprehend it.

We had a fab day, Mort was a most excellent tutor and a real bright spark ! My other half managed to make a tripod for a fire pit, I made a moose loo roll holder - every home needs one 😀 and a snake towel rail - every home one of them as well. Can't recommend him highly enough.

Response from Firebird Forge:

What can I say! Thats definitely the first and finest poem that has been written for a blacksmithing day. Thank you Sue, both for the wonderful review and the fun you both brought to my forge. It was a great day, again, many thanks, Mort.

In-person
Ian and Chris - - #38009

Huge thanks to Mort for a brilliant day! This is a truly hands-on course, so expect to be learning and practising the skills of Blacksmithing from the off. Come with some ideas about what you would like to make, because pretty much anything is possible. As total beginners we made and took home a log basket and fire tongs - far surpassing our expectations (and the expectations of those at home!). Mort taught us how to be safe around the forge and has a really engaging and empowering approach. We didn’t expect to have to have the opportunity to do a fire weld on our first course, or to make traditional decorative leaves, but Mort gave us the confidence to try out the techniques. We learnt a whole new set of skills and gained a real insight into the world of traditional blacksmithing. Highly recommended.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Thanks for the glowing review guys, much appreciated. All the best, Mort.

In-person
Tony - - #37848

One very good day spent with Mort in the Firebird forge. Ideal safety review to start the day.
Mort was very open to ideas for the work project as well as been very knowledgeable on the
methods to complete these tasks.
Must also thank Mort for finishing off my task as I had started to run out of time.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Thanks Tony, much appreciated. Mort.

In-person
Orion - - #37734

Excellent day spent with Mort working on a custom project. Mort is very knowledgeable and a good teacher. He stayed late to make sure that I finished and had a quality item to take home. Thank you for a great day.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Cheers for the review Orion, most appreciated. Enjoy the fire pit and break out the marshmallows!
Many thanks, Mort.

In-person
Adam & Stacey Hollingworth - - #37507

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Response from Firebird Forge:

Many thanks for the lovely review. It was a pleasure having you both in the forge. Until next time, all the best, Mort.

In-person
Paul Williams - - #36573

Great day yesterday with my mate ( prezzie from my wife ) David knows his craft making it look so easy but there to guide you when required .
Hope to be back soon to expand our knowledge

In-person
Michael Cross Brown - - #36224

A most enjoyable and informative day spent in the tranquilest of settings. I had never realised the subtlety
and delicacy that was involved between the physical applications. It's all about the fire! Thank you Mort for all your help and guidance. Michael

In-person
Andy Powell - - #35983

Myself, brother and sister have just completed an excellent course at Mort’s Firebird Forge.

We walked straight into the forge building and chatted with Mort about our individual projects over a cup of tea, had a safety briefing, then walked over to the forge for a quick demonstration of the techniques we would need to get us started. We found ourselves heating metal within the hour!

Mort created an entertaining and relaxed environment while guiding us through our respective projects and stepped in, as and when necessary, to ensure our projects were completed in time to take home.

I am thrilled with my finished project and have no hesitation in recommend this course. If your giving it some thought, just book it.😊

In-person
Howard Wilder - - #35980

What a fabulous day! Bought for me as a present and didn’t know what to expect. Mort is very engaging and a great teacher. I’m so pleased with my new fire poker!

In-person
Sara Powell - - #35972

What an excellent day at Firebird Forge. I went with a bit of an ambitious project to make a table and was helped every step of the way. Great skills and instruction in a relaxed environment. Highly recommended. I will be back I hope…. Thanks so much for finishing it off too :-) Sara

In-person
Richard Pope - - #35906

Had a great day a couple of weeks ago. Having done some workshops and minor forging many years ago, I really enjoyed the chance to learn a few more basic skills. It was hard work but Mort made things look so easy and really helped the struggling students especially staying on to finish my planned piece of work that now adorns my inglenook fireplace - it was a wine bottle warmer that hooks onto the fire. Thank Mort.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Thanks for the review and the photos Richard. Enjoy the warmed wine this winter! Cheers, Mort.

In-person
Alex Langran - - #35781

Had a great day at the Firebird Forge with Mort, he is very knowledgeable and a fantastic teacher. I was bought this as a present and absolutely loved it, finished the day having made an axe head which was definitely a challenge!! I will definitely be back again in the future.

Response from Firebird Forge:

Cheers for the review Alex. I'm glad you liked the day and I'd be happy to welcome you back whenever you want. Many thanks, Mort.

In-person
Nicola Collins - - #35470

We had a fab day on this experience at the firebird forge! Bought this day for my boyfriend but I also thoroughly enjoyed myself! Mort is a great teacher and makes the day fun while you’re learning 😊 we had a great day and made loads of lovely pieces (I love my cake slice!) and we will be back for more forging in the future at the firebird forge - thanks for a great day! 🤩

Response from Firebird Forge:

Cheers for the review Nicola. It was a pleasure having both you and John at the forge for the day and the hand forged cake slice was definitely a first! You’re both most welcome anytime you’d like to return. All the best, Mort.

In-person
Stephen Hall - - #29505

I have just spent the day blacksmithing with David Mortimer as a 70 th birthday present from my children . It was truly educational and a joy on many different levels.
Steel doesn't yield its beauty lightly and will only flower with a craftsman's encouragement through the extremes of heat and physical force.
Neither of which in David's hands seem disrespectful.
Along the way I discovered that knowing what to do and doing it are not first cousins.
Despite which and with David's unflustered input I took home what I came to make.
In today's virtual world a day spent working with your hands is a day very well spent.

In-person
Paul Sharpe - - #29171

Great day with Mort. Made some great stuff, learned a lot and ate lots of biscuits. Thoroughly recommend.

In-person
Jessica Stebbings - - #27732

Gave my dad this course for his birthday and he came back very happy after it! Managed to make 2 knives and even though they ran over time Mort was happy to carry on if needed. Lovely farm area with great views, highly recommended.

In-person
jock wilson - - #26993

Great day. Warm welcome and tea, quick, simple but thorough health and safety briefing , then sort out what and how.
Really enjoyable day, learnt a lot, especially how skilled and experienced Mort is. Good teacher who does a great job. Highly recommend to anyone.
Note , the forge is not warm if the weather is cold. Plenty of layers as you soon warm up when getting busy. Thanks for a cracking day Mort, all the best, Jock Wilson.

In-person
Duncan Shannon - - #26723

Had a superb day with Mort. I went along with a friend and Mort was really supportive in our choice of what we wanted to create. He set the perfect balance between allowing us to succeed using the skills he had taught us and stepping in to assist, before our frustration or the potential self destruction of our work took hold! He is obviously a master craftsman that makes everything look so frustratingly easy. His patience and knowledge is first class I would whole heartedly recommend his teaching days to any budding blacksmith. Thanks again Mort.

In-person
Denise law - - #26690

What an amazing day. We both learnt so much. Mort is a very talented smith, patient and a great teacher. We have been buzzing since leaving the forge yesterday and marvelling at what Mort helped us to create. Many thanks Denise and Al.

In-person
Peter Fox - - #26194

A great day out. Mort is very engaging and knowledgeable. He has loads of anecdotes. The day flew by and I wish it could have been longer .
Brought home a lovely price of work.

Hope the cold is better now Mort.

In-person
Jo Milsom - - #25838

30th October 2019
I attended the one day blacksmithing course with my cousin armed with drawings of our dream projects. Mort deciphered our efforts and brought us down to earth with what we as complete beginners could realistically achieve in 8 hours, drew it all out on his massive metal table and we were off.
The forge is a fascinating space! An incredible array of hammers and tongs amassed around the heart of the fire with the ssshhhhhh quenching pool at the end. We learned how to detect the readiness of the heated metal for fashioning by its colour and the spitty sparks coming off the fire. Then the “bashing bit” using the huge anvils, bending cones and mould templates plus the thunderous electric punch.
Mort’s teaching style is thorough but very enjoyable. When time was getting short he speeded up the manufacture of our objects and the finished articles surpassed both of our expectations. Mort would not compromise with a less than perfect finish.
It was a great day.

In-person
Tony Redpath - - #25697

What a great day! Mort was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, supportive and a store of great stories! He looked after us brilliantly and made sure we went home with something we can really treasure.

In-person
Katy - - #25627

Massive thanks to Mort for a brilliant day for me and my husband. Mort made it very special, he is a fantastic source of knowledge, help and support. Our day included a history of forging and loads of information about the current state of smithing which we really enjoyed. More practically, Mort is a great teacher and a really inspiring designer. He worked with the slightly scrappy ideas we came up with and helped us design practical but achievable objects. Then he showed us the skills we needed to turn those designs into reality, getting the balance right between showing us how and helping with the more challenging aspects. Mort was really ambitious for our designs and inspired us to make something really beautiful. The day was designed about what we wanted to make. We left with two lovely plant holders, uniquely designed and created. Mort never settled for second best, he helped us make something we will treasure and enjoy for years. Highly recomended.

In-person
Dave Moore - - #25379

I had a very enjoyable and educational day blacksmithing with Mort at Firebird forge. It was good to learn new [to me] ways of welding and working metals under Mort's guidance. He has the right balance of teaching, leaving you to 'have a go' and helping out when you struggle with more technical aspects, usually making it look easy when he does it. The small groups of two or three people keep it friendly and personal. Many thanks for a great day.
Dave Moore

In-person
Rebecca Wright - - #25372

Great way to spend a Sunday. I really enjoyed getting to know about Blacksmithing and coming away with a completed project. I made a recipe book holder, which now sits proudly in my kitchen.

Mort was great, really passionate about smithing and teaching people - even if, like me, you leave your project in the fire too long and it falls apart (lesson learnt), Mort can fix it!

I did arrive nearly an hour late and Mort kindly went over time to make up for my delay. So if you're like me and can't read instructions and drive - scout the place out ahead of time.

Many thanks Mort and Daisy (the dog)

In-person
Naomi - - #25063

Spent a day at the forge for my husband's 40th and could not recommend more! Mort is a natural teacher with plenty of patience, enthusiasm and skill. We were able to bring our ideas to fruition and come away with the Gothic candlestick of my dreams and a pair of door handles.

We were trusted to work on our own pieces but the support was always there if (when in my case!) it was needed.

Overall, I highly recommend this as a way to explore a craft you might not usually have access to, it's a hard-working day and you will come away feeling like you have achieved something.

In-person
Dave Colwell - - #24473

A fantastic day learning the basics of blacksmithing. Mort is a very friendly chap and made me feel very welcome. I'd not done blacksmithing before but Mort's teaching techniques soon made me feel as though I could give it go. The end results were pretty good for a complete beginner. I would recommend this to anyone who has even a slight interest in blacksmithing.

In-person
Miguel Ottmann - - #23341

Great fun, Mort's a brilliant teacher and the experience was ultimately very satisfying.

In-person
Ian Boxall - - #23210

Excellent!!!

I had such a great day, Mort is very friendly and was an amazing teacher who was great at explaining everything we needed to know. I was in a group of three, and everyone had a brilliant time. We all went home dirty but with a smile from ear to ear. The day went extremely quickly, and I plan to return to expand on what I learnt and create even more difficult items. Thank you for a wonderful day.

In-person
Kyle Boyce - - #23178

Went to experience blacksmithing with a few friends. We had a fantastic time. Mort is a great teacher, he has so much knowledge. Mort lets you choose what you would like to made and helps come with ideas if still unsure. He helped me make a wedding cake knife for our wedding next year. Really good day, would like to go back and try making something else.

In-person
Peter lane - - #22838

I spent a great day with my grandson at the forge with Mort. As novices we enjoyed his knowledgeable and friendly style and the wide variety of tools and techniques he demonstrated. We had a go at lots of different techniques and Mort was always encouraging about our efforts.
We both left the forge with completed projects, mainly on my part thanks to Mort stepping in towards the end to help finish off the piece. We learnt a lot and my grandson gained new confidence at achieving something he made himself.

In-person
Rob Anderson - - #22398

Amazing day at the forge. To be guided through all the process needed to make, in my case, a draw knife was quite something. So much to learn and understand but at least I have some appreciation of what a skill this is. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and highly recommend this course. Thank you Dave.

In-person
Bobbie Rummery - - #22283

Back for another awesome day, had a brilliant time and learnt how to accomplish really unusual patterns on square bar and also ended up with a very nice poker along with a few patterned items. This is the second day of training with Mort and learnt even more than the first time. The training gives a good insight to the skill these guys have. To come away with hand forged items is amazing. Would not hesitate to recommend firebird forge and Mort to anyone who wants to start a great new hobby or profession, beware it’s addictive, you will want to go back time and again.

In-person
Frank Newell - - #22175

My wife and I spent a very enjoyable day learning about the art of blacksmithing. Mort was so patient with us, explaining exactly what we should be doing. We made between us, and with Mort’s help, a wonderful bird feeder which now has pride of place in our garden! Our grown up children are waiting in the wings to do the same! We thoroughly recommend the course. Thank you Mort.

In-person
Ken Charman - - #19462

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In-person
bobbie - - #19102

Received a one day tuition as a Christmas present from my husband, who attended the course too - what can i say? it was awesome, we both thoroughly enjoyed the day and learnt so much. Mort is an excellent tutor and communicator he has an extensive knowledge on the on the history of the craft and teaches you about the types of metal and how to distinguish what type of steel to use. We both made items to take home and are amazed at what you can learn in one day and that is all down to Mort's teaching style which is one of demonstration and stepping in to put you back on track if needed - which of course as absolute beginners we did, a couple of times or so. The downside it goes too fast you are so engrossed in the training the day flies by. But what a great way to spend a day. I definitely want to learn more of this skill and will be putting in birthday present requests too. Would definitely recommend. Thank you Mort, a brilliant day.

In-person
Philip and Julian - - #19001

Mort is a great communicator and educator. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable day learning and practicing blacksmithing. Mort was demonstrating and guiding, and stepping in to help when we made missteps.
Julian (14 years) says:
Mort is a very good blacksmith and he knows a lot about the historical roots of metal working. I wish that this sort of stuff was available in school these days, but unfortunately it isn't. It was the best practical lesson I've ever had.

In-person
Paul - - #18972

What an experience. This is a must do! Mort has some serious skills in the blacksmith workshop. Me and my dad thought we was going to walk away with nothing today but in fact walked away 5pieces of well made items. Mort is so knowledgeable and i will definitely be going again. Such a good teacher.

In-person
Nick Walker - - #17709

Bit overdue, but I went to a session with Mort a few weeks back. Mort is fantastic, exactly what you expect by someone seasoned with years of experience in history, archaeology and of course, blacksmithing.

I'd strongly recommend the day for anyone wanting to experience a traditional, forged with your hands, with some real world techniques and learning thrown in. Be prepared for a hard days work, with plenty of biscuits, stories and an inspired mind of what you might have been.

In-person
Kyle Ware - - #17671

I was lucky enough to receive this course as a gift from my wife, I had a GREAT day...
For anyone wanting to learn about Blacksmithing I thoroughly recommend Mort, the day started with him showing us the different skills that can be used and we were then asked what we would like to make, one we drew up a couple of sketches we spent the day heating and shaping the metal into the two knives I'd set out to make, thoroughly enjoyed! If you're reading, Thanks Mort!

** tips for anyone going along - take some lunch... its hard work! and Do some research on some item you might want to make, a door knocker, a candelabra, a wine stand... anything! If you can make it in the 6 ish hours you have then no doubt Mort will help.**

In-person
Christine Stainer - - #17420

I was given a day of blacksmithing for my 40th birthday. I’d been wanting to give it a go for ages. There was only one other on the course with me which meant we got lots of personal tuition.
I arrived with an idea of what I wanted to make and actually went home with it! I made a plant stand.
We learnt the techniques that were used on our individual projects as we were going along. There were lots of demonstrations, advice and hands on help from Mort but you really felt like you had made the piece at the end of the day. A day later my arm is still aching!
Thanks for a great day Mort and sharing some of your knowledge.

In-person
Jan Pearman - - #17298

A great day at the forge - I made a lovely coat rack and Stuart was more adventurous and made a pot hanging thing - not sure where we will put it though! Mort was very helpful as I was pretty useful but he encouraged me and the day was a lovely experience.

In-person
Peter Thomas - - #17200

Had an amazing day at the forge with Mort. Learnt so much about techniques used in basic forge work. Mort is an excellent tutor and very patient with complete novices such as I! I would definitely recommend spending a day at Firebird Forge learning this ancient art. I hope to come back!

In-person
Julian Stacey - - #17187

I had a very interesting and productive day with Mort at Firebird Forge. Excellent day, I highly recommend this course! Thank you Mort.

In-person
Carl Taylor - - #17149

I had a fantastic day at Firebird Forge, Mort is a very skilled craftsman and excellent tutor. He took the time to walk us through the basic techniques required for the project at hand (in my case tongs), then we set free hammer, anvil and tongs and of course the forge (which is skill in itself to manage correctly). I got the chance to try my hand forge welding and using the power hammer, the work was challenging however it really gave me the confidence to continue to learn and build on these skills. I intend to visit the forge again as gain more experience and put into practice what I learnt on the day. I was a tired man at the end of the day but a happy man.

Thank you Mort for your patience and sharing your knowledge.

In-person
Andy ward - - #17086

I had an absolutrly fantastic day with Mort. Only one other person on the course with me, which mewnt we both recieved fantastic 1-2-1 mentoring throughout the day! Mort is a wealth of knowledge, both of the art of blacksmithing and history in general that meant that day was entertaining, fun and educational! At the end of the day you get to leave with not only the knowledge and appreciation of how hard blacksmithing is, but you WILL leave with at least one thing that you haveade WITH YOUR OWN HANDS, which is a fantastic feeling!!! Couldnt recommend it highly enough

In-person
Jason Clark - - #16830

Has a great day on the course, just the two learners so excellent support and assistance with enough supervision to let you get on with it but enough intervention to ensure what you make is worth taking home. Scope to design and make what you want (within reason), the other guy made a knife whilst I made a doorknocker consisting of a banana striking a banana leaf - see what you make really is up to you, and with help it turned out to be recognisable.
I was so proud of it I took it to show my Mum and Dad the next day (I'm 50).

In-person
Tony P - - #16789

A superb day at the forge with Mort. I had hoped to make a simple axe, interestingly, John, the other chap who had a day's tuition came with the same idea. Mort was as keen as us and explained various types of axe head construction before we set to work. Being a historian, Mort was keen that we used authentic design and construction techniques.
Mort has a phenomenal historical knowledge so when you're not learning about metal you're learning history!
He also has an excellent teaching style, recognising that students may be working metal for the first time, so any criticism is constructive and techniques are worked through step by step.
My axe was far more impressive than I had hoped for and I will certainly be back.
Thanks Mort.

In-person
Kathy - - #16222

My son in law has just spent an amazing two days with Mort learning the art of blacksmithing and feeding his love of working with metal. What a brilliant "man cave" to play in for two days, and what a great teacher. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fantastic way to spend time hitting things and making them beautiful! Thank you Mort for your time, expertise and enthusiasm - not to mention the two dotty Ds who guard the forge, quite sure that the whole world loves them and wants to tickle their delectable tummies :-)

In-person
James - - #16208

What a brilliant day. I would highly recommend this to anyone - those with experience or not.
Mort is extremely knowledgeable which is evident throughout.
From initial ideas and design to the finished product - Mort is on hand to give positive guidance when needed - necessary when making the number of mistakes I did!
With his support I was able to complete the project and had an achievement I could take home - a bonus to finish off an awesome day.
I will hopefully book another day soon.

In-person
Alastair Munro - - #15851

We gave a day's blacksmithing to our son-in-law as a birthday present. When it had to be rearranged due to heavy snow early in the year, my wife and I asked if we might attend as well. Mort agreed and we had a great day on a blisteringly hot Friday in July. My wife and our son-in-law had clear ideas on what to make and Mort enthusiastically sketched up the drawings into template size. Thanks to Mort's clear and positive coaching/teaching, they both produced a piece of work to be proud of. Despite my lack of skill, Mort encouraged me (and corrected my many errors!) so that I too had something to take home. The day over-ran, but Mort made it clear that we WOULD finish our works of art no matter what! A great day with a real enthusiast and artist for a teacher. Look out, Mort, we may book another day with you. Thank you so much.

In-person
Ian Cockburn - - #15789

I had a cracking day at the Firebird Forge. In the sweltering Summer heat, Mort the Smith taught, helped and guided us through the basics of blacksmithery. The six hours flew by in a flurry of planning, chatting, hitting, twisting, heating, more hitting, drawing, bending, correcting, chatting, and a little more hitting.
To come out of the day with a passable item that passed the "allowed in the house" test was both a surprise and a pleasure.
It was a joy to meet someone so passionate about his craft and chosen career.
Go on, book a day.

In-person
Marika Fox - - #15620

I had an amazing day at the forge with Mort. I had never done anything like this before, Mort was a great teacher and really knew his stuff. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try something different, but it's also great for people who already have skills. There are only two of you, so you get a lot of one on one teaching.
Thank you Mort.

In-person
Andy Collie - - #15580

Had a brilliant day at the forge, would strongly recommend anyone giving it a go. As a novice i went with an idea of what i wanted to create and Mort gave me all the advice and help i needed to turn it from an idea in to reality, good banter was had by all during the day and even a history lesson which was fascinating! I returned home with a creation to be proud of, saving up now for the next visit.... perhaps a suit of armour next time :-) Thank you Mort and thanks to my wife for buying it as a present.... Perfect all round.

In-person
Sally Woodcraft - - #15261

Mort is an excellent teacher and very knowledgeable in more than just blacksmithing. My husband and I had a fantastic day with him both making what we set out to (me with a lot of help from Mort!)
Highly recommend this day out to anyone. 5 stars all the way.

In-person
James Waters - - #15242

Great course with a very patient and knowledgeable teacher. We were able to create a couple of pieces of ironwork which have been put to good use, but only with a lot of help from Mort. We would highly recommend the course.

In-person
Wayne Clark - - #15200

A brilliant day spent with a great teacher. Mort has a the ability to allow you to work on, but step in at just the right moment. My wife and I had the opportunity to to make the items we wanted with guidance and advice on the best way to do it. I'd recommend Mort and his courses to any one. You don't need to have any previous skills or knowledge to get the most from the course. If you do have some previous experience the Mort is the man to stretch those skills further.

In-person
Ed_ - - #15198

A really rewarding way to spend a day - not only do you learn the practicalities of the craft but also plenty about the history and culture of blacksmithing. Mort's tuition is very well balanced - letting you get on with your chosen piece for long periods and then stepping in when more assistance is needed.

In-person
Calum Fenegan - - #14898

Mort is a great teacher, very patient and very knowledgeable.

I had several ideas for my piece at the beginning of the day and Mort encouraged me to challenge myself. First off I made a small practice piece and after that I was put onto a harder steel to create the final object.

All in all a great day, I would highly recommend Mort and his forge to anyone thinking of trying blacksmithing.

In-person
Jeremy Rosie - - #14894

What a great experience. It is genuinely fascinating to see a craftsman at work and Mort was a great teacher. He is patient and helpful. I had come with a very basic design in mind and he encouraged me to consider other ideas. In the end I came away with something I'm really pleased with, a candle holder with several spirals in its design. I was a little apprehensive to start but Mort creates a really relaxed and fun atmosphere. He is also well versed in history so we had some good conversations. I will have to make a return visit to Hampton Court to look at the Jean Tijou ironwork. The day whizzed by but was very rewarding.

Note: the forge is in a lovely but not easy to find location. If you use GPS, follow Mort's instructions. Simply set it for Withyham Church and keep straight on past the church until you turn right at the cattle grid. Don't use the post code.

In-person
Ralph - - #14833

Great day out last Thursday at Firebird forge tucked away in a remote part of the beautiful Sussex countryside. Mort not only quickly gets you introduced to the basics of working with a traditional open coal furnace and working metal by hand but also adds his extensive knowledge on the history of this ancient craft skill. There is considerable skill in this craft and learning how to manage the fire and heat in the metal, accurately using the hammer and other tools requires a lot of patience and practice but with Mort there to help its amazing to look back and see what you have learnt in just one day. The day was very relaxed and overran on time but Mort made sure we came away with a finished item, in my case a set of fire tongs, which impresses everyone I have shown.

In-person
Kevin Sollis - - #14700

Just spent a great Saturday with Mort at the Firebird forge. I booked the day for my son Sean and i to attend and try a taste of Blacksmithing. I did not expect to actually leave with something that I had a hand in designing and hammering out around the forge. Sean produced an interesting door knocker in the form of a snake and a dragon and I went for a funky tea light holder.

Mort is a very patient teacher and happy to guide in the right direction when our hammer blows went astray. Also had some very interesting conversations around history and the the art of blacksmithing. After our day I am clear it is an art form.

Thoroughly recommended to anyone looking for a great experience day!!

In-person
Colin Winn - - #13974

I was lucky enough to have been bought this experience day and really lucked out with the expertise and knowledge which Mort provided all day - particularly as I had not been near a forge since school days and am not great with heat! He instilled confidence in me such that the modestly designed items I had gone along to create came about. Good company from a co-working guest and a joy to watch end products coming alive from inert materials! Recommended - highly!

In-person
Tim jones - - #13969

Thank you for a great time Mort. I really enjoyed the days experience, even overheating my metal and leaving some in the furnace.. bit more practice needed I'm sure ... you are a great guy and very patient with us as green novices ... I can only rate this as high as poss. Thanks Mort.

In-person
Nick Saffell - - #13808

This course exceeded all my expectations. Mort is a fantastic teacher, very encouraging and patient as well as extremely knowledgeable. I have never done anything like this before, and was therefore very surprised that I could jump straight in and make a coat rack with Mort's expert guidance. I would highly recommend this course to anyone, regardless of experience, and hope to return again in the future.

In-person
Trevor Jones - - #13797

Just returned from a great day with Mort. Having done some blacksmithing at school (55 years ago!!) I was very uneasy and lacking in confidence that I could do very much. Mort encouraged me to aim much higher than I thought I could and I came away with a very presentable fire companion set of poker/log roller, toasting fork and rake complete with twisted basket handles. Mort is a great teacher, very patient, lets you get on with it, but keeps an eye out for any errors which he will assist in correcting to prevent disasters. I will certainly try to get back fo