Firebird Forge Blacksmithing School
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About the Course
Traditional Blacksmithing one day tuition run by an award winning blacksmith with over 15 years hand forging experience.
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 six individual forges with anvils and hand tools, along with a steel worker and a Sahinler Sm40 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 an Archaeologist with many University degrees and specialises in the authentic forging of historical iron and steel implements and tools.
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 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). Students get to keep all the work they produce and extra finishes can be arranged by request (spray-galvanizing).
This was a great days course.
I really enjoyed it. Mort was a great teacher and to watch him work is really impressive. After I spent about a hour shaping a piece of high carbon steel that takes him about 5 minutes to do with a big hammer its amazing what experience can do.
Good hands on practical course that shows you how to do some really impressive techniques and if you are a hobbyist or plan to become one I think a course like this is essential to teach the basics.
Padraig McEntee - - #13611
If you’re considering taking a blacksmithing class, I highly recommend allowing Mort to guide you through this fascinating craft.
The day was fantastic, we were introduced to the basic tools and techniques and it wasn’t long before we jumped in and got our hands dirty! I choose to forge a chef’s knife, and ended the day with a blade far better than I could have hoped for.
Mort was friendly, knowledgeable, and an entertaining tutor (and was even kind enough to provide transport to and from the train station). Take this course!
Henry Porter - - #13542
As an engineer I was already predisposed to liking metal, fire and hitting things. When I found out I'd been bought a 1 day forging course by my partner, I was over the moon. Training with Mort for the day was a unique experience, and I left with a much deeper appreciation for the skills and artistry that goes into hand forging. I made a wine bottle and glass holder and my partner made a candlestick holder, and we learned how to fire weld, split, scroll and a range of other techniques. Couldn't recommend highly enough!
Alex - - #13353
I've always wanted to have a go at blacksmithing. My wife got me a day at Firebird forge. What a great day. Simon made me feel at ease with emails prior to meeting. There was two of us, both beginners and Simon went through all the processes and kept an eye on us. I made a candle holder and was so amazed in 1 day what I learnt. It is hard work but so enjoyable. I would do it again. If you ever fancied it definitely try this place.
Simon - - #13034
A hugely enjoyable 1 day course in Jan, keeping warm by the forge out of the freezing rain!
Impressed to see that the day focusses on just 2 people at a time which meant lots of time for 1:1 support to bring your ideas to life (inc. help to get everything finished before home time).
Be sure to take along thoughts for what you’d like to make to avoid wasting too much time in the concept phase. Plenty of help and inspiration once you know roughly where you’re heading. It really felt like anything was possible and I appreciated the practical - problem solving approach.
Fantastic levels of knowledge and enthusiasm for the art, combined with aching arms and ‘rustic’ outcomes, the day really made me appreciate the skill and experience required. I’ll never look at a fire-welded piece the same way again!
Dan Skinner - - #13003
My brother and I just had a fantastic day with Mort at the forge. He is a brilliant and patient teacher who imparts his vast knowledge of blacksmithing as well as being an expert on medieval history to boot.
Managed to get more done in the day than we thought particularly with Mort stepping in to "help you dress it up" when things were going wrong i.e. a very polite way of saying he would correct our mistakes (of which there were many).
We both made small knives in the morning and then I tackled a bigger blade in the afternoon whilst my brother made a very elaborate toasting fork.
Overall it was great fun and I would definitely recommend it and hope to be back once I've worked on my hammer muscles a bit more.
Wayne Dawson - - #12747
Truly Fantastic day!! I got this as a Christmas present and it was the best i've ever gotten. Mort is every easy going and interesting to talk to even taking us to the pub for lunch half way through the day and really went the extra mile so we left with what we intended to make despite our lacking skill. I will be making this a biannual thing for every birthday and Christmas to come.
Callum fowle - - #12695
Brought as a Christmas present for my boyfriend Callum and we loved every second of it, even if we did get lost.
Mort was incredible and helped us both with our different projects. I made a candle holder and Cal made various knives, my favourite being a viking knife.
Mort then took us to a lovely little pub for lunch where we had a great chat and Cal was asking about various ways to try and get into the industry and Mort had all the answers. After lunch we then carried on blacksmithing and I was definitely struggling but Callum was loving every second of it.
Once we both finished, Mort polished off the candle holder in beeswax and etched one of Callums knives. At this point I was playing with the wellbehaved dogs.
As soon as we got in the car to pull away, Cal wanted to go back and he definitely will.
What an incredible day! Thank you Mort!
Jazmine - - #12669
I recently had a great day with my husband in Mort's forge. Mort was so patient with us and I managed to make a cracking trivet which is now has pride of place in my kitchen. It was just the two of us for the day (and Mort's lovely pooches snoozing in their basket!) so we had lots of attention and couldn't have asked for a more hands on experience. I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a unique day and would love to go again.
Charlotte Cozier - - #12650
My wife and I had the pleasure of spending the day with Mort at Firebird Forge. It was a truly amazing experience! Mort asked us what kind of things we were interested in making and, after doing a few sketches, he showed us how to do it.
Mort was incredibly patient with us. He demonstrated the techniques we needed to forge our projects before letting us lose with the hammer and tongs. He was constantly by our sides, ready, not only to correct our mistakes, but to show us how to improve our technique. I think the reason that Mort is such a great teacher is because he explains the 'why' as well as the 'how'.
This course is very hands on. Mort had me try as many different blacksmithing techniques as my project would allow-he even had me forge welding (which I managed on my third attempt). This course is worth every penny and offers a fantastic opportunity to learn under a master. The moment I get another holiday, I’m booking up again and going back!
Chris Cozier - - #12565
I had a great time with Mort yesterday. He is so approachable and easy-going, getting his message across clearly and calmly. It was a superb introduction to the skills and techniques involved in blacksmith work. I was extremely lucky to have the chance to create something of my own design, and I'm delighted with the result!
Mort is such an interesting person, and was a very engaging partner for the day. He was also very patient with my feeble attempts to copy the skills he demonstrated - what a lovely man!
I thoroughly recommend this to anyone with even the slightest interest in learning about the world of the blacksmith.
Jon English - - #12423
My husband and I had an amazing time with Mort at the forge. From first email contact, Mort was nothing but lovely. His patience and knowledge as a tutor shone through and from the moment we arrived he was kind, instructive and extremely helpful. Although we were complete beginners he took the time to explain things as many times as we needed, no amount of beginner ineptitude was too much for him and he always was on hand to help correct anything that went wrong. We left the forge with a number of exceptionally beautiful items which had been made with his support and guidance, rather than him doing the work for us, which makes them extra special.
He never once rushed us and his calm, friendly manner made us feel immediately at ease in the forge environment.
We would thoroughly recommend him to anyone looking to have a wonderful day learning about blacksmithing and ending with some fantastic creations.
Thank you very much Mort! From Ben and Liz.
Liz Rowland - - #12191
Very enjoyable day at firebird forge, Mort has good practical safety rules that make you feel comfortable and he is a nice and interesting person to spend the day with. Mort is very knowledgeable on the subjected and explained everything in a easy to understand way with as much background information as you could want, a good fun experience and I made something to take home and treasure. A great day, thank you.
Simon Hudson - - #12088
Fantastic day, Mort is inspiring, cannot wait until our next day. Really proud of what Mort supported us in making, never believed as a total novices we could achieve so much. Cannot recommend a day at Firebird forge enough, whatever your age or skill level.
Bill hutchinson - - #11952
What a great day! Mort is an inspirational teacher and a font of historical knowledge. Definitely coming back for more and building my own forge.
Hugo Foster - - #11938
I had a brilliant time over 2 days. What fun and what a great skill to learn. Mort really knows his stuff, was really patient in his teaching. I had a great time and will be back.
Darren Smith - - #11842
Had a most memorable and fun course day out with Mort! What an amazing experience. My gratitude and appreciation for Mort’s hospitality - from being flexible in accommodating our timing needs and number of participants, to being most supportive and encouraging of our ideas and designs to try.
Mort is a most warm character and a person rich in stories - we had as much fun chatting about his life experiences, as we had learning of blacksmithing.
I would highly recommend a session with Mort. It will be most enriching in many ways. Thank you sir, we truly enjoyed your company and the day out.
KM Chan - - #11264
Just had a fantastic day with Mort. Absolute beginners he showed us “how” and then let us loose. It is great fun and very satisfying to be able to produce something (with Morts help) in one day. We came away with two small Viking “whistling” knives, one larger blade and also one piece of “jewellery” which definitely exceeded our expectations. Mort is a great guy, friendly, passionate about traditional methods and also full of interesting facts. We loved it and are already planning another trip.
Stuart and Matt Wilson - - #11170
THe two of us decided we wanted to try some blacksmithing......we were greeted by Mort and his two lovely spaniels and spent time being shown 'how to do it'. Then it's down to you!!! MOrt is always there to take over and put right the mess you've got yourself in.....It's a lot of fun and you soon appreciate how challenging this art work is !! You come away appreciating the fine metalwork we see around us.
ITs a great day and you come away with some very basic skills and some examples of work that you have made....( sometimes with a little help from Mort)
THanks Mort...really enjoyable day.
Bob and Pam Salmon - - #11139
I bought a day for my boyfriends birthday and ended up signing myself up for the day as well. After all the reviews I had read about Mort I thought I couldn't let Sean have all the fun. We had a brilliant day and really learnt a lot. I would really suggest booking with Mort. Such a lovely and knowledgeable chap. He has a rather subtle way of helping you along and I was thrilled with the candle holder I came away with. I think we were quite demanding in the ideas we had for such a short space of time so I would recommend going with simple ideas that can always be expanded and jazzed up if you have time.
Beth - - #10978
Just finished a day at Firebird forge and enjoyed every minute. Completely new to the craft but felt completely safe with Mort, our very knowledgeable instructor, who could strike a piece of metal like you wouldn't believe!
Ratio of instructor to student was perfect at 3:1, atmosphere was always upbeat, no question was too silly. Considering booking a second visit already. Thanks for a great day and a bunch of new skills.
Dan Vacher - - #10839
The course was excellent and covered a lot of ground in one day. I took home two attractive and really useful fire tools - poker and fork - which we will use on our open fire.
Mort was very patient and helped out when necessary, which was often. Overall it was a great experience and very good value.
Mark Wheeler - - #10831
Mort what a fantastic course....completely surpassed my expectations. Had to pinch myself- I actually made a Candlebra. The day was interesting, fun and quite simply BRILLIANT. Thank you..
Jane - - #10610
Thank you David for a great day. It was such a fun, relaxed and interesting day. Lovely to come away with something unique as a bonus. Karolan
Karolan - - #10584
I had a truly fantastic time learning from Mort, he is a very knowledgeable and skilled blacksmith who has taught me the basics of blacksmithing in just one day. The workshop is packed with everything would ever need and the location is beautiful. Whether you are looking for a great one off experience or want to start a career in blacksmithing, this is were you should start. Thanks again Mort is was an amazing day!
Neil Robinson - - #10468
Great teacher. Fantastic human being. Very knowledgeable and professional. I really enjoyed my day. Would have no hesitation recommending Mort.
Dori Vana - - #9527
Had a very enjoyable day and managed to produce a number of pieces.
Mort is clearly a very knowledgeable bloke and ensured we all left with something we'd made ourselves.
I plan to go back again.
Marc - - #9283
Above and beyond excellent, worth every penny and more.
One of the best days I've had in a very long, Very informative, friendly and helpful man.
Would 100% recommend this course 5
Peter Austin-Mepham - - #9266
The course was fantastic.
I was given the chance to stay for the weekend as a birthday treat where I (with a lot of help) made a small knife and a fairly large axe head. It was the first time I've been to a forge and being there gave me a great introduction into what kind of environment it is.
Mort kept everyone interested and really pushed each person to make sure we got the most out of the weekend and made the best project we could. He is very knowledgeable, friendly and gave lots of great advice and taught well.
Thanks to Mort I had a great time, learned a lot and produced an axe head with a much higher quality than I thought I would leave with.
Adam Lynch - - #9148
My wife paid for me to do a 1 day course in Knife making, and I loved it.
The forge has all the tools you could imagine, plus a few more.
Mort is a great guy, and a very helpful teacher. He talked me through the proper technique for using a hammer on the steel, and kept trying until he found the right way to describe it for me. I was amazed with the piece he helped me create, and the pieces he makes look incredible.
I would recommend this course to anyone intersted in knife making.
Robert (Bert) Parker - - #9111
Fantastic day ! Thank you Mort.
I hadn't been in a forge since I was at school 41 years ago but the sights and smells came flooding back to me.
Morts skill and guidance soon had me hammering hot metal and I loved every minute of it ! I wasn't particularly good at it but that didn't really matter because I was been taught by someone who knew exactly when to step in and help or redemonstrate and when I was in need of a brew there it was !
Experiences like this are very rare in this high tech world,so if you want to get away from it all for a day and immerse yourself in something completely different under expert tuition,this is the one for you !
Christopher Pearson - - #9017
I had such an amazing day. It was really well organised and run by Mort. He is facinating to listen to and incredibly knowledgable. He also makes a great cup of tea!
I was really thrilled with the techniques I learned and amazed at what I was able to produce with Morts help and guidance. I would recomend this course to anyone. Real value for money.
Ginnie - - #8811
This was such an awesome experience, a day of traditional blacksmithing out in the majesty that is Ashdown Forest. Mort was an excellent and immensely skilled teacher!! His knowledge of historical weapons and smithing were a great assest when it came to forging the head of my Dane Axe. He also has the patience of a saint. The location is prime, far from prying eyes and overlooking the forest gives you the best enviroment to forge in, (though recommend you follow the directions given on the receipt once purchased other wise you will get lost) This was totally worth the price (and sore hands) and i am still happy with my axe head!!! If you want to learn from a skilled blacksmith this is the course.5
Wolf Shankland - - #8780
I had an amazing day. Mort is an excellent teacher and can help you to forge almost anything. Will certainly be recommending and going back myself.
Andrew Bingham - - #8594
We decided to book a course as part of our 25th wedding anniversary celebrations. We chose Mort for a few reasons - lots of good reviews / lovely part of the country / Mort seemed more flexible in having 2 people to train at once. Mort entertained us not just with his teaching abilities but also with this excellent historic knowledge of the craft. We spent the day working together on making a candlestick that actually looked close to what the design drawings we came up with in the morning. Very happy with the result. We went well over our allotted time for the day but we were not charged extra for that. Thank you Mort! Recommended!
Giovanni & Vikki - - #8490
We had a great time blacksmithing. Despite being even less built for it than I thought, I managed to take home a beautiful piece that looked remarkably close to the design we came up with. Mort was patient and helpful and made sure two blacksmithing novices had a fun day and some tangible, good looking results to take home. Recommended.
Kat Schulz - - #8413
Had a great day and learnt loads. A really relaxed and enjoyable day. I would strongly recommend this and will definitely be returning :-)
Hannah Watson - - #8300
We have just returned from a brilliant day of forging with Mort. Our day was awesome. Thanks to Mort we learned some amazing techniques. We did arrive with ideas, which were very ambitious, but thanks to Mort we came away with finished pieces. Do not hesitate to spend a day forging with Mort you will not only learn about forging, but also hear interesting stories about Mort and his knowledge of history. Thanks again can't wait till we can come again.
Jane Watson - - #8288
Fantastic day with Mort. I learnt a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Has given me a true appreciation of a Master blacksmith!
Tim - - #8114
What an excellent day! Mort was a super teacher and very patient (I wasn't very good...). He gave us lots of time and explained everything in great detail. We could do as little or as much as we wished with the day. Some brilliant anecdotes to enjoy too...! I'm dead chuffed with my Viking knife and very novice scrolling! Thoroughly recommended.
Kathryn - - #8032
Excellent day learning to work metal and made an impressive knife and bottle opener (Viking style) thank you David, really enjoyed the day and all your anecdotes. Best regards Alan
Alan Whibley - - #8014
We had such a wonderful day with Mort!! As a complete beginner I had no idea what to expect but Mort was wonderful at guiding our ideas and helped us produce an incredible fireguard which is now a real centrepiece in our living room! I am so chuffed with it - never thought we'd be able to do it (even with help!). Mort was great - patient and helpful and interesting. Thank you for such a brilliant day!
Magda - - #7892
I made a wonderful organically curly candlestick which was created from a doodle design I brought, and although, yes, I had a huge amount of help and guidance I am so proud of this result! A wonderful day and it felt like alchemy converting cold metal into art with flame and sparks and noise. My husband made an axe which is another story! Mort is a star.
Jackie Hamilton - - #7712
As a complete newcomer to blacksmithing I arrived not knowing what to expect. Mort was an excellent and very patient teacher. The tuition was relaxed, informative. I tried new skills and learnt about different blacksmithing tools. I even had a go at forge welding. I came away with a pair of very impressive fireside tongs. A thoroughly enjoyable day I would recommend to anyone to give it a go.
Steve Gallimore - - #7476
Had a fantastic day despite the freezing weather! Individual tuition and a great overview of the ten blacksmith skills. Really hands on course and came away with an amazing boot scraper. Very proud of my self. Mort was a real character, entertaining and fortunately very patient. Would definitely recomend
Alice - - #7475
I couldn't have wanted more from Mort's class and I can't recommend it highly enough. He is patient, highly knowledgeable and a great teacher. He balanced perfectly the task of instructing, guiding and ensuring we had productive tool-time - showing the various blacksmith skills, encouraging us to work with the metal and only stepping in to adjust our mistakes when it was essential. He is eloquent and informative making the theory easy to understand and remember. His deep knowledge of history and wide life experience means the day is also peppered with fascinating anecdotes and insights. Mort's course was by far my best birthday present since I was a kid - and that was a fair few years ago!
Huw Williams - - #7051
I arrived fairly trepidacious as I'm small female and well over 60... but I had an absolutely brilliant day. Mort suggested gently that I could attempt something far beyond my expectations and with his patient help and encouragement I brought home a beautiful door knocker that I would have been delighted to have bought at a craft fair. I learnt so many techniques from scratch, and loved stoking the fire and hammering with all my strength. As for the fire welding, white hot and showering sparks, it was thrilling and magical. Top it off with his stories and historical knowledge, I had a fantastic time.
Andie - - #6956
I arranged a day at the forge for a group of the family to celebrate 2 60ths birthdays which had recently taken place. I think its fair to say we were a bit daunted at first as we had very little experience in forging however after a quick pep talk by mort and an introduction to the world of blacksmithing we were all soon very relaxed and enjoying ourselves. The day was very laid back and at the end of it we all came away with things we had made to show the rest of the family. A great way for us to get away from normal life and de-stress, making memories that we will talk about for years to come, aswell as learning a heap of interesting information about Blacksmiths and their traditional techniques!
Mort is a very very talented individual with many different experiences and with the help of his apprentice Lawrence we were all looked after brilliantly! We all talked about coming back for another session so im sure its something we will be arranging over the next few months!
Stuart Mills - - #6806
Brilliant day ! Really was far better than I expected - actually designing things (roughly), then heating, hammering and bending metal (like it's toffee!) into shape. Some joints made through literally banging to orange-hot pieces of metal together, others by twisting or jointing/riveting.
My wife made a saddle stand, and I made a fire cradle (only just - time ran out). He saddle stand is amazing, really functional but pretty and extremely unusual!
'Mort' is an excellent teacher, who's passionate, knowledgeable and has amazing skills. He's also very patient with those, like me, who aren't anywhere near as capable.
Fun, interesting and productive day - totally recommend it !!!
Dom McIntyre De Vitto - - #6682
Had a fantastic day on the blade forging course.
Well equipped forge and Mort is a fantastic teacher.
Perfect balance of allowing me.to forge away and stepping in at the critical moments to keep the peice.
Finished the day with a unique saex and has fired my intrest in learning more.
Look forward to working with Mort again...highly recommended
Bob kennedy - - #6666
I had the best time ever today. Mort is a brilliant teacher, spot on with that balance between getting you to do it for yourself and jumping in when necessary to ensure you have something amazing to take home at the end of the day.
I had been nervous beforehand (I am a 59 year old woman) but Mort put me at my ease. He is clearly a genuinely nice man and very very good at his job.
I'd always wanted a go at making something out of metal so this was a very thoughtful birthday present with the bonus of being near a cosy fire on a cold day and being able to knock six bells out of hot iron. Strangely satisfying.
Anyway, I can thoroughly recommend this course - go for it!
Beverley Bruce - - #6573
I am writing to provide feedback following my attendance at the day course run by David Mortimer (Mort) on 11th October 2016. I found the course to be educational, professional and most of all, enjoyable. Mort has a vast knowledge of many different subjects and it was fascinating listening to him impart various tales. His detailed and careful instruction while working on the forge was obviously the best part of the experience. I came away feeling really satisfied that it was a day well spent and i would recommend it to anybody who has an interest in this type of activity. Thanks Mort, my old man who also attended is still talking about it.
Linda B - - #6397
I was really looking forward to my day with Mort as it was over 50 years since I had used a forge while at school! I was not disappointed as he proved to be an excellent instructor and his professionalism was evident from the outset. He showed such great patience with my sometimes pathetic attempts at the forge and explained everything in much detail and at the same time was amusing held me rapt with his knowledge of many subjects. Thank you Mort, certainly a day to remember.
Ken Bagnall - - #6350
I had a brilliant day. I went along knowing that I wanted to make a scythe. Mort was very knowledgeable and admitted that although he hadn't made a scythe himself. He was very interested in teaching me the skills needed to make one. Mort had an old scythe that could be used as a guide to help us in the design. Which he later gave to me. I would highly recommend his course. And he makes a great cup-a.
Richard Durrant - - #6118
Excellent is an understatement for this course. I learnt the basic techniques of forging, the 9 steps/rules of forging and lots of other useful stuff. I was very lucky that the other student cancelled at short notice so I had all Mort's time to myself. I really enjoyed the day which was great fun. I took a design I had drawn and Mort helped me make it plus we made two other completely awesome items. It was the best course I have ever done and I plan to carry on experimenting at home and then come back again to learn some more. Its a great way to spend the day and Mort is a great guy.
Ashley McCulloch - - #6061
I always wanted to do this, but never knew how much fun and hard work it would be. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and will be back for more.
Mort is an excellent teacher and made sure that you get sufficient opportunity to practice and improve over the course of the day, but also have time to listen to his stories and have a laugh. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to make, but with Mort's knowledge it soon turned into something more special, but also challenging. At the end of the day I really felt I achieved something. I will definitely recommend this!
Piet Snyman - - #5625
Found my day of blade-smithing thoroughly enjoyable and a great experience for novices like me, since Mort was a fantastic teacher and helped me end the day with a piece I was very happy with.
Henry Danes - - #5506
I found it really useful as someone who is thinking of going in to blacksmithing as a hobby/career. Mort was a very good teacher and he told us a little bit about the history of blacksmithing which I found very interesting. I was unsure about what to make but Mort had lots of photos of passed students' work to help me decide. Throughout the day Mort taught me a number of different techniques and helped me understand the importance of precision when it comes to shaping metal. I was amazed at how easily I could shape red hot steel and how easily it could by twisted and molded.
Overall I had an amazing day.
Callum Smith - - #5498
My 16 year old son and I had a fantastic day together with Mort.
Mort was an excellent teacher and was very patient with me as I whacked away and pieces of red hot steel. We both thoroughly enjoyed our day and would recommend Mort unreservedly. Excellent value for money. My son was so inspired by Mort that is now intending to take up blacksmithing as a hobby.
It was very clear from the samples he showed us that Mort is a highly skilled blacksmith who produces work of the highest quality. I made a wall mounted candle holder that will take pride f place in my home.
Nick Smith - - #5497
A fantastic couple of days! A mixture of life stories, teaching anecdotes, fun, tea and biscuits and the odd shared sandwich. Mort is an excellent teacher with a real passion for both his craft and teaching. It's only after a couple of days reflection that I realise how much knowledge was shared. Everything from the basic forging techniques to fire management and the magic of fire welding. I highly recommend Mort and his teaching, and at the end you are sure to take home things you have made which you would never have thought possible.
Steve Sharpe - - #5324
Had a great time at Firebird Forge! Over a two-day period I became totally hooked on blacksmithing. With Mort as tutor the course was fun, informative and introduced me to valuable new skills. I am a complete beginner and as a skill is only acquired throughy practice, I will be returning as often as can! Mort is a patient and supportive teacher, highly skilled in his craft and aware of his students' needs. I highly recommend this course.
Nick Platt - - #5291
Just got home from a weekend spent pounding some hot metal with Mort.
Fantastic fun and extremely informative. Mort really knows his metal and the history of smithing. Went to the forge with a list of four items that I was interested in making and just about finished the lot! (a bit of finishing still to be done on a couple of them) Highly recommended course!
Nat Carthew - - #4886
Fantastic day and top marks to Mort. One day is not much time to brief a student on the safe management of a forge, display blacksmith techniques & skills and allow you the freedom to design an item(s) of your desire - then make said item(s). Mort achieved this with ease, whilst keeping you entertained with anecdotes, tea/coffee, biscuits and cake!
Mort is a master craftsman but also a very skilled teacher - which do not always go together! He effortlessly smoothed over my areas of 'stupid moments' which enabled me to leave feeling very satisfied with my achievemnets.
The day was well paced, it is a practical 'hands on' learning experience, based on individual ability and I guarantee you will leave with a renewed admiration for skill levels of the blacksmith.
Dave Dobson - - #4439
Mort is the complete Renaissance Man. He is not just a skilled craftsman, his interests range far and wide across history, archeology, art - just about everything - and he will keep you entertained with an endless stream of anecdotes and fascinating snippets. He was patient and supportive throughout the day, and tactfully protected me from the full consequences of my weak woman's arms. I came away having achieved far more than I thought I could, and enjoyed every minute the day. Highly recommended.
Sarah Dawe - - #4168
My Girlfriend bought me this as a birthday present and i was thoroughly looking forward to the day once she told me! So the long awaited day came, I had been going on about trying my hand at Blacksmithing for a couple of months and now i was going to do it! Once i had arrived i was warmly welcomed by Mort and he proceeded to show me, and the other trainee, around giving us ideas of what to make. I decided to be boring and make a knife for my self but Mort was more than happy to accommodate this frequent request. Mort started by showing the techniques that would be required to make my knife, and was very supportive through out the entire process even being kind enough to jump in and help when my arm could no longer lift the hammer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Firebird Forge and would recommend it to anyone looking to try there hand at Blacksmithing. I had a really nice time and working with Mort was both fun and educating! Top day!! I will definitely give it another go! Thanks Mort!
William E - - #3980
I have to apologise to Mort, after such a great day we promised him that we would write this review and yet it has taken me far too long to get around to penning it. Anyway, I organised a day's course for my father and I for his birthday as he has a keen interest in archery and medieval warfare. The day could hardly have been better, despite being complete novices we made some bodkin arrow heads and progressed onto viking domestic knives, which I have to admit both my father and are are insufferably smug about to this day. Mort was a very thorough and friendly teacher and I honestly can't endorse this course enough. Mort will tailor the day to your skill level and tastes, if you have any interest in black smithing whatsoever Mort can help you make the most of it. Great day!
James Fitzsimmons - - #3853
My son and I enjoyed a day of tuition from Mort in December 2015. Both complete novices, under his supervision (and with his assistance) we learned about the traditional techniques of blacksmithing and made arrowheads, knives and leafs. Mort is very informative and friendly and the whole day is a pleasure. Highly recommended.
Richard Furniss - - #3841
I had a warm welcome with a cup of tea, a quick intro and H&S covered and we were off . I found mort very knowledgeable and very easy to get on with . He easily explained each process and let me explore each process , only stepping in to nudge me back on track. A fab day and can't wait to have another go! Highly recommended!
Mark Streeter - - #3758
A brilliant day with an amazing teacher and a master at his craft. I've always entertained the notion of being a blacksmith and Mort has really helped me take steps towards that goal. His patience, ability to see when mistakes are about to made and to subsequently help correct them all the while letting you stay in control (or at least seem to), all help build confidence in what it possible. As he says the skill can be learnt in minutes but takes a lifetime to master.
I can't wait to get back in the forge and improve my skills, might need to strengthen the wrists first though
Overall a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend to all. Beautiful area and a superb course. Thanks a bunch Mort.
Chris Pulsford - - #3614
I spent an absolutely enthralling and priceless day with David. One enhanced by an unending flow of tea and biscuits. The piece of work that I had set my sights on was not a trivial one. David ensured that the work was seen through to completion without regard to the official finish time. David spared no time ensuring that all of the steps were explained in detail and that every question was answered in detail. The day’s practical facets were augmented by an every broadening historical discourse. Our lunch break was, for example, enriched by tales of the Mortimer family’s medieval adventures in the Welsh Marches.
Stephen - - #3580
Wow what a fab day.
I have never done any metal working before and under morts excellent tuition and immense patience I made 3bowl hooks for wood turning and a gift for my dad.
Mort has a very relaxed persona which helped make the day a success. Thank you
Gemma - - #3424
I just would like to thank Mort for an utterly enjoyable experience. I came away with a wonderful insight into the world of blacksmithing and, with his guidance, a product that I am thoroughly proud of. He was patient and knowledgeable, as well as being a gifted blacksmith.
Chris Eakins - - #3410
I've had a great day learning lots and making some great things. Including knives and arrow heads. This experience was brought for me by my better half and she also came along for the day and made some lovely metal leaves. All of the teaching was great and resulted in me booking another day with mort to work on a project. Can't recommend enough
Edward ingham - - #3288
Mort is an excellent blacksmith and a friendly person. I spent a whole day expecting to make only one item but ended up with three! Mort will teach you all you need to know about blacksmithing and make it enjoyable at the same time. I spent the day making cool stuff, having great conversations and watching a true master, don't regret a single moment and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Hadrien Cortade - - #3205
I used to work in the wilkinson sword factory making knives and swords and I learnt loads with Mort, I found the forge well equiped and the day was brilliant fun, can't wait to go back.
Josh Smith - - #3091
A great blacksmith at work in this forge and a great teacher. I would do it again this course showed me how fun and interesting blacksmithing is even if there is a bit of waiting
Tate - - #3089
I didn't expect how much I loved blacksmithing. I was a complete beginner and Mort showed us how to work the forge and showed us some different designs. He offered hands on help even though we were a large group. Highly recommended.
Scott Cowan - - #3004
Took a day course last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I was very pleased with how the day played out and it has left me wanting to come back and continue with blacksmithing.
Connor Groves Waters - - #2976
Firstly I'm not the first person to be a fan of one day courses. I have been interested in blacksmithing for a while and as a panel beater have a good sound knowledge of metal. My other half bought me a days training with Mort at the firebird forge for Christmas and I finally attended on Saturday. All I can say is I had the best time I've had for a long while. I learnt so much more than I anticipated. Mort is a great guy, brilliant laugh, patient and very knowledgeable. I can't recommend him enough. There is no set pieces to make, you turn up with ideas of what YOU want to make and off you go. Mort will incorporate as many blacksmithing methods in your design as possible so you get to learn so much more than you think you will in a day. I will be going back for sure. Don't delay, if your interested then choose Mort, it will be one of the best things you've done.
Richard Jones - - #2931
Wow what a top day and what a top bloke Mort is. Fantastic fun learning blacksmithing and making a piece of ancient military history (roman pilum) for me to use. We share a passion for history, his medieval (and so much more...), mine roman (and so much smaller...) and I came away with a lot more knowledge than I went in with that's for sure. Very relaxed, skillful and entertaining tuition with great attention to detail and more than happy to go the extra mile to make my piece authentic and highly accurate. If your a historical reenactor or enthusiast don't hesitate, get yourself some pictures/drawings to work with and a big packet of Jaffa cakes and Mort will most likely be able to help realise your ideas. Equally if your just interested in trying out blacksmithing don't hesitate, you'll come away with an amazing piece, a huge smile and great memories too, just don't forget the Jaffa cakes.
Cannot recommend this course enough and I will return as soon as I can research new projects, Mort beware!
Nick Barnaby - - #2882
A fantastic day out in a beautiful setting. Wasn't too sure what I was getting into, but couldn't have enjoyed it more. Came away with a great piece of work and a big smile on my face. Will definitely be coming back for more!
Ben Westaway - - #2860
A fantastic day - possibly the best birthday present I have ever had.
With no previous experience, Mort was an excellent and very tolerant teacher. Watching him demonstrate techniques makes it clear that he is a very talented blacksmith - lots to live up to but no pressure when it comes to your turn!
I was surprised, and very pleased, with what it is possible for a complete novice to achieve and I would recommend that anyone who has even vaguely thought about having a go to do so. My billhook will become a treasured family heirloom :-/
David Munn - - #2851
What a fantastic day spent with Mort who had such knowledge and enthusiasm. Gentle and enjoyable tuition and good value for money.
As the day progressed so did my skills and confidence progressing to the makingof a drawknife.
I would thoroughly recommend this course and can't wait to return for another workshop and take my wife along to enjoy the day.
I would advise all those who do one of these workshops to go along with plans and ideas of what you would like to create.
Have a fantastic time.....I certainly did!
Ray Forester - - #2845
My husband and myself went on this course together and had such a fantastic day. I was not the greatest at bashing the metal, but Mort was very patient and helped us make our coat hooks without taking over and made us feel like we had achieved a lot by the end of the day. I can highly recommend it as an activity to do with your spouse because we were in fits of giggles at how useless we were with the machinery and have something fantastic to take home and remind us of a good day spend together.
Naomi - - #2799
My best friend and I spent the weekend learning from Mort and we both learned a lot. We are both going back for more and as both Mort and the course were great.
Mark V - - #2532
absolutely brilliant day, I would strongly recommend it. Mort is a great guy and an excellent teacher - I learnt alot and he helped me to forge things I would never have dreamed I could make !
nigel - - #2478
Mort is a wonderful and very knowledgeable teacher and we are hugely proud of the beautiful things we made. I am especially delighted with a dagger/ knife with a tempered blade and elegant handle, very Game of Thrones, and I didn't expect to be able to make anything so impressive. It is also therapeutic to bash metal into shape! Highly recommended.
Jackie - - #2476
just got home after a day at the forge with the best views around. Had a thoroughly enjoyable day with Mort; he explained & demonstrated the mystery & magic of working metal and I came home with something to be proud of. It was good to right the wrongs of the world with such an interesting man and great teacher. He has obviously found his niche in the world, his artistic skills are phenomenal & his imagination seems to be unlimited. Cant recommend too highly.
sue & paul - - #2363
Had a great day at Firebird Forge, beautiful rural location with fab views. Mort is an extremely knowledgeable teacher and does have patience of a saint ! - and very gentlemanly helped out when my weak arms just weren't up to the job ! Really interesting and enjoyable and great to come home with some "bespoke" pieces. Would love to have another go - but need to eat 3 Weetabix before I go next time ! Would recommend to anyone to give it a try though - as you can't fail to enjoy this fascinating craft.
Liz Cox - - #2331
What a great weekend ! A pair of middle aged blokes with an interest in history learning how they made weapons in the middle ages...by making some weapons. Mort raised his eyebrows at two beginners making pattern-welded ("Damascus steel") weapons in 2 days (I heard Sir Humphrey saying "Brave decision Minister" in my head), but he did his best to take us from clueless to competent in no time.
He's an extraordinarily patient teacher, with a very obviously deep understanding of the craft and was very easy to get along with - moving beginners along the track of learning without making us feel as clueless as we really are. The real danger is walking out of the forge thinking you're a blacksmith at the end of the weekend, when it's more that you've been good at following instructions.
His ability to rescue the piece when I stuffed things up was put to the test a number of times as I made many mistakes, but we reached a very satisfactory outcome - the swirling patterns in the axehead looked fantastic.
We will definitely be back again to do more. I'd highly recommend this course to anyone.
John Littler - - #2321
What a fun day, hitting things with big hammers and playing with fire, it dosen't get much better.
Expert tuition from Mort (he has the patience of a saint), and I made something useful that the wife loves. Thanks again for a great day
Garry Britton - - #2267
Mort's tuition was thoroughly enjoyable, made more so by the relaxed and flexible manner that he teaches. Being a fan of history and craftsmanship Mort provided interesting conversation throughout the day. However, the best part of the course was having the joy and satisfaction of coming home with objects that i had chosen to make and created with my own hands.
Morgan Stace - - #2255
If you have even a minor interest in blacksmithing, its place in history or just working with your hands, you will thoroughly enjoy Mort's teaching and company. He’s a very knowledgeable and patient teacher and runs a relaxed but hugely educational and rewarding lesson.
I had a rough idea of making a wine display that we worked on together, and had the immense satisfaction of coming away with something I’d made from scratch and will always treasure!
Thanks Mort, see you in a festival field sometime!
Sam Bryant - - #2194
I'd always wanted to try blacksmithing and thought that at 63 it was about time I did. Having found Mort's course, my wife bought a day for me for Christmas. I bought another for myself .
It couldn't have been much better, total one on one tuition for the whole of both days.
Mort's an excellent teacher as well as being a very talented blacksmith. Hard to believe how he managed to make some of those very delicate pieces with a hammer!
Mort taught me all the basic techniques ( let me commend fire welding to you - most exciting!) and despite my ham handedness we made a super ram's head poker and a couple of great knives as well as enjoying good craic and having a load of fun.
An excellent course and a great teacher. Very highly commended.
Jim Ovenell - - #2168
Had a fantastic day with Mort at the Firebird Forge. Mort is a highly talented and skilled blacksmith and has a passion for the art.
He teaches in a relaxed and friendly manner.
I would thoroughly recommend Mort to anyone who is wanting to try blacksmithing.
Looking forward to booking further sessions and spending more time at the Forge.
An amazing experience with the added bonus of taking home your own pieces.
Stuart Guerard - - #2158
A day that transports you to a different world - one unfortunately largely hidden today. Mort skilfully guided me and my 15 year old son (beginners) through many of the blacksmith techniques to enable us to complete 3 iron "treasures" for us to take home to use and decorate our house and garden. Mort's patience and rescuing - abilities mean that the atmosphere is unhurried and relaxed but you still come away with an amazing amount of knowledge and perhaps the start of a new set of skills.
Paul Temme - - #2100
one-to-one tuition with a man of Mort's willingness to share his skills was an experience I will long remember. He imparted his enthusiasm for the craft so I was left with thoughts of how to fit a forge into my single garage. I would recommend this to all and sundry of all ages and genders.
Howard Kay - - #2022
Great fun! Received a days blacksmithing for a birthday present and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Made a poker and tongs for my fireplace with the aid of patient and good humoured direction from Mort.
Terrific teacher with plenty of anecdotes, but always professional and attentive to the task in hand.
I have a sneaking suspicion this may well become an expensive hobby....
Charles - - #1938
Mort is a knowledgeable and skilled blacksmith, a very nice guy, and he helped me make a bunch of customised woodworking tools (adzes) while introducing me to blacksmithing. As this was my first taste of the trade... I am impressed. And I will most certainly be back. Thanks Mort!
Arjan - - #1893
An absolutely fantastic day! Mort was very patient and a great teacher. Plus a very clever and fascinating man, we had some very interesting conersations
Dan Mannion - - #1892
The journey to Firebird was fantastic as we drove through trees of orange and mist shrouded hollows. Mort's knowledge of the surrounding countryside was amazing and made the day for one of us, when he said that Poo Corner was literally, round the corner. His patience with 3 fairly pathetic females was first rate, matched only by his bravery as he held the chisel close while I wielded a 4lb hammer. Thankfully, missing both his hands and head, he's gone on to teach again. Oh yes, and the blacksmithing bit was good too!
Shelagh - - #1822
A thoroughly enjoyable day. A very relaxed and informative day with a few laughs thrown in too. Mort was very patient and provided support ithout making me feel like a complete plank . I will definitely be back in the new year...
Toni - - #1820
I booked this course after meeting Mort at a craft fair and through his enthusiam I thought I'd like to give that ago, so I booked it, and what a fantastic day Mort is a great teacher, full of enthusiasm and his knowledge on the subject and his attention to detail is superb.
All I can say if you are thinking about booking then don't wait just do it!
Hope to come back soon.
Simon - - #1718
Thanks for letting attend the Firebird Forge!
Jason - - #1703
The one day course was well tutored, very informative and highly enjoyable. I can recommend this course to anyone.
Tom Jenkinson - - #1676
Fantastic day and have already started building my own forge! Mort is a great teacher, full of enthusiasm, patience and an absolute mine of knowledge. I got this day for my birthday and will deffinitly be going back once my own set up is up and running. Thanks Mort. P.S will need to tap your knowledge about the best way to make a truyer as they're a bit out of my price range new!!
thanks again and see you soon
Mike P.P.S already used the forge tongs I / we made so great tools to make on the day if anyone is in need of ideas
Mike Todd - - #1545
This course is amazing, I would recommend to anyone that wants to know more about blacksmithing and try their hand at creating something of their own, mort is very talented and has a great way of teaching. Will keep my creations (knife and S-hook) for years to come.
Libby Hadden - - #1452
Brilliant day! Had this day bought as a birthday gift and it was a gift that will last with me forever. Such an experience to try my hands at such a skilled trade. Seeing how Mort creates such amassing things was fantastic, you can really appreciate the art. Mort was a great teacher and very patient with a complete novis. Even on the hottest day of the year and then adding the heat of the forge he made time to help when things weren't going to plan and made the day very enjoyable. Made a great knife with a leaf pattern which I was very happy with.
Would definitely do this again.
Lee - - #1451
We had a very interesting day at the Forge, and learnt a great deal about blacksmithing from Mort. Mort is a very enthusiastic teacher, and you get stuck into the practical side very quickly. Everyone came away with something they had made, which is a nice way to remember the day.
Guy - - #1441
I spent the day at Firebird Forge as part of a stag party of seven. Mort was able to get us all working within half and hour and coaxed some unexpectedly competent pieces of ironwork out of everyone by the end of the day. He is highly skilled, very knowledgeable and extremely engaging. We all had a fantastic day and now have a profound respect for the craft of Blacksmithing.
Dominic - - #1440
I went to Mort's forge for a stag do and must admit I was very unsure how the alternative to paint balling or go karting would go and was more then pleasantly surprised. Mort is a master crafts man with an impressive knowledge of blacksmithing. He explains all the processes and techniques very clearly, and even with 7 guys in the forge working at the same time, was able to get around to everyone and give advice and help when things were going wrong. Everyone walked away with something. Very worth while.
Jamie - - #1439
Fascinating! I am still amazed that I managed to make anything! Mort was the perfect tutor and was at hand to guide me through the processes that he taught us whilst we were with him.
Watching Mort work was quite amazing, to create such delicate and intricate items out of a plain steel bar was a sight to behold, he also has some very interesting family history stories!
Tim Cartwright - - #1438
I took 6 friends to spend the day with Mort. Great success. Mort's knowledge and talent was quickly evident but what impressed me the most was the way Mort treated a bunch of novices. After a quick but vital tutorial it was all hands on and everyone could work at their own pace. Nothing seemed too much trouble for Mort. Lovely setting. Fascinating workshop. We'll be talking about this trip for years. Many thanks Mort!
Henry - - #1437
A fantastic day learning the basics of Blacksmithing . Mort is a very interseting guy and made me feel very relaxed. Having never done anything like this before I was a bit nervous but Morts 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 recommed this to anyone who has even a slight interest in Blacksmithing.
Simon Hacker - - #1295
I bought this as a birthday present for my boyfriend. He has always wanted to have a go and I thought the one day taster would be ideal.
The day seemed to disappear very quickly as we were having so much fun. We were able to produce some Viking knives, arrow heads an leafs if which we were able to keep.
We will be back for more as we had such a pleasurable time. Thanks Mort, very informative and hands on day xxx
Sam varns - - #1293
Spent a great day with Mort getting an introduction to blacksmithing. Was great fun and really enjoyable but also learnt a lot.
Would recommend to anyone who wants to get into blacksmithing or who just wants to give it a go.
Max Medhurst - - #1269
I first met Mort at his forge when I needed some bolts made for a project that I was involved with. After what seemed like only a minute he had hand forged two very neat bolts. I thought I've got to give this a go. I have never worked with metal other than to put screws into timber or walls so it was great to have a go and try and make something from scratch. I opted for a Viking knife and convert it into a herb chopper.
Mort has an original way of teaching that puts you at ease straight away and within minutes you think that you have been a blacksmith for years. His eye for detail is amazing. He was able to explain technical terms and practices in layman terms and also let you get on with your project with confidence. If you have never worked in a forge and feel that maybe you should give it a go. Then don't hold back. Do it. I have never laughed so much. Or learn't anything like it. An opportunity not to be missed.
Nick Moon - - #1266
From an artistic door stop to a pattern welded wakizashi, Mort knows how to forge it and he'll teach you how. It really is up to you what you make. Greatly enjoyed learning the basics of blacksmithing all the way up to forge welding (quite impressive how sparks fly while forge welding). I recommend Mort if you want to learn how to blacksmith while making your own pieces with such a top character.
Mark Mullen - - #1265
My 12 year old son and I spent a relaxing and educational day at the forge. We were both complete novices, but learnt loads and came away with some very cool products made with our own fair hands. Both of us were very pleased with the results and will undoubtedly return for more. Thanks, Mort.
Matthew Page - - #1091
I thoroughly enjoyed my tuition with Mort in February. From being near enough a complete novice over the three days I made a variety of artistic and functional pieces and could see my skills improve greatly and grew in confidence with the use of the tools and forge. The tuition was both relaxed, enjoyable and informative enabling me to create decorative pieces trying new skills through to tools for my wood burner. Thoroughly recommended.
Caroline Drewett - - #1070
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