Due to the Coronavirus emergency, all our courses for Spring/Summer 2020 have been postponed - we're very grateful to all the affected students who have opted to take their course later, when it is safe to do so.
We are happy to receive enquiries for bookings in 2021, but are not accepting paid bookings at this stage.
Our 'B' course is led by Ambrose Burne, who introduces his students to the basic operations with some set pieces; then it becomes more design-based and experimental, with an exploration of the students' own ideas developed with Ambrose's help. It’s a good idea - but not compulsory - to think about what you might want to make in advance, in very general terms – don’t be too ambitious - entrance gates really aren't a possibility!
Ambrose teaches on the BA Degree course in Artist Blacksmithing at Hereford College of Arts, and he undertakes commissions and exhibits internationally - in September 2017 at the international World Blacksmithing Championships in Stia, Italy, Ambrose was part of the victorious Gold Medal winning 'Team UK' in the team design and make category, beating hundreds of other blacksmiths from around the world.
The assistant tutor is Eamonn Kenward.
The 'B' course starts at 9:00 am prompt on Saturday, and runs until 7:00 pm; Sunday 9:00 - 4:00 pm.
The course is suitable for absolute beginners, male or female, from the age of 11 upwards (11 - 14-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult family member also booked on the course); or for people with some basic experience looking to develop their design and forging skills.
Classes are limited to 8 students, each with a fully-equipped workstation.
Students are encouraged to discover the properties of hot iron for themselves, but there is plenty of sympathetic expert help available if any aspect becomes a struggle.
Past students have described the experience as 'amazing' and 'mindblowing', and the satisfaction of proud makers showing off their achievements at the end of the weekend is very evident.
This course makes a terrific and unique present - for birthday, Christmas, retirement, or anniversary (6th is Iron, 11th is Steel - and why not take it together?).
Also a very useful experience for a young person who wishes to expand their understanding and explore their ability to make things by hand.
If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
All materials are included in the course fee, and all tools, safety glasses, gloves and aprons are provided; we do ask you to wear your own steel toecap safety boots - and we'll tell you how to get good comfortable ones at very reasonable price by online mail order with quick free delivery.
During the COVID-19 precautionary period we request students to bring their own packed lunch (there is a Tesco within 5 minutes) and their own water bottle and mug, and , tea, coffee, and water will be provided safely throughout the day.
We don't offer overnight accommodation ourselves, but will send you a list of comfortable local B&B accommodation with nearby evening meal availability, on request.
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.
What a challenging, unusual, stimulating and satisfying weekend this turned out to be!
Excellent tutoring from Ambrose with great support from Richard and Pauline Quinnell (super lunches, general good cheer and really interesting professional insights ) and help from the skilled and knowledgeable Eamonn in a really memorable setting. I knew aspects of it would be tough (I'm not exactly a natural blacksmith) but I was supported all the way and came home with some lovely pieces that will always remind me of time well spent. A huge thank you to all involved!
NB: the banging-nails-into-wood exercise that Richard recommends before you attend the course is well worthwhile.
A great introduction to forging with brilliant instructors made for a really fun weekend. This was a gift from my family and I really enjoyed it, can't wait to do it again!
A thoroughly enjoyable course run by Ambrose and Eamonn. We were shown the basic techniques and were able to put them to use on the set pieces.
There was quite a lot of flexibility in the projects which meant that on Sunday I was able to work on my own project. Ambrose helped me to develop my ideas and suggested options for achieving the results I wanted. Eamonn helped me to complete the different stages with tips, suggestions and guidance.
The organisation and logistics were clear and the refreshments were timely and wholesome.
An excellent course
What a great course! The tutor Peter and assistant Eamonn were great at keeping the group working with simple blocks of instructions we could all follow and produce a surprising amount of finished work.
I really enjoyed it. If you like hitting things with a hammer - this is the course for you.
I had a wonderful weekend and learnt so much. The instructors were really helpful and I was amazed at what could be achieved in a weekend. Also a massive thank you for being so accommodating of having a vegan on the course. I appreciated the non leather apron and gloves and the amazing vegan cake. I hope to come on your other course in future. The only thing I would add is it would be useful to start a bit earlier on the Friday as I ended up getting home quite late and was a little tired on Saturday morning. Thanks again for a lovely weekend.
This course is great! It will take you from never having picked up hot steel, to creating delicate and intricate pieces you thought were only seen in shops! It’s amazingly well run and everyone goes above and beyond in terms of hosting this great course. I couldn’t recommend it more.
The course was perfect for beginners regardless of ability. The tutors were extremely friendly and knowledgeable, providing clear demonstrations and always at hand to provide help and guidance. I got to make a number of 'objects' to take home which were far beyond my expectations!
Huge thanks to Ambrose and Eamon whose enthusiasm and patience made for a very satisfying and unforgettable weekend (along with heaps of food and cakes from the lovely Quinnel family).
Thank you for an excellent weekend. I learnt a great deal and I came away with two beautiful candlesticks.
Thank you to Ambrose and Eamonn as well as Richard and his wife for making the weekend so enjoyable.
Brilliant course, you get stuck in and start making things within the first hour which I didn’t expect and by the end of the weekend I had produced some very useful items.
I’m thinking about going back or doing another course with them sometime as I enjoyed it so much.
This was a fantastic course! Ambrose was a great tutor, stepping us through various techniques and supporting us when we had a go ourselves. Some students had previous experience and others were total beginners but Ambrose and Eammon were there for us all, giving expert guidance both and helping hands where needed. Dick also joined us on Sunday, further adding to the expertise. Delicious cakes, lunch and good strong tea kept us going all day! It was great to work with friendly, like-minded people and a pleasure to see people's visions brought to life by the end of Sunday. Planning another visit soon!
A really really good weekend. Learnt the basics of something completely new and came away with several pieces of work including plant stand and iron poppy. Great tutors and great fun. Highly recommended.
A really enjoyable course. The tuition & support were excellent, always on hand to help if I got stuck or needed an extra process such as welding done (by Eamon or Ambrose as we weren't trained to do it).
Both I (& more importantly my wife!) are delighted with the garden obelisk I made as well as the smaller items, especially the steel poppy for Remembrance Day. Food & beverages were plentiful and delicious, particularly Pauleen's home-made cake.
Absolutely amazing! I was intouch with the school prior to the course to find out more about it and what things I could make over the weekend, I was told to keep an open mind as there was a lot of flexibility in what we wanted to make.
After the first hour of learning the basics we got to make a few guided pieces, this helped to not only learn some key techniques but also start straight away on building ideas for my own design. The support from all Ambrose, Eamonn and Richard was amazing...they were very patient with each student and made it a great atmosphere to learn in. Also, the provided lunch, tea/coffee and cakes were fantastic and helped keep us all going!
A wonderful, if somewhat exhausting, experience. From very nervous beginnings it was quite remarkable how much progress could be made during the course of a couple of days. Both myself, and especially my family, were amazed at the results.
The course was well structured for beginners. The pace was just right and so were the challenges. The tutor, Ambrose Burne was excellent (and I say that as an experienced tutor). Having another highly skilled blacksmith on hand to provide extra help was more than one would normally expect on a course with 8 participants. Hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. Adding another couple of vices would be a good idea.
Liz Dell. HND(Fine Art) TDipIT.
I very much enjoyed this course, and have wanted to do something like this for a very long time.
The tutoring was of a very high standard, I really felt the tutors loved and knew what blacksmithing is all about.
After some basic exercises, there is plenty of time to work on your own designs. So it is a good idea to think about this before the course!
Even whilst I am not very artistic I can say that I'm proud of what I produced on the w/e.
Thank you Ambrose, Eamonn and the other students for a good w/e far exceeding any a city break!!!
Brilliant course, and chuffed with what I made. Thank you to the Ambrose and Eamonn for all their help
What an excellent weekend! The perfect set up for learning a new skill, highly skilled and adept teachers (and just down right decent blokes). Great food, (very lovely cakes!!) and although personally, I am not very talented, I did not stop learning from the moment I arrived. On top of all this, you get to make some cool implements to take home and display your forging prowess (and possibly open bottles with)!!
In all honesty, if I could go every weekend, I would...So book today...no seriously BOOK IT!!!
Great experience and support , advice available for all abilities.
Really great introduction and some super helpful guys!
Would highly recommend this course. The guys were friendly and welcoming. After a health and safety run through it was straight onto the forge. Being a small group meant if anyone needed extra help the tutor was able to spend time explaining the best way to approach the problem. Came away with 4 pieces which was more than i thought i could make. Even though the saturday was a long day i could have carried on for longer and the time flew by. Really enjoyed the whole weekend and planning another visit as i have loads of ideas for more projects. We stayed in leatherhead and were only a 5 min drive from the site which was easy to find.
This was my second course, building on a previous one, so I wanted to use more techniques. Experienced teachers who knew how to help and also helped me design and make a piece (belt buckle) which is much admired. Very decent facilities, day was a good length, with frequent tea and biscuit breaks to give the old biceps a break! I have already booked onto my next course and am looking forward to it.
Excellent course, great fun but hard work! Managed to make things I didn't think I was capable of (with a bit of expert help!)
A great course if you enjoy learning the rudiments of a new hands on skill. It's very practical so you are wielding a hammer within minutes of starting the course. Ambrose goes at a really nice pace allowing you to be as guided or sell sufficient as you please. A top experience.
A great way to 'have a go' at blacksmithing. The course was relaxed but I still managed to create three items over a weekend that I'm proud of. Everyone was really friendly and supportive, encouraging creativity. It's a testament to how much everyone in the group was enjoying the course that we all continued working on our pieces even after the official end time on the first day and had to be (gently) encouraged to leave!
The course was an excellent introduction to Blacksmithing. I wanted the opportunity to create an object rather than just learn techniques and this course provided the perfect blend of creativity, techniques and hands-on support. The weekend brought together a group of people from different backgrounds and we all enjoyed the experience. I look forward to building on this course.