About the Course
The 'O' course is led by Peat Oberon, award-winning blacksmith, and inspiring and sympathetic teacher; assisted by Eamonn Kenward.
The courses are suitable for absolute beginners, male or female, from the age of about 14 upwards; or for metalworkers seeking to gain a basic understanding of iron-forging.
A place on one of Peat's courses makes a fabulous birthday, Christmas or anniversary present - some recipients have said it's the best present they've ever had! Classes are limited to 8 students, each with a fully-equipped workstation.
Peat Oberon introduces students to the basic operations of blacksmithing through a tightly-planned programme of object-based procedures that result in all students making a loop-&-tendril poker on the first afternoon, a hanging basket bracket on the second day, and a ram's-head toasting-fork on the third day. This is a very impressive amount of work to get through in the time, the work rate is intensive and you should expect to become quite pleasantly tired by Sunday afternoon - but the sense of achievement is tremendous!
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. With 20 years’ experience, and over 1500 very happy students to date, we think we're getting it right, and can confidently guarantee that you will enjoy yourself enormously!
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?). It's also an excellent educational experience for young people of 14 upwards who wish to expand their understanding and explore their ability to make things by hand - also a way for them to test their aptitude if they're interested in making a career in metalworking - we can advise on further training - apprenticeships and courses up to BA Hons and MA degree level, and opportunities for overseas training and travel.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
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.
We provide a light lunch, and biscuits, tea, coffee, water and juice throughout the day. We can readily cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free/coeliac, and non-dairy diets - just let us know on the booking form.
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.
The course starts at 3:00 pm prompt on Friday, and runs until 7:00pm; Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm; Sunday 9:00 - 3.30 pm.
Absolutely fabulous ! I can't believe how much we achieved and how quickly we threw ourselves into it. It's quite astounding what we were able to learn and make in such a short space of time thanks to Peats expert tuition. Whilst physical it is very rewarding and it certainly helps you sleep well! Thanks also to the hospitality of the Quinnell family and for the splendid spread of food. Loved every minute of it … a very special weekend.
Kate Howe - - #25916
I did not know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. The facilities, surroundings, course and teachers were excellent. It was such a pleasure and honour to be amongst and guided by renown experts in Peat and Eamonn, true experts in the field of black smithing. Richard Quinnell made us all so welcome and worked hard to ensure we were attended to. A fantastic course that I would highly recommend to all ages. Malcolm.
Malcolm Leeves - - #25887
At 15, Sam's ambition is to be a blacksmith and despite a small burn, this experience has made him even more determined. The results that he managed to produce were stunning for someone with no previous experience and he can't wait to join another course in the future. The organisation and tuition was excellent and there was a fantastic friendly atmosphere. Very dirty, very tired, very happy!
Sam - - #25857
I can’t imagine how a course could be any better. All aspects were perfect. When I show people what I achieved, frankly, people can’t believe it. Peat and Eamonn were simply top drawer and the most amazing hosts.
Jim wynn - - #25851
I bought this course for my husband as a special birthday gift so although I did not participate (he will do his own review) I can say how much he enjoyed the whole experience. “Fantastic tuition in a beautiful setting with a great group.” He found it interesting, fun, rewarding and satisfying.
From my point of view the booking experience was efficient, friendly and helpful. If you are looking for an unusual and very special gift for someone I can heartily recommend this course.
Hilary Leeves - - #25848
I was a complete novice with no real idea of what to expect when I arrived on Friday afternoon. A fantastic experience and a real sense of achievement was gained on this course. I had a very enjoyable, and somewhat challenging weekend but left with three finished pieces of which I am very proud.
The relaxed and friendly atmosphere created by Richard and Pauline Quinnell, who were charming hosts and a joy to spend time chatting with at the lunch breaks, together with Pete's expertise and Eammon's patience and skill combined to enhance the experience no end. Excellent clear instruction and demonstration and a really inclusive approach meant that we all received the level of assistance and encouragement that we needed, when we needed it. A special setting and to top it off a tour of the gallery from Adam at lunchtime on Saturday was an unexpected pleasure.
I have already recommended the course to friends and family. Fabulous!
Helen Elderfield - - #25846
Excellent value for money. I would recommend this course to anyone with the slightest interest in working with metal. I can't believe that I learned so much and produced three finished pieces of work to take home at the end of day three. The forge/workshop is very well equipped with plenty of tools and workstations for the number of students. Peat and Eamonn were fantastic teachers, giving advice and practical help in a friendly and professional way.
The lunch provided was of a high quality.
Attention to detail means that the whole setup is professional. This makes joining and preparing for the course easy. An example of this is that for health and safety reasons students need to have a pair of steel toe capped boots. Richard (Quinnell) suggests buying boots from Toolstation. I followed his advice and found that the pair he recommended were cheaper than a pair I'd seen at Shoezone, and on first wearing were more comfortable than an expensive pair of walking boots I've just purchased.
Ian Burch - - #24510
I have read and wholeheartedly agree with all the reviews above! I too am preparing for my own forge!!
My signed copy of Peat's excellent book is already well thumbed and plans afoot for some projects.
Richard Piercy - - #20324
Excellent course. Challenging but enjoyable. Peat and Eammon were first class tutors with the experience needed to help the students achieve results that at first seemed to be beyond the ability of complete novices!
Daniel Brooks - - #20315
For Peat, ably assisted by Eamon, to take 8 enthusiastic amateurs, and get them to produce such a wide range of quality ironmongery, was a miracle!
The whole approach to the course was professional and friendly, without being patronising.
Peat has a wealth of knowledge, and it was a privaledge to have him as the course tutor.
In a world of smart phones and instant gratification, the Quinnell Blacksmithing course is not only a fanatastic memorable occasion, but also a personal milestone in my craft achievements.
Thank you all.
Kevin (The Hammer) Pearson - - #20313
Outstanding course, and better than I imagined. Peat supported by the ultimate " we can fix that problem" Eamonn were great, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how much we actually did hands on, rather than theory.
Even my highly cynical family are impressed with the work I built !
I would recommend this course to anybody, but would also recommend as suggested pre-course, strengthening up your hammer arms. I'm pretty strong but felt it after 3 days.
Now planning to go on Peats tool making course.
Peter Heim - - #20310
1) Great course
2) Great instructors who gently MAKE you DO IT YOURSELF
3) Friendly environment
4) Amazing experience
I loved learning about working with metal, it was a great 3 days of HOT learning.
Metal is unbelievably flexible and easy to work with as long as it’s ORANGE HOT.
Dave Higgs - - #20303
One of the best weekends I have had in many years. This was a 50th Birthday present and couldn't have been better. The knowledge and skills passed on by Peat were great and I cannot believe what we created in 3 days. I will be recommending the course to everyone I know.
Chad Beard - - #17849
I really enjoyed this course. Everything is very well explained. Real blacksmith hand on forging. You will end up with 3 pieces that you forged yourself. I would very much recommend to partake in this. It is wonderful experience.
Vojtech Blazejovsky - - #17848
Amazing experience and lots of fun learning new skills!
Chris - - #17841
An enjoyable and instructive course. Peat has a natural flair for teaching and was very ably assisted by Giles, both of whom have a good sense of humour and patience. I learnt a great deal, although I don't think I will be a "purist" as I'll be resorting to bandsaws and drills for cutting and putting in holes. Peat will shake his head in disgust.
The setting alone is worth going to. A unique house and grounds both steeped in history. Lucy Quinnell very kindly took time out to give quick tour which was fascinating. It's worth reading her articles on the property and black smithing.
Her father. Richard, is a raconteur par excellence and is worth spending time with for his history on modern black smithing and the odd tale of bloody local lore.
If you have even just a tiny spark of interest in the art of blacksmithing then I would highly recommend this course. Even if you don't, then go and look at the superb gallery and truly unique property.
Do I get free course now?
Scully - - #15811
Peat gave us helpful advice and tips throughout. Although the youngest on this course at 14 - I found it challenging and enjoyable. We had goals of new items to make every day, my family were amazed at the quality of what I had achieved. I did the course because it is educational and something that I would like to learn more about. You get to make friends too.
Samuel Leckie - - #15226
This was an amazing experience, much better than I even imagined and I would highly recommend it to anybody interested in the craft. The instruction was excellent and apart from learning a lot there was a lot of enthusiasm and everybody had a lot of fun. The Fire and Iron gallery is an iconic place in Surrey and a very inspiring place to learn some forging skills. I will always treasure the pieces I forged on that day. I feel inspired to continue with the craft and hopefully will shortly do the more advanced course which involves creating pieces of my own design.
Sean Dempsey - - #14430
An excellent course well structured and well lead. The setting is delightful, the team is amazing and their passion for the art is completely contagious. You may burn yourself or get a blister, you certainly will get tired and dirty. I did. Didn't stop me loving every minute.
Objects can hold our memories, I now have three that will outlast my lifetime, each time I look at them I'll remember and smile.
Neil Robson - - #14401
It was a fantastic course and a great entry for anyone looking to start blacksmithing whether interested or just curious. I would highly recommend it to friends and family.
Jamie - - #12953
Was a great weekend and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in crafting. Not only is it fun but you end up with usable and practical items at the end of it. We ended up getting the bracket zinc coated and painted with Richard and now it is outside in full display with an appropriate light hanging off it and it looks perfect! Make sure you follow the recommendation of strengthening your hammering arm before you go though as you will definitely need it!
Matthew - - #12786
Great fun, a real boys thing and the toasting fork has been put to good use.
Roger - - #12694
The course was fantastic we covered the 7 basic forging techniques and had adequate time to put the skills Pete was teaching us into practice. Pete guided us carefully and clearly so when he sent us off to complete the next stage of the course we had a clear idea of what we were supposed to do, and if someone was unsure Pete was happy to explain in another way until it was clear. During lunchtime we were provided with plenty of food and drink which was delicious and filling.
In summary the course was well worth it and the techniques I have learned will remain with me forever and have allowed me to pursue forging my own path.
james - - #9855
This was a truly amazing experience. The tuition was clear and concise and Peat ( and his counterpart) spent as much time as was necessary with each person to ensure everyone completed all the tasks.
It was quite hard ( and hot) work at times and it was as much of a challenge the forge temperature correct as it was working the steel into a piece of craftsmanship!!
I was truly astonished at what we managed to produce by the end of the weekend and will treasure the rams head toasting fork for eternity.
The general hospitality and lunch time buffet was lovely too with more than enough to go around and delicious home made cakes too!!
It was a great birthday treat and I would recommend it to anyone.
Peter Wilson - - #9710
The course was very well organised,with plenty of assistance from others, as well as from Peat. The items we made were well selected to demonstrate a wide variety of techniques, and the instructions and instructor were both very clear and simple. Peat provided plenty of background information on the subject, as well as expert advice on perfecting your technique. He was so enthusiastic about his work, and always keen to share his experiences in the art. I enjoyed the course so much, I bought myself a forge and anvil within a month of completing it!
Tom - - #9642
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