I last used a forge at school over 55 years ago and every time we visited a forge, I said to my wife that I would love to have another go. The sound and feel of forging metal has to be experienced "in the flesh", Just watching someone or TV misses the point.
The actual course was even better than I had hoped. The health and safety briefing was set just right. The instructor ratio was 3 Blacksmiths to 5 students and this meant that we could get help when we needed it, there was always somebody who could answer a question or help when needed. There were plenty of facilities; 3 forges, a dozen anvils and all the tools you could need.
We started off with everyone making a proper forged poker to get started and then we all set out on our individual projects - a knife, fire baskets & my forged house name. Real projects & lots of fun.
The pub lunch was excellent and provided a great opportunity to chat with John's team and the other attendees.
A brilliant day! Thanks very much to John & his team who made a long time wish come true.
Chris Phillips - - #25317
Response from Anvil Forge:Hello Chris
I had a great day learning about the heating process hot, but not too hot colour to look for. Hammering, grinding, shaping, honing, hardening. Walked away with a very sharp knife and new skills.
Very friendly, knowledgeable, and skilled people.
Would recommend to anyone.
Mick Devlin - - #25175
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Mick
Terrific course. And not a contrived classroom but in a real life metal-working shop. We were welcomed, geared up and bashing hot metal within a very short time. John and his team were very accommodating on our individual projects and the end result in each case was beyond what I thought possible on a one day course. It was a privilege to be introduced to blacksmithing by such skilled and experienced guys. Many thanks.
Norman Craig - - #25355
Where do I start; what a wonderful day. From beginning to end you are made to feel at home by John, Spencer and Aiden, who are continuously a wealth of knowledge and who are on hand throughout the day. Although a group experience, Spencer and Aiden make sure to go around and provide 1-1 attention to everyone and give as much or as little support as needed. This was bought as a gift and it is probably the most appreciated and enjoyed, memorable gift I have ever given; everyone should experience this at least once, but I assure you that you will soon have a new hobby - especially at the hands of the Anvil Forge. We definitely have and will be returning. Thank you John, Spencer and Aiden.
Zoë - - #23767
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Zoe
This course is a fantastic start for a newbie looking to get a practical understanding of the tools and a few of the base skills of the craft. I'll be booking in my second experience soon and can't wait! The knife you make will be aesthetic and useful. Thanks John, Spencer and Aidan for some top instructing.
Joshua Harris - - #23965
Spent two days at the Forge with John and his great team. They were all friendly and very accommodating. John and team were very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and helped me with the design and explained the processes before letting me loose.
I had a thoroughly great time and made a fantastic Viking inspired broad sword, couldn't recommend this course enough. They run plenty of courses which all look fantastic too!
Lloyd - - #23365
Joined these guys for the day I think last year, and can't think of a nicer bunch of blokes to spend the day forging with. Even though I was very keen before I went on this experience day to get into forging, I have since built a small coal forge and have successfully made several knives of my own including a low layer Damascus kitchen knife.
Thanks for the support on the day and igniting a new hobby.
Richard maskall - - #23347
Just finished a 1 day Viking knife making course with John and had an amazing time. Our group was small and it was the hottest day of the year, and I still had a good time.
We were made to feel welcome and I learned a lot. John and his guest tutor Alex had a wealth of knowledge and were keen to impart as much as possible and I hope he takes up his invitation to join Forged in Fire.
Hope to join him again some time to do another course (maybe on a cooler day).
John martin - - #23043
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi John
I was first invited to the forge by my partner, who said it was a surprise, and it was a pleasant one. Initially greeted by John I was then give instructions to forge a poker which was fun (especially hammering away at the metal).
Anvil Forge was a great day out I can recommend to all those interested in a exciting blacksmithing experience.
cory w - - #22667
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Cory
I joined John, Alex and small but mighty Henry for the two-day chef knife making course in May 2019. We were lucky to be a very small class of two but that didn't affect the warm and very enthusiastic welcome from the forge. After a cuppa we set to work forging an attractive iron fire poker to get a feel for the process. Another cuppa in and we were presented with two very rough templates cut from a strip of leaf spring steel salvaged from junkyard. We beat this into shape heating and beating the metal slowly drawing out the edge like you would with pastry. We were shown what colour to heat the metal to and to watch for sparks, suggesting you have burnt the iron because you were too distracted watching the others create bespoke pieces for clients! Once the rough edge is formed we allowed the metal to anneal by bringing it up to temperature then allowing it to cool slowly. Next we sketched out the knife profile we were trying to achieve and grinded down to the rough shape using this stage to create the primary bevel.
After a hefty pub lunch we then worked on achieving the secondary bevel before filing and sanding the edges, hardening the edge by quenching it in oil once past the magnetic point. John kindly took the blades to bake in the oven for two hours and slow cool.
The next morning we set to work on our handles, choosing our hardwood and forming the shape which proved tricky when trying to align the tang inside. Once finely sanded and oiled we went through the final process of sharpening, finishing the knife and testing the sharpness with the customary slice through paper.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable weekend; John and guys really instil the excitement of forging and have a wealth of knowledge with years of experience. This is a working forge with teaching on the side which in my view is far better than trying to churn out large classes for profit. I also think my knife speaks for itself with multiple friends asking where I did it and how they can sign up! Thank you John, Alex and Henry for a great weekend :)
Oliver Ward - - #22326
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Oliver
Wonderful day starting with a poker to get used to things and moving onto knife making - A lot packed into the day! I was pleasantly surprised what a novice could produce - but that is down to great instruction and help. If you are thinking about it - just do it!
Paul Hanson - - #22416
Having now done two course with the team at Anvil Forge, I can highly recommend them. Wonderful guys working in a great environment. The courses are paced well and interesting, this is a working forge and it is the real deal. What John, Spencer and the team produce on a daily basis is outstanding, and under their guidance you will produce a fantastic piece of work. I have managed to produce a herb cutter and a chef's knife and both have become firm favourites in the house. The easiest way to compliment them is to say I will be back to create any great blade.
Thanks for a few great days.
Mark Steven - - #21255
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Mark
An absolutely brilliant day the guys packed so much in to the day and we enjoyed every minute. I'm so pleased with my knife for cutting the wedding cake and I couldn't have made it without the help of John, Mark and Steven. I would highly recommend this course and would be happy to come back and do another course in the future.
Matt - - #20788
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Matt
My husband bought me this experience as i enjoyed watching 'Forged in fire', I was not sure I would enjoy trying blacksmithing myself. I was so wrong. The team mark, spencer, john and co (so sorry memory block on the fantastic welder) were so helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgable it made the day memorable. Lunch at the Farriers was really good and a wealth of information was shared over it. At the end of the day i had been helped to complete a fire poker and two beautiful lilly garden ornaments that i still cannot believe i helped make. They are already adorning my garden. I cannot recommend this experience enough, you end the day tired and dusty, but so exhilarated and with a great sense of achievement.
Annie - - #20777
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Annie
I had a fantastic time on the blacksmithing experience day! John and his team (Spencer, Aiden and Alex) were so welcoming, patient and knowledgeable and always happy to help and offer advice so I could finish my project safely and to a good standard. Lunch was great too and a nice chance to get to know the guys and my fellow course goers. I would definitely go back and try another course or even just another experience day and would happily recommend them. Thanks guys!
Jon Cox - - #20740
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Jon
What an excellent day. Started the morning making a simple poker and by end walked away with a Sword and a Dragon Claw mount to hang it in. All the guys there were attentive, super friendly and helpful. It really didn't matter who you asked, they were happy to help you move along with whatever it was you were making.
Need to use an angle grinder, here is how to use it safely.
Need to make a curve in that sword, use this tool.
Need to drill something, let me help clamp it down properly and get you started.
My son (12) was just grinning the whole day and when asked at the end just said "Awesome". We came with some ideas for a sword and within reason you got to make what want to your design within the day.
I can strongly recommend this experience day if your son/daughter has any sort of interest in working with metal.
Chris Giltnane - - #20016
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Chris
A great course, educational, constructive and great fun. You first lean the basics of forging metal before starting on your blade.the instructor combines knowledge and patience allowing freedom of design yet great teaching. All wrapped up with two great pub lunches.
Overall fantastic course, immense fun and a great knife to take home.
Would thoroughly recommend.
John Perriam - - #19656
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi John
I had my introduction to blacksmithing course yesterday and at the end of the day I was tired, dirty and grinning like an idiot. This was easily the best day I've had in a very long time indeed and I got a poker and kitchen knife out of it too!
Being only a small group of students meant that we had the undivided attention of tutors John, David and Spencer and they're a cracking bunch of blokes; friendly, knowledgeable, funny and they really made the day special for everyone.
I would unequivocally recommend this course to anyone interested in blacksmithing or bladesmithing and wants an introduction to the practical aspects.
I'm saving up for my next visit!
Tristan Luscombe - - #19603
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Tristan
Just had a weekend at Anvil Forge on the chef's knife making course. I had the best time, John, Steve & Alex were brilliant. It was a really welcoming place with so much knowledge and a keenness to pass that on but with the freedom to make it your own. Throw in a couple of tasty pub lunches and you couldn't ask for any more! Thanks again
Neil Parker - - #19862
Response from Anvil Forge:Hi Neil
Bought this as a Christmas present for my son....as he said “Best day ever”. Such a good experience and he learnt so much. Great atmosphere and fun. Produced a poker and knife to be very proud of. Can’t wait to do a more in-depth course next time....
Ursula Krenik - - #19953