Had a superb day with Mort. I went along with a friend and Mort was really supportive in our choice of what we wanted to create. He set the perfect balance between allowing us to succeed using the skills he had taught us and stepping in to assist, before our frustration or the potential self destruction of our work took hold! He is obviously a master craftsman that makes everything look so frustratingly easy. His patience and knowledge is first class I would whole heartedly recommend his teaching days to any budding blacksmith. Thanks again Mort.
Duncan Shannon - - #26723
30th October 2019
I attended the one day blacksmithing course with my cousin armed with drawings of our dream projects. Mort deciphered our efforts and brought us down to earth with what we as complete beginners could realistically achieve in 8 hours, drew it all out on his massive metal table and we were off.
The forge is a fascinating space! An incredible array of hammers and tongs amassed around the heart of the fire with the ssshhhhhh quenching pool at the end. We learned how to detect the readiness of the heated metal for fashioning by its colour and the spitty sparks coming off the fire. Then the “bashing bit” using the huge anvils, bending cones and mould templates plus the thunderous electric punch.
Mort’s teaching style is thorough but very enjoyable. When time was getting short he speeded up the manufacture of our objects and the finished articles surpassed both of our expectations. Mort would not compromise with a less than perfect finish.
It was a great day.
Jo Milsom - - #25838
Massive thanks to Mort for a brilliant day for me and my husband. Mort made it very special, he is a fantastic source of knowledge, help and support. Our day included a history of forging and loads of information about the current state of smithing which we really enjoyed. More practically, Mort is a great teacher and a really inspiring designer. He worked with the slightly scrappy ideas we came up with and helped us design practical but achievable objects. Then he showed us the skills we needed to turn those designs into reality, getting the balance right between showing us how and helping with the more challenging aspects. Mort was really ambitious for our designs and inspired us to make something really beautiful. The day was designed about what we wanted to make. We left with two lovely plant holders, uniquely designed and created. Mort never settled for second best, he helped us make something we will treasure and enjoy for years. Highly recomended.
Katy - - #25627
I had a very enjoyable and educational day blacksmithing with Mort at Firebird forge. It was good to learn new [to me] ways of welding and working metals under Mort's guidance. He has the right balance of teaching, leaving you to 'have a go' and helping out when you struggle with more technical aspects, usually making it look easy when he does it. The small groups of two or three people keep it friendly and personal. Many thanks for a great day.
Dave Moore - - #25379
Great way to spend a Sunday. I really enjoyed getting to know about Blacksmithing and coming away with a completed project. I made a recipe book holder, which now sits proudly in my kitchen.
Mort was great, really passionate about smithing and teaching people - even if, like me, you leave your project in the fire too long and it falls apart (lesson learnt), Mort can fix it!
I did arrive nearly an hour late and Mort kindly went over time to make up for my delay. So if you're like me and can't read instructions and drive - scout the place out ahead of time.
Many thanks Mort and Daisy (the dog)
Rebecca Wright - - #25372
Spent a day at the forge for my husband's 40th and could not recommend more! Mort is a natural teacher with plenty of patience, enthusiasm and skill. We were able to bring our ideas to fruition and come away with the Gothic candlestick of my dreams and a pair of door handles.
We were trusted to work on our own pieces but the support was always there if (when in my case!) it was needed.
Overall, I highly recommend this as a way to explore a craft you might not usually have access to, it's a hard-working day and you will come away feeling like you have achieved something.
Naomi - - #25063
A fantastic day learning the basics of blacksmithing. Mort is a very friendly chap and made me feel very welcome. I'd not done blacksmithing before but Mort's teaching techniques soon made me feel as though I could give it go. The end results were pretty good for a complete beginner. I would recommend this to anyone who has even a slight interest in blacksmithing.
Dave Colwell - - #24473
Went to experience blacksmithing with a few friends. We had a fantastic time. Mort is a great teacher, he has so much knowledge. Mort lets you choose what you would like to made and helps come with ideas if still unsure. He helped me make a wedding cake knife for our wedding next year. Really good day, would like to go back and try making something else.
Kyle Boyce - - #23178
I had such a great day, Mort is very friendly and was an amazing teacher who was great at explaining everything we needed to know. I was in a group of three, and everyone had a brilliant time. We all went home dirty but with a smile from ear to ear. The day went extremely quickly, and I plan to return to expand on what I learnt and create even more difficult items. Thank you for a wonderful day.
Ian Boxall - - #23210
I spent a great day with my grandson at the forge with Mort. As novices we enjoyed his knowledgeable and friendly style and the wide variety of tools and techniques he demonstrated. We had a go at lots of different techniques and Mort was always encouraging about our efforts.
We both left the forge with completed projects, mainly on my part thanks to Mort stepping in towards the end to help finish off the piece. We learnt a lot and my grandson gained new confidence at achieving something he made himself.
Peter lane - - #22838
Amazing day at the forge. To be guided through all the process needed to make, in my case, a draw knife was quite something. So much to learn and understand but at least I have some appreciation of what a skill this is. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and highly recommend this course. Thank you Dave.
Rob Anderson - - #22398
Back for another awesome day, had a brilliant time and learnt how to accomplish really unusual patterns on square bar and also ended up with a very nice poker along with a few patterned items. This is the second day of training with Mort and learnt even more than the first time. The training gives a good insight to the skill these guys have. To come away with hand forged items is amazing. Would not hesitate to recommend firebird forge and Mort to anyone who wants to start a great new hobby or profession, beware it’s addictive, you will want to go back time and again.
Bobbie Rummery - - #22283
My wife and I spent a very enjoyable day learning about the art of blacksmithing. Mort was so patient with us, explaining exactly what we should be doing. We made between us, and with Mort’s help, a wonderful bird feeder which now has pride of place in our garden! Our grown up children are waiting in the wings to do the same! We thoroughly recommend the course. Thank you Mort.
Frank Newell - - #22175
Arrived at Firebird Forge through sleet & snow on 1st February 2019. A one to one lesson with Mort as a 70th birthday present. I had not done any blacksmithing since making a toasting fork at school in 1962.
By the time I left I had produced a viking knife, a marine Ka-Bar style knife & my own blacksmith's tongs.
I also left with a lot of new practical knowledge which scratched the surface of the blacksmith's skills.
During the day Mort had taken me through the art of drawing out, upsetting, riveting, tapering, hole punching, hardening, tempering and the magic skill of forge welding. All this & the proper use of the anvil & its accessories, hand tools, especially hammers & power hammers, along with explaining the different types of welding, arc, mig & tig. He also explained the difference in types of iron & steel, based on their carbon content & how the molecules react to heat & hammering. I also managed to burn a piece of high carbon steel (ie it burnt in two, due to too much heat. Mort soon rectified my error and saved the piece. (more knowledge learnt from errors). We also discussed the various steels of the old sword makers. Toledo, Damascus (Wootz steel) & Tamahagane. Mort is a very knowledgable & highly skilled blacksmith who is passionate about his art. I went home with a lot more skill & knowledge than when I arrived. The following morning I knew I had had my monies worth. I was cream-crackered. Thanks Mort.
Ken Charman - - #19462
Received a one day tuition as a Christmas present from my husband, who attended the course too - what can i say? it was awesome, we both thoroughly enjoyed the day and learnt so much. Mort is an excellent tutor and communicator he has an extensive knowledge on the on the history of the craft and teaches you about the types of metal and how to distinguish what type of steel to use. We both made items to take home and are amazed at what you can learn in one day and that is all down to Mort's teaching style which is one of demonstration and stepping in to put you back on track if needed - which of course as absolute beginners we did, a couple of times or so. The downside it goes too fast you are so engrossed in the training the day flies by. But what a great way to spend a day. I definitely want to learn more of this skill and will be putting in birthday present requests too. Would definitely recommend. Thank you Mort, a brilliant day.
bobbie - - #19102
Mort is a great communicator and educator. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable day learning and practicing blacksmithing. Mort was demonstrating and guiding, and stepping in to help when we made missteps.
Julian (14 years) says:
Mort is a very good blacksmith and he knows a lot about the historical roots of metal working. I wish that this sort of stuff was available in school these days, but unfortunately it isn't. It was the best practical lesson I've ever had.
Philip and Julian - - #19001