An excellent course with superb tuition. This was my first time in a forge and over a period of two days I progressed from the basics of forging a taper on the end of a piece of bar to creating a bunch of poppies. The outcome was way above my expectations and has impressed many. I gained hands on experience of a wide range of tools and techniques in a guided and supportive environment. I now have the 'blacksmith bug' and plan to return in the new year. Thoroughly recommended.
David Thomas - - #26654
Response from Fransham Forge:Thank you for your comments - we are glad you enjoyed your days with us.
Our daughters bought my husband and I, a one day blacksmithing course. It was a fabulous day, found out a lot about the skills, tools, history - and made 5 brilliant items to take home and show all our friends. Nigel was extremely welcoming and knowledgeable. He was most interesting and supported each of us at the level we needed. Would recommend it as a wonderful day in magnificent surroundings. Thank you Nigel and the other students. Sue Huskie
Susan Huskie - - #24830
Nigel is a great teacher. Although I won’t be giving up my day job to start an Apprenticeship metal working, he was patient and showed me how to work the metal so I came home with some great pieces and was really pleased with my efforts. It was a lovely sunny day so at lunch we wandered through the amazing sculpture garden adjacent to the forge. So glad we booked this course even though it was mainly for my husband. Recommended!!
Angharad Cousins - - #23433
My wife booked me a 2 day course for an Xmas present and I have to say it was excellent. We even stayed over in the Shepherd huts which were great. Nigel was a brilliant host and tutor and I would highly recommend doing a course with him.
Darren Coham - - #22733
Nigel is a complete legend, the experience, knowledge and skill he possesses and shares is nothing short of exceptional. The skills you will learn will transform your ability.
I had never done anything like this but Nigel gives you all the guidance, mentoring, tools and coaching you need and you come away with so many pieces.
I can’t recommend this course highly enough.
Ben Grocott - - #22442
I did a one day course with Nigel last weekend, it was fantastic. Nigel is so knowledgeable and so accommodating. I went on the course as a "forged in fire" fan, with no previous experience, wanting to make a knife. Nigel explained that this would be difficult on a one day course. But he helped me to come away with a blade I was proud of. He even stayed late to help me finish the handle.
I really enjoyed the experience and can't wait to go back to make a sword. Nigel is a real master, and great character. I could have listened to his anecdotes about forging all day. All in all a great day.
Ian Davies - - #21981
If you are thinking about attending a day or two with Nigel, stop thinking and book it! Just got back from a fabulous day at Fransham. Nigel is such a character; full of stories and experiences, along with an incredible talent for blacksmithing which he appears delighted to pass on in the most informative and entertaining way.
Having never tried this before I went with some trepidation but this was quickly dispelled with Nigel's friendly and informal approach and I can't believe how much we made in the day, 5 beautiful forged articles from ornate pokers to lovely key rings.. Beautiful mementos of a wonderful day.
I will be returning for another day when I have worked out what I want to make next. Thanks Nigel!
Guy Tasker - - #21546
Nigel is an energetic and enthusiastic tutor, full of knowledge and hints and tips to help you along, combine this with his many anecdotes and tales and you are in for an entertaining and informative day. This course is squarely based at someone who has never used a welder before so is a great place to dip you toe into the world of metal fabrication. Situated in the heart of Norfolk countryside the whole site is an artisan paradise.
Stuart - - #20985
Wow what an amazing two days I’ve had! My husband bought this as a birthday present and the family calendar simply said “KEEP FREE” under my name. I think it’s probably the best birthday present I’ve had to date.
Nigel, what can I say, thoroughly entertaining throughout the 2 days, patient, creative, thoughtful and extremely knowledgeable, a true artisan and artist. I learnt so much and made so many things that are now in our home. The machinery that initially looked intimidating, I hadn’t given a second thought to by the end of the first day (apart from the “flat noodle maker” the hammering machine that I swore wouldn’t defeat me on day two!).
The forge and grounds are a labyrinth filled with machinery, materials, tools and art. The grounds are particularly peaceful, like a retreat, and a great contrast at lunchtime, to the noise and busyness of the forge.
Thank you so much Nigel, I will definitely go back to learn more.
Nina Ward - - #20870
It may seem an expensive day but it is not. These days have been phenomenal, this is a true insight in to the craft of the blacksmith, and you get to keep all the cool stuff you make. The Smith (Nigel) is professional and entertaining throughout the day, a true font of knowledge with the patience of a saint for us less accomplished skilled people. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in this remarkable field.
Charles Adlington - - #20168
I attended a 1 day course in Blacksmithing with Nigel as a Christmas gift only a couple of weeks ago.
The day is full on forging right from the start making it great value. Nigel is a good teacher and you can work at your own pace and skill level. The forge is an Aladdins cave of presses and machinery used in the day to day running of the forge. Nigel has plenty of anecdotes to share with you as the day goes on too.
It was not too cold on the day I went but the advice in the joining instructions to wear warm socks and footwear is a good tip. Hopefully be back for another session (with my other half she said) soon.
Laurence - - #19148
My wife bought us both vouchers to celebrate our wedding anniversary and 6 months later we found time to attend Nigel's One Day Blacksmithing Course. It was a very cold December Saturday when we rocked up.
Nigel is a true character, with a story for every occasion! But, what Nigel is, is a true artisan craftsman, with a wealth of experience in his trade and craft that shines through in his teaching. His explanations and demonstrations on the various items we got to make on the day are precise, yet relaxed and well delivered. Soon we were left to wield hammers and tongs to make our first item - a drop forged leaf key ring. What followed, complimented by an unexhaustible river of tea/coffee, came thick and fast. Pokers, toasting forks, acorn key rings were manufactured in quick succession. Everything made with Nigel's advice, help and good humour.
As the day progressed, I asked if I could make a wood working marking knife. No problem and we set about forging it. At the end, the knife was exactly what I wanted and all hand made.
We couldn't recommend this course highly enough - good chance we will be back, as there is a garden fire pit to be designed and made!
Thanks to Maxine and Nigel for a great day.
Glenn Gooding - - #18754
Nigel is what I can only describe as a true craftsman - upholding all that is true to his craft and art. He has a breadth of knowledge spanning decades drawn from a lifetimes work of creating and problem solving. He not only knows how to creat wonderful work but also how it should be made - what materials are best suited to a particular application. He's also a tool maker - while I was on one of his extremely popular and I might add very entertaining courses he showed me many custom made jigs, tools and processes he has developed over the years. He takes a real delight in show and explaining how things are done and why different types of steel work in different ways.
If your looking for an introduction or something more advanced don’t hesitate to book a day.
His workshop is an Aladdin’s cave of light and heavy machines where anything is possible.
John - - #18550
My oldest son did the one day course and on the back of that gave my other son and I the chance to do the same.
Fabulous day, relaxed and educational as well as practical and we came away with all sorts of ‘stuff’ made during the day.
Nigel is excellent company and adds something special to the day.
Would recommend in an instant and have already done so.
Will be back for more and so will my sons as all hooked now and looking for a forge for home !
Would be great in the summer as accomodation can be in one of Nigel’s Shepherds Huts in the woods that surround the forge.
All in all a great day and would recommend to anyone.
Girls included as you don’t , as Nigel demonstrated, need ‘strength of arm’ to form red hot metal.
Rob - North Suffolk.
Bob - - #18331
I'm a crop scientist, so I hate it when people only think food comes from shops. But then I was thinking spoons and forks come from shops ... I hadn't thought that forging was needed, or what forging really meant ... but once I'd twigged it's about melting and bashing bits of metal, I really enjoyed it ... and as everyone else is saying, Nigel was an excellent and enthusiastic introducer ... and now I have my own self-made spoon ... and poker, BBQ spatula, and weird wiggly thing to stick in the garden, etc. Activity / experience gifts seem to be in fashion, and this is one, par excellence, especially if you arrive from outer space, like me.
Roger Sylvester-Bradley - - #18065
Attended a 1 day course as a Xmas pressie & if I’m honest I didn’t know what to expect. I needn’t have worried as the day was brilliant.
Nigel is a great story teller & unique character who kept us entertained all day.
His skills in his craft are second to none & he has the patience of a saint! A great teacher & all round good guy.
We started at 8.30 & left at 5.30 having made bbq burger flippers, leaf key rings & two bespoke structures for the garden.
Nicky - - #17953