Blacksmithing and metalworking

The blacksmith's craft with Andrew Smith

Ref: S1D10968


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About this course

Experience the rhythm of working hot steel using fire, hammering and shaping at the anvil to make a small piece of work.

Course Description

This course is intended to introduce you to the craft of blacksmithing through a small personal composition in iron. You gain experience of the rhythm of working hot steel at the anvil, use of the fire, hammer work, various tools, twisting, bending and shaping. Among those techniques will be use of the fire, drawing down tapers, bending, upsetting, twisting.

It is not necessary to have any prior experience of this craft, as demonstration and practical guidance form the basis of the course.

As the day progresses you evolve your project into an appropriately scaled composition in forged iron which will be a testament both to the creative potential within the medium as well as techniques covered during the day. You should be able to view metalwork with a new and invigorated eye and you should have had an exciting glimpse in to the world of steel working.

This course is unusual, it is rewarding and it is fun!


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • All fuel costs and mild steel stocked by the College.
  • Students must wear goggles (provided) and suitable protective clothing for this course. Leather aprons, work gloves, welding gauntlets and goggles can be borrowed from the Forge. Other protective equipment – e.g. welding helmets and ear defenders are also available in the Forge. You may wish to bring any of the above, if you have them. If for example you have particularly large or small hands, your own work gloves are likely to be a better fit.

What students need to bring

  • Items of drawing equipment if you wish
  • Clothes suitable for workshop use
  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use – please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics.
  • For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. Students must bring their own footwear to wear on the course. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing equipment (ie. sketchbook, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber)
Please note: This course is held in the Forge which is 10 minutes walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. We have morning coffee and afternoon tea at the Old Dairy but return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is required at all times when students work in the forge. The tutor’s instruction on health and safety will include access to and use of the power hammer.


Andrew Smith

Andew, an experienced artist, craftsman and tutor, trained at the Royal College of Art. He has a large portfolio of architectural and public art commissions, from sculpture to functional metalwork. Andrew has substantial teaching experience at University level and has been teaching metalwork at West Dean College since 1987.

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