Blacksmithing with Cara Wassenberg

Blacksmithing and metalworking

Ref: S1D11596

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About this course

Learn how to forge metal using the forge, a hammer and an anvil. You will be shown how to bend, twist and shape the hot steel to make either a practical or small sculptural piece of work.

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the creative possibilities within hot forging.

Transforming a lifeless everyday material through fire, hammer and hand is a magical process that gives great scope for beautiful forms and compositions. You will be shown some techniques that are the building blocks of the blacksmith's craft… forging, twisting, bending and hot punching. Through experimention with these techniques and processes you will be able to make both a decorative fire poker and a forged coat hook, which will be demonstrated by Cara. However, if you would like to make something of your own design using the same newly learned techniques, she will happily discuss a simple design and guide and help you with your own project.

As well as being great fun there is an immediacy to hot forging steel that can be hugely satisfying and it is hoped through the day you will experience some of the rhythm and magic inherent within forging.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes all fuel costs and metal that is stocked by the college.
  • Protective clothing supplied:
  • Leather aprons, work gloves, safety spectacles, ear defenders, welding helmets and goggles are all provided and suitable protective clothing must be worn.

What students need to bring

  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe cap boots. Soft training shoes with synthetic fabric uppers do not offer enough protection. Please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics. A pair of cotton jeans is far more protective than a pair of nylon trousers. Shorts do not provide necessary protection.
  • For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. Students must provide their own footwear and bring them with them to wear on the course. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course.
  • Safety boots can be purchased from most tool hire shops and builders merchants as well as online.
  • Leather aprons, work gloves, safety spectacles and ear defenders are provided in the Forge. You may wish to bring your own, 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.
Please note: Your workshop will be in the Forge so you should arrive by 9am for registration at the main house, to ensure you can walk/be directed over to the forge at 9.05 for a 9.15am start. Classes are from 9.15 – 5pm 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 in the vicinity of the Forge 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. Potential students must be able to repetitively use light hammers and hold metal tongs in the other hand while standing at an anvil height and higher worktop.


Cara Wassenberg

Cara Wassenberg is a sculptor with 25 years' experience of working in steel, copper and glass. She trained at University of the Creative Arts, Farnham and teaches part-time on the BA Metalwork course at UCA. She makes sculpture for galleries, exhibitions and to commission.

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