Beginners blacksmithing with Thomas Gontar

Blacksmithing and metalworking

Ref: S1D11913

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2 places available

About this course

Learn some basic forging techniques and make a forged item such as a bottle opener or forged toasting fork.

Course Description

During this course you will learn basic blacksmithing techniques such as set downs, and punching and drifting holes through metal. You will learn how to work the fire correctly and how to work the metal in the fire, along with the correct hammering techniques.

You will be making forged items such as a bottle opener and a toasting fork; learning how to use different tools such as slot punches and drifts for the bottle openers and hot chisel for the toasting fork.

There will be forging techniques demonstrated and learnt such as tapering, slot and drifting.

The aim of this course is to demonstrate and teach you some basic blacksmithing skills and give you an understanding of how a working forge operates. You will leave with two beautiful hand forged items.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply all materials:
  • Steel, fuel, hand tools (files, rasps, etc.)
  • You must wear goggles (provided) and suitable protective clothing for this course. Leather aprons, work gloves, welding gauntlets and goggles can be borrowed from the College Forge. Other protective equipment – e.g. welding helmets and ear defenders are also available in the Forge.

What students need to bring

  • Working clothes
  • Steel toe capped boots
  • Plenty of water
  • You will need to wear clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. 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. You must provide your own footwear and bring them with you 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.
  • Protective clothing supplied:
  • Leather aprons, work gloves, safety spectacles and ear defenders are provided in the Forge, and suitable protective clothing must be worn.
  • 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.
Please note: This course will be in the Forge which is a 10 minute walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. You should arrive by 8.50am for registration at the Main House, to ensure you can walk/be directed over to the forge at 9.05am for a 9.15am start. Classes are from 9.15am – 5pm. As this course is held in the Forge, morning coffee and afternoon tea will be held in the nearby Carrington Studio. You will return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is always required when you are working in the Forge. The tutor’s instruction on health and safety will include access to and use of the power hammer.


Thomas Gontar

Thomas Gontar has been practicing as an artist blacksmith since 2013, working on a wide variety of projects including sculptural work, architectural work and furniture design. Thomas moved into Glynde Forge in May 2016, where he is now based.

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in metalwork?

Our Foundation Degree in Metalwork will enhance your employment prospects, give you the skills to set up as a self-employed craftsperson or allow you to continue to higher education. Encompassing both silversmithing and blacksmithing, you will learn practical skills, material properties, placing your work in a broader context and historic metalworking techniques. Find out more

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