Blacksmithing and metalworking

Autumnal foliage metalwork sculpture or vessel with Mike Savage

Ref: S2D09194

Suitable for all

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About this course

Make autumnal foliage inspired sculpture using copper and aluminium sheet. You will learn how to manipulate these materials by cutting, forming, texturing and shaping.

Course Description

Make a sculpture or vesel for your home or garden inspired by the atumn leaves, gourds, pumkins and seeds. Using bold copper forms and bright aluminium, explore the sculptural elements of leaves, seeds gourdes and pumpkins in West Deans Gardens. This course is an excellent introduction to working with metal to make a sculpture. You design your form using drawing as a research and design tool looking at leaves and seeds before making models/maquettes to develop your own individual forms.

Work with a range of metals, and gain an understanding of their properties so you can make the appropriate selection for your own project. Techniques covered include spot welding, cutting, drilling, riveting, forming, raising, colouring and finishing. Copper, steel and aluminium are used.

You will start by experimenting with the equipment and metal then, when you have gained confidence, you will develop your own ideas and designs that will be explored and made. There are group demonstrations of techniques given at appropriate points, and specific techniques are demonstrated to either smaller groups or individuals as appropriate. Individual tuition and advice is given throughout.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply all of the materials including Copper, Aluminium, Rivets, Steel sheet, Steel wire.
  • All fuel costs and metal that is stocked by the College.
  • 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.

What students need to bring

  • Bring images, natural forms for inspiration. Also natural objects, such as seed pods, leaves, gourdes, fruit, etc which will be used as a starting point for the vessel or sculpture.
  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use (please note that the Workshop can sometimes feel cool/cold so please bring warm clothing), 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbook
  • Drawing materials
  • Protective gloves

Please note: For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. 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. 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. Tutor supervision is required at all times when students work in the forge.


Mike Savage

Mike Savage trained at Camberwell College of Arts and the Royal College of Art. His large-scale metal sculptures are commissioned by architects and exhibited internationally.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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