Blacksmithing and metalworking

Metal birds and bugs – making outdoor sculptures with Mike Savage

Ref: S2D10349

Suitable for all

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About this course

Make a sculptural insect, reptile, fish or bird for your garden or pond from sheet metal and recycled materials. Develop your design idea as you explore techniques including cutting, heating and cooling, forming and shaping.

Course Description

Design and make a sculptural metal bird, fish, reptile or insect for your garden or pond from sheet metals and collected materials.

Materials provided for use will be sheet metals such as copper, steel, aluminium, tin plate, rod, wire and tube. You may also wish to bring in other materials such as plastics, glass marbles, olive oil cans, colourful washing up bowls or any other reclaimed treasure.

Techniques explored will be; cutting, annealing, forming and shaping using hammers, spot welding, soldering and riveting.

Evening working – the Forge is not open in the evening.


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


  • Metal that is stocked by the College;
  • Copper, Aluminium, Rivets, Steel sheet, Steel wire.

What students need to bring

  • Bring images of birds and insects for inspiration.
  • 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. 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.
  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use (please note that the Workshop can sometimes feel cool/cold so please bring warm clothing).
  • You will need 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.
  • 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 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.

"Excellent organisation throughout; superb surroundings; well-run and well-equipped course with a first class, thoroughly pleasant and knowledgeable tutor. Impressed and happy client who enjoyed the course, learned a lot from it and took away an enthusiasm to do more in the field on my own to build on the inspiration given by the course. The lunch was top notch too!"

Philip, September 2020


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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