Blacksmithing and metalworking

Sculpting in sheet metal with Mike Savage

Ref: S4D10761

Suitable for all

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1 place available

About this course

Make a sculpture in sheet metal and learn skills required, from developing the concept to finishing the surface. Choose the appropriate metal, copper, steel or aluminium and learn metalworking techniques to realise your design.

Course Description

Make a sculputre in metal and learn skills required, from developing the concept to finishing the surface. Begin with research sketches as you explore ideas and make a model. Then choose the appropriate metal from copper, steel or aluminium and learn metalworking techniques as well as colouring and finishing.

You will use metal to make a sculpture for the garden and learn how to use drawing as a research and design tool, make models/maquettes, and to understand and select the appropriate metals and develop creativity. Techniques covered include spot welding, mig 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 and explore your own ideas and designs before going on to making.

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. There is a group review at the midway point and the conclusion of the project.

There will be an introduction to the project, group discussion to find out your aspirations for the course and to look at samples and discuss possibilities of techniques and materials.


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


  • Copper, aluminium, rivets, steel sheet, steel wire
  • Metal that is stocked by the College. Please note – this charge covers basic materials and if students use large amounts of metal they will be charged extra.
  • 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, possibly natural forms for inspiration. Also man made or natural objects, such as seed pods, leaves, shells, fruit, etc which will be used as a starting point for the sculpture.
  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use (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.
  • 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbook
  • Drawing materials
  • Protective gloves
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. The tutor instructs students in health and safety issues relevant to this course. Students may work unsupervised on agreed projects once they have satisfied the tutor as to their competence. There may be restrictions on the equipment available to students in the tutor’s absence. All Personal Protection Equipment, apart from footwear, is provided by the College.


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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