Welding and joining ideas with Andrew Smith

Blacksmithing and metalworking

Ref: S4D11336

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About this course

Focus on skilled craftsmanship to achieve various hot and cold methods of metal welding and other joining processes. Learn how to make samples, demonstrating techniques such as hot wrapping, torch bending, riveting and abrasion.

Course Description

The course is intended to enable individuals to construct projects through various welding, joining and manipulation processes (ARC, MIG, weld preparation, hot shaping, forge work, hot wrapping, thread tapping, riveting, drill work, torch bending, abrasion).

You will gain experience of these processes and may utilise them in a final piece of work. The option exists to concentrate on technique primarily throughout the course, creating a series of samples, or alternatively you may concentrate on a single piece, using taught techniques as necessary, and following discussion with the tutor as to suitability.

If you wish, you may bring ideas with you as maquettes or sketches, but this is not essential. Ideas will inevitably develop in relation to available time, practicality and process.

Tools are provided for the course, and advice can be given by the tutor if students wish to purchase tools following the course. It is not necessary to buy tools for the course other than the items listed below.


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


  • All fuel costs and mild steel stocked by the College.

What students need to bring

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.

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. 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, 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing equipment (ie. sketchbook, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber)

Please note: This course is held in the Forge which is a 10 minute walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. We have morning coffee and afternoon tea in 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. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Andrew Smith

Andew, an experienced artist, craftsman and tutor, trained at the Royal College of Art. He has a large portfolio of architectural and public art commissions, from sculpture to functional metalwork. Andrew has substantial teaching experience at University level and has been teaching metalwork at West Dean College since 1987.


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

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