Creative blacksmithing projects with Andrew Smith

Blacksmithing and metalworking

Ref: SLW12244

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About this course

Work creatively on individual projects whilst learning and extending your blacksmithing skills. You will develop your own ideas and work towards completing your metalwork project.

Course Description

Work creatively in the forge to undertake individual projects whilst learning and extending your blacksmithing skills. You will develop your own ideas and work towards completing your metalwork project. Please bring outline ideas for discussion.

The course is aimed at a mixed ability group. It is intended to introduce the skills of the smith to those new to the craft and to expand awareness of the design implications of these skills for all participants. The emphasis of the course is on individual development and, as such, it is just as relevant to students with previous experience as it is to those with none. Absolute beginners should be aware that blacksmithing is an active and energetic craft, demanding a practical aptitude.

If they wish, students may bring ideas with them in draft form and tuition will be given on a one-to-one basis, according to the ideas presented, bearing in mind the suitability of the design and the time available.

In the final session, there will be an evaluation of your individual progress and the tutor will advise on your further development.

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 until 9pm, 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 will be provided. If a student makes an unusually large item, an additional supplement may be payable to the College Shop before the end of the course.

What students need to bring

  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. Please note that cotton or woollen 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 and bring it 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.
  • Tools are provided for the course, and advice can be given by the tutor if students wish to purchase tools following the course.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing equipment (i.e. sketchbook, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber, etc.)
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. Lunch is over in the main house, and morning coffee and afternoon tea is held in the nearby Carrington Studio. 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. Protective clothing provided: 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. You must wear clothing with long sleeves. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


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.

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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