Blacksmithing and metalworking

Make garden vessels or sculptures in metal with Mike Savage

Ref: SWE10086

Suitable for all

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About this course

Develop your own design to make a simple vessel or sculpture in copper, steel or aluminium. Explore a range of techniques including spot and mig welding, riveting, forming and colouring.

Course Description

This weekend course is an excellent introduction to working with metal to make a vessel or sculpture for your garden. You design your form using drawing as a research and design tool, and make 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.

Day 1


Selecting metals

Looking at samples

Drawing and designing – maquette making


Demonstration of machinery and hand tools

Starting to make

Day 2

Working in the workshop, with individual tutorials

Finishing work with a group crit.


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, natural forms for inspiration. Also natural objects, such as seed pods, leaves, shells, fruit, etc. which will be used as a starting point for the vessel or sculpture.
  • N.B. For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. Students must bring 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). 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbook
  • Drawing materials
  • Protective gloves
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. Evening working – the Forge is not open in the evening. Potential students must be able to repetitively use light hammers and hold metal tongs in the other hand, while standing at an anvil height and higher worktop.


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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