Blacksmithing and metalworking

Bold metalwork for the garden with Mike Savage

Ref: SWE10863

Suitable for all

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About this course

Make real or surreal jungle flora and fauna from metal for your garden or home. Using bold copper forms and bright aluminium, explore the sculptural elements of leaves, vines and flowers.

Course Description

Make surreal jungle flora and fauna to add to your garden or home. Using bold copper forms and bright aluminium, explore the sculptural elements of leaves, vines and flowers – you may choose the Mexican national flower, a lily, seen in the paintings of Frida Kahlo, or Henri Rousseau's humid jungle. This course is an excellent introduction to working with metal to make a vessel or sculpture for your garden. You will design your form using drawing as a research and design tool and make models/maquettes to develop your own individual forms.

During the course, you will work with a range of metals, and gain an understanding of their properties so you can make the appropriate selection for your own project. Copper, steel and aluminium will be used. Techniques covered include spot welding, cutting, drilling, riveting, forming, raising, colouring and finishing.

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.


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 stocked by the College: Copper, Aluminium, Rivets, Steel sheet, Steel wire.
  • 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.

What students need to bring

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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. Please note that tutor supervision is required at all times when students work in the forge.


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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