• Welcome, introduction and safety briefing
• Design and create your own unique item, such as a poker, decorative item, hand tool etc
• Learn key blacksmithing and forge techniques such as lighting and maintaining the fire, tapering, bending, twisting, upsetting and riveting
• Refreshments are included
• A break for lunch (lunch not provided)
• You will take home a finished article, made yourself using traditional blacksmithing techniques
• Please allow 8 hours for this experience
• Days generally start at 9.30am and finish 5-5.30pm (please note days can run over to ensure you complete your project)
• You will form part of a group of up to 4 other participants
What Can I Expect
It's all about the heating and the hammering of the hot metal when you go on this wonderfully creative blacksmith experience! Under the watchful eye of Lucille, the self-professed iron maid of Portsmouth, you will be a blacksmith for the day as you learn how to work hot steel or, if you prefer, learn how to work copper on one of the five special courses run annually.
If you've ever watched a blacksmithery demonstration and thought you'd like to find out for yourself what it's like to be a blacksmith, Lucille is the metal specialist to open the forge door and welcome you to the fascinating world of blacksmithing. She has many, many years' teaching experience in design and technology and has now forged (excuse the pun!) a creative path teaching beginners blacksmithing in her very own workshop.
As you might suspect, working with forged metals is a labour intensive process, so numbers on this blacksmith experience are limited to just four. That means Lucille has plenty of time to offer one-to-one help and learning to each blacksmith, so everyone finishes the day having learnt a lot about this ancient craft and proudly clutching the metalwork piece they have made.
What we love about Lucille is that she uses age-old, traditional techniques to be a modern, creative blacksmith producing artistic and stylish pieces that are often exhibited. So what will you produce as a learner blacksmith? Well, previous students have created toasting forks, pokers, decorative hooks, candle holders or even boot scrapers, but you can try anything you like (within reason of course!) and Lucille will help you with the design and scale drawings too.
Indeed, learning to be a blacksmith isn't just about heating the iron or steel until it's red-hot and then simply hammering away. Even a simple piece takes patience and a lot of time and manipulation to complete, but with Lucille's help you'll soon be bending, twisting, upsetting and riveting as your ironwork takes shape. And, off course, knowing how to light the workshop fire and maintain it is an essential part of learning how to be a blacksmith, so that'll be covered too.
By the end of this full day intensive blacksmith experience, you will have a superb insight into the forging and smithing processes of hard metals like iron and steel or if you choose the copper course you will learn about the amazing adaptable nature of copper. You will have physically got very much involved, worked in high-heat conditions and used a range of blacksmith tools all in the name of learning to hammer home those blacksmithing skills to create your very own prized piece of metalwork. This may just be the start of your quest to be a blacksmith, but you'll be amazed with what you will learn and produce!
• Vouchers are valid for selected weekdays throughout the year
• Due to the popularity of this experience please book your date well in advance to avoid disappointment (usually at least 3 months)
• Minimum age 16
• A good, general level of fitness is required
• If you have any health or mobility conditions that may impede your ability to participate please advise this at the time of booking
• Not suitable for spectators
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Participants should wear old, sensible clothing (non synthetic), long trousers and sturdy boots or shoes
• The forge can be cold so wearing layers is ideal
• The Forge is based at the Old Pumping Station at Eastney, Portsmouth