Blacksmithing introduction with John Mosse

Ref: S1D32238

Location: West Dean
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About this course

An introduction to the techniques and tools required for basic forgework. You will come away with your very own hand forged object.

Course Description

The process of hot forging iron dates back around 3,000 years. Over this time, the uses, styles, technology and materials used have developed. However, the process of forming hot iron into shape using a hammer and anvil is as fundamental now as it has always been.

In this experience day, you will be shown the tools and equipment of a traditional forge, using a solid fuel hearth and hand tools to create an object of your choosing.

The aim will be for you to learn the basic skills required to get you started, should you wish to continue your journey as a blacksmith, and for you to ask any questions you wish to know about the trade.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the College will supply all the materials: steel, fuel and hand tools (files, rasps, etc.).

What students need to bring

  • Working clothes
  • Steel toe capped boots
  • Plenty of water
  • 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. Shorts do not provide necessary protection. 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.
  • You must wear goggles (provided) and suitable protective clothing for this course. Leather aprons, welding gauntlets, goggles, welding helmets and ear defenders can be borrowed from the Forge or you can bring them along if you have them. If, for example, you have particularly large or small hands, your own leather work gloves are likely to be a better fit.

Additional information

Please note: Your workshop will be in the Forge, which is a 10 minute walk from the main house through the walled garden or can be accessed by car. You should arrive by 8:50am for registration at the Main House, to ensure you can walk/be directed over to the forge at 9:05am for a 9:15am start. Classes are from 9:15am - 5pm. As this course is held in the Forge, morning coffee and afternoon tea are held in the nearby Carrington Studio. You will return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is always required when you are working in the Forge. 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.


John Mosse

John Mosse is an award-winning blacksmith and conservator. He trained in the national school of Blacksmithing Hereford, before undergoing a masters in Conservation of metalwork at West Dean College.

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