Welding and joining ideas with Andrew Smith

Ref: SLW13323

Location: West Dean

About this course

Focus on skilled craftsmanship to achieve various methods of metal welding, hot and cold working and other joining processes. Learn how to make metalwork elements through demonstrations of techniques and personal practice, such as: welding, cutting, shaping, riveting, bending and abrasion.

Course Description

The course is intended to enable you to construct projects through various techniques of metalworking - welding, joining and manipulation processes (ARC welding, MIG welding, weld preparation, use of clamps, hot shaping, forge work, thread tapping, riveting, drill work, bending, abrasion).

You will gain experience of these processes in a series of test pieces and sample details intended to allow taught technique to be practised. A variety of types of weld, in both MIG and ARC, will be taught and practised.

The emphasis of the course is hands on rather than theoretical.

The core idea is that you will gain direct practice in these techniques and thereby develop your ability and understanding in a variety of metalwork processes.

Tools are provided for the course, and advice can be given by the tutor if you wish to purchase tools following the course. It is not necessary to buy tools for the course other than the items listed below.


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.
  • Leather aprons, welding gauntlets, goggles, welding helmets and ear defenders can be borrowed from the Forge.

What students need to bring

  • You will need to wear clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. Please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics. 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 them 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing equipment (i.e. sketchbook, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber, etc.)

Additional information

Please note: This course 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. As this course is held in the Forge, morning coffee and afternoon tea will be 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 safety boots, as specified.


Andrew Smith

Andrew, an experienced artist, craftsman and tutor, has a BA (Hons) from West Surrey College of Art and Design and an MA from 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