About this course

Explore how to make your own decorative garden elements and forms in metal.

Course Description

Explore a variety of decorative garden metalwork elements in fabricated and forged metal.

From a basis of imagery and observation, a variety of metalwork and forging techniques are demonstrated by the tutor throughout the course, followed by student practice and application.

Techniques and possibilitiess are demonstrated and shown by example, enabling you to explore and evolve individual elements as the course progresses, leading towards a finished piece.

You may bring ideas or evolve your own piece or project to work on, subject to discussion regarding the parameters of practicality and timescale. Alternatively, the tutor will be able to suggest specific objects such as hanging basket brackets, decorative garden arch or garden sculpture element and guide through demonstration and practice.

Direct shaping techniques will be demonstrated such as spiralling, twisting, tapering, curving and bending, texturing, using different methods and tools to cut, form, shape, forge and manipulate the material, using different heats to develop shape and cross section.

By the end of the course you should feel more confident with understading and recognising how these metal techniques may be applied. You should be able to confidently undertake further explorations of this fascinating and rewarding area of metalwork.

Timetable

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

Included

  • On this course, the College will supply all of the materials required for the specific project set by the tutor, including all fuel costs and metal that is 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:
  • Sketchbook, pencils, rubber

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.

Tutors

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.

Accommodation

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