Blacksmithing and metalworking – an introduction with Andrew Smith

Ref: SWE33612

Location: West Dean
£379
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Places available

About this course

Practise and learn a range of blacksmith and metalwork techniques in the Forge at West Dean College and develop objects in metal.

Course Description

This course will introduce a range of techniques through a structure of continuous tutor demonstration and student practice.

This course will complement the skills of the Blacksmith with metalworking techniques and is suitable for beginners as well as those wishing to enhance their skill set.

You will work on the following: detailed use of the fire, drawing down tapers in different cross sections, hot cutting, bending in different cross sections, spiral forming, twisting techniques, various tools and techniques for shaping, curving and forming.

You will learn how to mark out metal elements and use the pillar drill, cut to size, abrasion techniques and machine cutting.

You may, if you wish, bring ideas of your own or evolve an idea to work on, subject to the constraints of practicality and time, or combine techniques into different smaller scale objects as led, demonstrated and suggested during the course by the tutor. These are made in combination with techniques demonstrated.

By the end of the course, you should have had a good introduction to the techniques of the blacksmith and metalworker and you should feel more competent with understanding and recognising how these techniques are applied in decorative, functional and sculptural metalwork. You should be able to confidently undertake further explorations of this fascinating and rewarding craft.

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 materials required for the specific techniques 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, pencil, 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 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.

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