Location: Drumsyniebeg farm
Dates: 6th to 13th April
The end of April brings about our blacksmithing class. With tuition by artisan blacksmith Andy of Feather Forge, this is a week long course for beginners. We’ll start by learning the basics of moving metal with hammer and anvil, along with managing a traditional coal forge, before progressing to forge your very own set of fire irons - a poker, a brush and a shovel to take home.
Every student will have their own forge and anvil to work from, but must be prepared for more hammer puns than they can shake a stick at.
The course takes place at beautiful Drumsyniebeg Farm - nested in the Argyll hill this secret wee spot is perfect for a week away. We’ll be working in nice byre on the farm crashing away at anvils before heading off for a sauna or dip in the stream for the brave at the end of the day! The main open living space is there to use for everyone with fresh bread coming out the oven and home cooked meals all part of the bargain.
We’ll start by going through all of the health and safety aspects of blacksmithing. On the rest of day one we’ll then learn the very basic forging techniques that we’ll apply throughout the week. We’ll even make the tools we need to manage the coal forges and a few others that will be useful for the overall companion set project.
Learning to manage the fire will be a big aspect of day one as well, steel can easily melt in a coal forge and it can heat up very quickly. Just a few seconds can be the difference between a perfect heat and a melted bit of metal. Throw in hammer control and at the end of day one we’ll all most certainly need a session in the sauna to relax a bit!
Day two will see us start to use the tools we made on day one, the morning will be spent practicing punching holes in the steel before we move on to the main event and begin designing our companion set with full scale drawings. Once everyone is happy with their design we’ll spend the rest of the afternoon cutting materials and if we have time we’ll begin forging the set.
The last three days will be intense; days three and four will be spent working on the hand tools of the set; the remainder of day four and day five will focus on the stand for the set.
Some people might progress quicker than others so tutor Andy will always be around to help out where needed and can provide some sledge hammer support if needs be.