ONE TO ONE BLACKSMITH LESSONS IN THE SOUTH DOWNS

Chalk Pit Forge is set within the beautiful south downs countryside at Amberley Museum, in Amberley, West Sussex. Here, Alex Smith runs courses for anyone over 15 [please let me know if your 15, 16 or 17 for insurance reasons. A parent needs to attend if your 15]. Alex has been a blacksmith since 1998 and has learnt all the techniques involved in this fascinating craft. Whether you are thinking about becoming a blacksmith or it is a craft you have always wanted to try, Chalk Pit Forge is the ideal place to learn as it offers a one to one hands on experience hard to find anywhere else. There are suggestions of possible things to make below, but as it's one to one, your own ideas are an option as long as we can do it in the allotted time and I have the materials you need for the job. One day, two day, three day, four day, five day and ten day courses are available, please scroll down for details. Anything you make is all yours to take home with you and, unless you are using alot of materials, it is included in the course price. Lunch is also included.

Picture of the forge, the anvil and the tongs, all of these will be used on the day of the lesson.

The Museum has 36 acres to look around, so if you have the time, there is plenty to see. Chalk Pit Forge has easy access on the southern railway line from London Victoria to Amberley. If your driving you can use the A24 or the A29 from London and Surrey and the A27 from the east [Brighton, Hastings] and the west [Southampton, Portsmouth, Chichester]. The post code is BN18 9LT, if you need further directions.

Lessons are run in April, May, August and October, even if the museum is closed, and are generally run Wednesday to Saturdays [some Sundays are available]. If you would like a lesson in another month please get in touch to see if I have the availability. Please organise your lesson with Alex Smith,  e-mail alex@chalkpitforge.co.uk or phone 07793679788.

Picture of the blacksmith, Alex Smith, drawing down metal.

 

Vouchers

Voucher's for special occasions are available if you are booking a course for someone else. Please e-mail the length of course you would like to purchase, your name and address and the name you would like on the voucher. I can then send the voucher to your address so you can present it as a gift. Booking can be made by the recipient with Chalk Pit Forge within a year of purchasing his or her's voucher. Vouchers need to be used within 1 year. 

Tony Pullen, twisting the horns for his rams head. Tony had a two day course as a birthday gift. He said his ancestors were blacksmiths, so he always fancied having a go.

The rams head turning poker and log tongs are some of the things he made, cracking job too!

Payment

If you would like to purchase a voucher please send a cheque [for the full ammount], made payable to Alex Smith, to Alex Smith, Chalk Pit Forge, Amberley Museum, Amberley, Nr Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT, or you can transfer the money into my account [please ask for details].

If you would like to book a course for yourself, please send a cheque [or a bank transfer] of £70 [per day booked] deposit to book the days that you want. Thank you.

Course Costs

One day = £175, Two day = £340, Three day = £495, Four day = £640, Five day = £775, Ten day = £1500. All courses are one to one tuition. Lunch is included in the price.

Refunds and rescheduling

Course fees are only refundable if, in the unlikly event, I need to cancel. Course fees are the only costs refundable and I can't refund any other costs like hotel bookings or fuel costs.

Courses can be moved to another date if I am notified a month or more before.

What will I learn?

Learn to manage your fire, and shape the metal using the hammer and anvil while trying some of the following techniques: splitting, forging, bending, twisting, punching, fire welding, heat treating, dishing and joining the mild steel while making something from the list below, or you can come up with your own idea as long as I think we can do it in the time.

Rams head poker, toasting fork, brush, shovel, tongs, chestnut roaster, fire stand, curtain rails, curtain tie backs, pots n pan wrack, hooks, candlestick holder, hinges, handles, brackets, shoe horn, letter holder, paper knife, nails, key rings, bottle opener, window grill, boot scraper, door knocker, plant pot holders, hanging basket bracket, sculpture, plant climber, bird feeder, bird bath, sign bracket and t-light holders. or more involved projects like tools for your own forge, an obelisk, a brazier, fire basket, gate, railing, bench or any other piece of interior or exterior furniture.

The course is one to one and can revolve around what you would like to learn and what level of skill you are at.

 

Fire welding

Splitting

Make a rams head poker - Learn to forge, twist, fire weld, bend and split mild steel!  This takes from 5 to 8hrs.

 

Day courses:

Make any of the following things or if you have an idea of your own, let me know. This could include a rams head poker, a shovel, a brush, log tongs, a toasting fork, a chestnut roaster, a fire accessory stand, a boot scraper, a hanging basket bracket, a plant pot holder, a candle stick holder, hinges, cupboard handles, hooks, a wall sconce, a door knocker, a curtain rail, curtain tie backs, a letter holder, pots and pan wrack with hooks, a shoe horn, a paper knife, nails, sculpture, a rose, t-light [lantern] holders and brackets. Course length = 8 hours £175

Please note: When making a few of the above the materials are included in the course price, but if you would like to use alot of materials then you may be charged extra. Also, if you need a specific material then I will need to know before hand.

Times and Dates

Dates are fixed to April, May, August and October but can be booked in other months if I have the availability. The course can be booked with me once the person has recieved a voucher [if it is a gift], or if it's not a gift, you can contact me and arrange a date. When booking please get in touch well in advance [months can be booked 6 months in advance] if you would like a particular date. Generally courses are run on Wednesday to Saturday in the months listed above, but if it's a 5 day course then it is Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday.

A day starts at 9am and ends at 5pm.

Design and make anything you like!

one to ten day courses

Design a course for yourself! You may want a four weeks course learning to make a small gate or a garden bench as a side line, or a one or two week course making tools for your workshop, a brazier or a sculpture for your garden. Whatever you want to make, get in touch and we can organise a time in the forge.
Course length and cost depends on the item you would like to make and the ammount of materials you want to use. This can all be discussed before the course.

Past courses include a 1 day course making flowers and leaves, a 2 day course making a swallow sculpture for a garden, a 3 day course making one side of a bench and tools to reproduce the bench for future manufacture, a 4 day course making tools, which included a hammer, a pair of tongs, 3 punches, 2 drifts, a cold chisel, a dot punch, a hot chisel and riveting snaps and a five day course designed for a bespoke bicycle maker who wanted guidance on the fundamental techniques involved in working hot metal and to learn how to make a selection of small products to sell at stalls in London.

All courses are on a one to one tuition basis so you will have good guidance and knowledge all the way through your course.

Mary Critchley's snake, made out of 1000mm of 20mm round bar. Mary did a weeks course to brush up on her skills before going to the blacksmithing college at Holme Lacy, near Hereford.

Course prices

A one day course = £175, A two day course = £340, A three day course = £495, A four day course = £640, A five day course = £775, a ten day course [2 weeks] = £1500. Lunch is included in the price.

 

Some things made on past courses

Kevin Germany - fishing rod coat hooks - 2 days in the forge

Tom Brooks - candlestick holder - 1 day course

Tom Brooks - looking chuffed with his candlestick holder

Richard Pierce - tradtionally joined bracket and tools - 5 day course

Barry Miller - dragons doorknocker - 1 day in the forge

Bob Antonini - Lilly and leaves - 2 days in the forge

Mel Blake - flower - 1 day in the forge

Mike Robinson - 50 years anniversary logo - 1 day in the forge

Mark Smith - boot scraper - 1 day course

Laurie Shattock - loops to hold light fittings and a bottle opener - 1 day course

Jacqueline Holt - boot scraper - 1 day course

Ben Wright - boot scraper - 1 day in the forge

Matt Batchelor - tools - 1 day blacksmith course

Janet Pierpoint - sign bracket - 2 day blacksmith course

Antony Howard - bike and helmet hanger - 1 day blacksmith course

Lesley Prior - number 11 - 1 day blacksmith course

Chris Hill did an epic 20 day course and here's what he made.

Chris Hill - Tools- bending wrench, tongs, riveting snaps, hardie cut off and dishing, cold chisel and centre punch, hot chisel and square punch, scroll wrench, acorn powerhammer stamp and a fly press leaf veining tool. 

Chris Hill - Natural themed decorative techniques- flowers, tendrils & climbers, forged leaves, cold sheet leaves & a motif involving working to a workshop drawing, exact repitition while making scrolls and assembley.

Chris Hill - Rams head turning poker and a variety of decorative twists.

Chris Hill - Proud as can be!

 

 

Phil Simmons - made tools he needed to make a shackle and then made the shackle: tools included a rake, poker, tongs hot and cold chisel and punches. - 5 day bespoke blacksmith course

David Paynter - garden arch - 5 day course

Brendan Mason - Lily and poker - 1 day blacksmith course

Malcolm Clark - fire stand, tongs and poker - 2 day blacksmith course

Nigel Wickham - dragon hanging basket bracket - 2 day blacksmith course

Sean o Brien - sign - 2 day blacksmith course

Steve Mann - fire stand and set - 4 day blacksmith course


Roy Oakenden - rams head shovel - 1 day blacksmith course


Matt Willets - candlestick holder - 1 day blacksmith course


Julie Penman - bulls head hooks - one day course


Freda Dahl-Litman - Lilys - One day blacksmith course


Fabiana and hubby - door knocker - 1 day course


James Oskiera - boot scraper - 1 day course

Kyle Winkelmaier - 1000gram Cross Pein Hammer and a rose - 3 day blacksmith course

Keith Knight - flower candlestick holder - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Elaine Hughes & co - kinetic sculpture - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Mark Frost - Snail letter/file holder- one day blacksmith lesson

Paul Stacey - Obelisk [the painted one was made on a previous one day lesson] - one day blacksmith lesson

Dave Johnson - Rams head door knocker - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Des - Lilys and leaf - one day blacksmith lesson

Max Smith - knife made from a leaf spring and a butter knife from mild steel - one day blacksmith course

Mark Attwell - Rams head turning poker and 2 door pulls - 2 day blacksmith course

Mike Eyre - Tongs and crooks - 1 day blacksmith course

David Spreadbury-Troy - Candlestick holder and a Skrew - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Steve James - an extremely delicate, unnormal, cheese cleaver with high carbon cutting edge - 1 day course

Patrick Humphries - candlestick holder - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Chris Donavan - Rams head turning poker in 16mm square bar - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Jack Hudson - Tongs - 1 day blacksmith course

Scotty Dodd - square punch, cold chisel and birds head rake - 1 day blacksmith course

Henry Gill - book end and a fan tool holder - 1 day blacksmith course

Ginny Mackie - some beautiful hinges, tools, rams head shovel, poker, hanging basket bracket and some samples of techniques - 10 day course

Ginnys' going to start her own forge near york... she seemed finely tuned into what she was doing... hope it goes well for you Ginny.


Heather Wall - Weather vein - 3 day blacksmith and fabrication course

Cath James - Fiddle and bow holder - 1 day blacksmith course

Robert Holmes - rams head chestnut roaster - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Nick Keating - Hanging basket bracket, 2 pokers and a rake and dish/sign - 2 day blacksmith course

Keith Franklin - Lamp stand and rams head poker - 2 day blacksmith course

Marc Pinnell - Welly holder - 1 day blacksmith course

Nikki Avery - Lilys - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Brian Bennett - Rams head poker and bottle opener - 1 day blacksmith course

Tom Weinburg - Rams head tongs - 1 day

Sarah and Alex - Hooks - 1 day course


Martin Wood - Tongs and punches - 1 day


Malcolm Fry - Rams head Shovel, hooks and t-light holder - 1 day


Luke Mortimer - shoe horn - 1 day


John Hudson boot scraper - 1 day


Jim Green spreading the metal and the candlestick holder he made - 1 day



Janet Peirpoint - Obelisk - 1 day making the elements then she welded it at her home


Hugh Jones - candlestick holder - 1 day 


Gill Cox - Lily sculpture - 1 day course


Pauls' Burmease head stands - 2 days


Dons handrail - 2 day course


Charlie Wale - Rams head knocker, 2 day course


Charles Blundell - 5 day course - Charles and his stuff


Andrew hopkinson, 2 day course: curtain rail and hanging basket bracket


Chris Hope - Obelisk and candle holder, 2 day course

Hamish Freeman - Fire dogs and Lily, 4 day course

Keith Knight - Hanging basket bracket, 1 day course

Steve Mann - Fire set, 2 day course

Bob Charman - Boot scraper, 1 day course

Sarah Adlington - bird feeder, lantern holder and hooks, 2 day course

Jos Jones - Bulls head hooks, 1 day course

Paul Morgan - A shoe horn, rams head paper knife and poker, 2 day course

Robert Smith - A rose and some handles, 2 day course

Danny Mullender - Hanging Basket, 1 day course

Mike Tanner - Bird feeder, 1 day course

Rob Baker - Candlestick holder, 2 day course

James Stephens - Curtain rails, 2 day course

Bob Blunden - Hinges and candlestick holder

Charlie Batty - window grill

Martin Howard - Boot scraper, music wall plant pot holders

 

 

Simon Porter - Rams head poker and holder and letter holder

Jake Evans - Music stand

Mark Irwin - A weeks course making various things.

David Lindfield - Door knocker

Daniel Page - Shelf brackets

Ben Gibbons - boot scraper

Rams head candle stick holder by Jan Svobodova

Paper knives by John Lewis

A Fire accessory set bracket by Alex Mays

A candlestick holder by Andrew Marshallsay

Door holders by David Wood

A candlestick holder by Toby Rolfe

A door knocker by Colin Palser

A sculpture by Jon Clayton

A lilly and a rose holding a glass ball by Carol Jones

A fire stand and cupboard handle by David Humphrey

A plant pot holder, hanging basket bracket and fire tools by Paul Guess

A pots and pan bracket by David

window grill by Andrew Lindsey

A chestnut roaster by Ben Sylvester

A dragons head door knocker by David Burgess

A candlestick holder by Graham Smith

A Dragon door knocker [with one bent horn to show a small amount of imperfection] by John Baker. Bent horn by me.

Boot scraper, tongs, poker,  chestnut roaster & simple wall sconces by Jerry Smith on a four day course

Boot puller by Jon Hatch

Candlestick made by Josie Ord and the log hook made by Richard Ord.

Wall Hooks made by Andy

Pots and pan wrack, hooks and bicycle hooks made by Jon

Pair of hinges made by Drew

Boot Scraper made by Mark Hindley

Chestnut Roaster made by Ross Fulford

Martin Holland - Gate motif

Tristan Hicks - Shoe horn & candlestick holder

Derek Williams - Tools: riveting snaps, dishing tool, small horn, hardie cut off, bending wrench. 

Kat Taylor - Variety of twists

Jem Drayton - Xmas plant climber