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 12 years old and over [please let me know if you're under 18 for insurance reasons. A parent needs to attend if you're under 16]. Alex has been a blacksmith since 1998 and has learnt all the techniques involved in this fascinating craft. Whether you're 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 you're 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 or phone 07793679788.

Picture of Alex Smith, you're tutor.



Voucher's for special occasions are available if you're 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!


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 £100 [per day booked] deposit to book the days that you want. Thank you.

Course Costs

One day = £250, Two day = £475, Three day = £700, Four day = £920, Five day = £1125, Ten day = £2200. 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, welly holder, boot scraper, door knocker, plant pot holders, hanging basket bracket, sculpture, camping/cooking tripod stand, 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, spit roaster, fire basket, log basket, gate, railing, hand rails, window box, fire pit, archway, 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.


Stewart Weston-Lewis Fire welding


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 welly 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, a Lily, t-light [lantern] holders and brackets. Course length = 8 hours = £250 [9am to 5pm]

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.

2 Day courses:

Spend more time working on your project. Get to work on more elaborate details. You can make anything from the day courses list or you also have the choice of making a handrail, obelisk, tools, sign bracket, spit roaster, fire stand, full fire set, log basket, decorative hinges, curtain rail with brackets, bird bath and a window grill. Course Length = 16 hours = £475. Each day 9am to 5pm.

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 - bespoke courses tailored around you.

Design a course for yourself! You may want a two week course making blacksmith tools for your workshop, or a longer course learning to make a small gate. A weeks course learning to make furniture and tools to manufacture a batch of the same product or a brazier, a sculpture or arch for your garden. Just have a think about what you want out of this course and let me know, then we can organise some 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 5 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. Also a 10 day course for Ginny who wanted to learn to make a selection of small items to focus her market on while builing her own blacksmith business in York. And a 20 Day course for Chris who wanted to start his own fabrication business but also wanted to touch up on blacksmith skills to give his work a little originality... Pictures of his work and Ginny's are somewhere below in the past courses section. 

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.


Some things made on past courses

Sally Avery - 2 day blacksmith course - Bird Bath

Jane Bransgrove - 1 day in the forge - Bird bath

Martin Morgan - 2 days blacksmith experience - Wheat sculpture

Bob Hughes - 1 blacksmith experience day - Lilies bird feeder

Tony Keppler - blacksmith experience day - Rams head poker

Darren Goacher - blacksmith experience day - obelisk

Phil Simmonds - Blacksmith experience day - Lilies bird feeder

John and Sue Robinson - 3 days in the forge - Handrail and Lilies

Mark Broadmeadow - blacksmith experience day - Dragon door knocker

Alan Frith - blacksmith experience day - Archery Bracers

Joe Gurr - blacksmith experience day - bracelets, a snake and a heart for a necklace

Stewart Weston-Lewis - 3 day blacksmith course - Lilies, wall plant pot holder and garden tools

Andy Wilson made the scrolls for this pot holder at the forge, then welded it at home and put some shelves on

Ellie Hann - blacksmith experience day - Spring tongs

Martin Hayward - 3 day blacksmith course - hooks and fish bottle openers

Tom Spanyol - blacksmith experience day - Dragon doorknocker

Suzanne Gurr - Blacksmith experience day - Trivet

Matthew Lawson - 2 days in the forge - Candlestick holder

James Dodd - Blacksmith experience day - Boot scraper

Adam Cory - 2 day blacksmith experience - Rose candlestick holder

James Phillips - 5 day blacksmith course - Rams head rake and brush, ladle, tongs, hanging basket bracket, punches and chisels.

Chris Tiffers - blacksmith experience day - Table stand Antlers

Chris Letchford - Blacksmith experience day - Boot scraper and Bulls hooks

Chris Woodrow - Blacksmith experience day - Bird bath

Carol Maher - Blacksmith experience day - Hanging basket bracket

Harry Rowe - Blacksmith experience day - Candlestick holder

Matthew Windsor - Blacksmith experience day - Dragon door knocker

Dave Smith - Blacksmith experience day - Door knocker

Geoff and Matt - 2 days in the forge - Obelisk

Paul Mady - Blacksmith experience day - Plant pot holder

Robert Balfour - Blacksmith experience - Paper knife, poker and bottle opener

Richard Long - 2 days blacksmith experience - Rams head shovel, poker and brush

Nick Meyne - Blacksmith experience day - Rose

Kathie Crane- cleft sculpture cos she loves music - one day in the forge

The Ash Family - Fire set - one day blacksmith experience

Joe Gurr - paper knife - one day blacksmith course

Martin O Malley - Hanging basket bracket - two days blacksmith course

Oliver Cook - candlestick holder - one day experience

Christian Blundell - Skull Poker... cos it was Halloween ooo - one day experience 

Selwyn Percival - Camping Fire Tripod - one day blacksmith Lesson

Brian Hurst - dragon hooks - 1 day in the forge

Phil Burlingham - Oil drum BBQ stand - 2 day blacksmith experience

Andy Birch - Spring tongs, paper knife and bottle opener. 1 Day in the forge.

Giles - Lily sculpture - 1 day in the forge

Paul Lowry - Log holder - 1 day blacksmith experience

Derek Goddard - bird feeder - 1 day in the forge

Johnathan Frere - bird bath - 2 day blacksmith course

Jimmy James - Lily bird bath and bird feeder - 2 day blacksmith course

David Gaff - obelisk - 2 day blacksmith course

Mary West - Lily bird bath and feeder - 2 day blacksmith experience

Robert Watt - Table - 1 day blacksmith experience

Robert Wilson - Welly holder/boot pull - 1 day blacksmith experience

Sam Timms - Boot scraper/boot puller - 1 day blacksmith experience

Sarah Last - Lily sculpture - 1 day blacksmith experience

Matthew Wilcock - poker, rams head bottle opener - 1 day blacksmith experience

Dave Bunn - rams head poker - 1 day blacksmith course

Chay Hedger - Lily bird feeder. 1 day in the forge

Ben Lovegrove - hooks. 1 day in the forge

Graham Snuggs - blacksmith tongs, bottle opener, paper knife and hook - 1 day blacksmith course

Jane Leney - Lily sculpture - 1 day blacksmith course

Jeremy Swift - pots and pan wrack - 1 day blacksmith course

Pip Cartwright - Hanging basket bracket - 1 day blacksmith experience

Malcolm Graham - boot scraper with legs - one day blacksmith course

Mark Sharp - hanging basket bracket - one day blacksmith experience day

Richard Scott - Rams head bottle opener - 1 day blacksmith course

Phil Simmonds - Rams head bottle opener - 1 day blacksmith experience

Dave Calvert - Welly holder and puller - 1 day blacksmith course

John Linn - Spit Roaster and something to hook his pots off for campfire cooking - 2 Day Blacksmith course

Ken Gosling - Bird Feeder - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Peter Mason - Side Table - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Pete Dempsey - bird feeder - 1 day blacksmith course

Richard Knowles - Plant Climbers - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Mike Daniels - Spring Tongs, Shovel and Chestnut Roaster - 2 Day Blacksmith Course

Tom Mendum - Plant Holder - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Austen Lucas - Anchor - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Alaistair Smith - Dragons Door Knocker - 2 Day Blacksmith Course

Peter Akhurst - Door Knocker - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Leigh Johnson - Hanging Basket Bracket and Rams Head Poker - 3 Day Blacksmith Course

Roger Sinnhuber - Spring Tongs - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Richard Davies - Boot Scraper - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Paul Sturgeon - Leaf poker, brush, bottleopener and hooks - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Sarah Stevens -hinges- 1 day blacksmith course

Andy Moreman - Hooks - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Matt Willets - Sculpture - 2 Day Blacksmith Course

Eddie - Candlestick holder and Rams head poker - 2 Day Blacksmith course

Mark Darbyshire - Tongs - 1 Day Blacksmith Forge

Ben Harnan - curtain rail finials - 1 day blacksmith course

Pat Jordan - Flower Sculpture - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Mike Hutchings - Candlestick holder - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Allen Lee - Bill Hooks - 2 Day Blacksmith Course 

Richard Macdonald - Rams Head Tongs - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Jon Savage - Hanging basket Bracket - 1 Day Blacksmith course

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

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