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 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 is the minimum time available but you can book up to twenty days if you fancy doing a longer stint in the forge! 

Anything you make is all yours to take home with you and unless you are using a lot of materials, it is included in the course price. Lunch is also included.

Please note that I'm fully booked for 2022 and now taking bookings for 2023!

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

Picture 1100 2nd

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 postcode is BN18 9LT if you need further directions.

Lessons are run in March, April, August and October and are generally run Wednesday to Saturdays. 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.

Picture of Alex Smith, you're tutor.

C Me Drawing Down Flat Very S

Vouchers

Vouchers 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 Twisting

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!

Tony Tongs N Poker

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

Course Costs

All courses are one to one tuition.

One day = £265.

Two-day courses or more = £260 per day.

Lunch is included in the price.

Refunds and rescheduling

Course fees are only refundable if, in the unlikely 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 Day course list below, or you can come up with your own idea as long as I think we can do it in the time.

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

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

Poker 1

 

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, toasting fork, brush, shovel, tongs, chestnut roaster, fire stand, curtain rails, curtain tie backs, pots n pan wrack, hooks, candlestick holder, handles, brackets, shoehorn, letter holder, paper-knife, nails, key rings, bottle opener, welly holder, boot scraper, door knocker, plant pot holders, hanging basket bracket, sculpture, camping/cooking tripod stand, plant climber, bird feeder, birdbath and t-light holders. Course length = 9 am to 5 pm = £265

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

2 Day courses:

Spend more time working on your project. Get to work on more elaborate details. You can make a few things from the day courses list or you also have the choice of making a handrail, window grill, obelisk, tools, sign bracket, fire stand, fire set, log basket, hinges, curtain rail with brackets, a side table or a window grill. Course cost = £520. Each day 9am to 5 pm.

Even longer courses:

Have you got a bespoke project of your own? Or need to knuckle down and learn some skills? Or just fancy making a sculpture, brazier, spit roaster, fire basket, gate, railing, window box, fire pit, archway, bench or any other piece of interior or exterior furniture? Then let me know what you want to achieve and book a time in the forge. Course cost = £260 per day.

Times and Dates - Please note that 2022 is now fully booked!

I am now taking bookings for 2023.

Dates are fixed for March, April, 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 if you would like a particular date as months can be booked 6 - 9 months in advance. 

Generally, courses are run from Wednesday to Saturday in the months listed above, but if it's a 5-day course, it is Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday. The day starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm.

Design and make anything you like! One to twenty-day courses - bespoke courses tailored around you.

Have a look below to see what some students have made in the past!

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 building 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.

Gedc0456

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

Bird B Sally In
Bird Bath Sally

Jane Bransgrove - 1 day in the forge - Bird bath

Jane Lilies
Jane Lillies Bird Bath

Martin Morgan - 2 days blacksmith experience - Wheat sculpture

Wheat

Bob Hughes - 1 blacksmith experience day - Lilies bird feeder

Bob Lilies

Tony Keppler - blacksmith experience day - Rams head poker

Rams Head May
Rams Head Close

Darren Goacher - blacksmith experience day - obelisk

Darren Oblisk

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

Handrail N Lily

Mark Broadmeadow - blacksmith experience day - Dragon door knocker

Knocker May Man
Knocker

Alan Frith - blacksmith experience day - Archery Bracers

Bracers May 2
Bracers May

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

Joe Gurr

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

Stuat And Things
Garden Tools

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

Andy Handy 1
Andy Shelf

Ellie Hann - blacksmith experience day - Spring tongs

Tongs April

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

Police Hooks April
Police Hooks On Own
Police Fish

Suzanne Gurr - Blacksmith experience day - Trivet

Trivot April
Trvet Suz

Matthew Lawson - 2 days in the forge - Candlestick holder

Candleholpder Best April

James Dodd - Blacksmith experience day - Boot scraper

Scraper March

Adam Cory - 2 day blacksmith experience - Rose candlestick holder

Rose March

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

Feb

Chris Tiffers - blacksmith experience day - Table stand Antlers

Antler

Chris Woodrow - Blacksmith experience day - Birdbath

Bird Bath Oct 18

Carol Maher - Blacksmith experience day - Hanging basket bracket

Bracket Carol
Bracket Hanging Carol

Harry Rowe - Blacksmith experience day - Candlestick holder

Candlestick 5 Dishs

Matthew Windsor - Blacksmith experience day - Dragon door knocker

Dragon Knocker 18

Dave Smith - Blacksmith experience day - Doorknocker

Knocker Oct 18

Geoff and Matt - 2 days in the forge - Obelisk

Obelisk Couple

Paul Mady - Blacksmith experience day - Plant pot holder

Plant Pot Oct 18

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

Police Ex With Fire Tools

Nick Meyne - Blacksmith experience day - Rose

Rose In Ground

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

1 Kathie Crane

The Ash Family - Fire set - one day blacksmith experience

1fire Set Ash Family

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

1 Martin O Malley

Oliver Cook - candlestick holder - one day experience

1 Oliver Cook

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

1 Scull Poker Christian Blundell

Selwyn Percival - Camping Fire Tripod - one day blacksmith Lesson

1 Tripod Selwyn Percival

Brian Hurst - dragon hooks - 1 day in the forge

Brian Hirst Dragon Hooks

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

Phil Burlingham Bbq Stand

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

Andy Birch Spring Tongs B Opener

Giles - Lily sculpture - 1 day in the forge

Giles Lily

Paul Lowry - Log holder - 1 day blacksmith experience

Paul Lowry Log Holder

Derek Goddard - bird feeder - 1 day in the forge

Derek Goddard B Feeder

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

Jimmy James B Bath N Feeder

David Gaff - obelisk - 2 day blacksmith course

David Gaff Obelisk

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

Mary West Lily B Stand And Bath

Robert Watt - Table - 1 day blacksmith experience

Robert Watts Table

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

Robert Wilson W Holder
Robert Wilson Welly H And Boot Pull

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

Sam Timms Boot Scrap And Pull

Ben Lovegrove - hooks. 1 day in the forge

Ben Lovegrove Hooks

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

Jeremy Swift Pots N Pan Wrack

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

Malcolm Graham Boot Scraper On Legs

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

Richard Scott R Head B Opener

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

Dave Calvert

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

Jon Linn 2
John Linn

Ken Gosling - Bird Feeder - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Ken Gosling Detail
Ken Gosling

Peter Mason - Side Table - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Peter Mason

Pete Dempsey - bird feeder - 1 day blacksmith course

Pete Dempsey

Richard Knowles - Plant Climbers - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Richard Knowles

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

Mike Daniels

Tom Mendum - Plant Holder - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Tom Mendum

Austen Lucas - Anchor - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Austen Lucas

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

Paul Sturgeon

Sarah Stevens -hinges- 1 day blacksmith course

Sarah Stevens
Sarah Stevens Hinges

Andy Moreman - Hooks - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Andy Moreman

Matt Willets - Sculpture - 2 Day Blacksmith Course

Matt Willets

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

Eddie

Mark Darbyshire - Tongs - 1 Day Blacksmith Forge

Mark Darbyshire

Ben Harnan - curtain rail finials - 1 day blacksmith course

Ben Harnan
Ben Harman Pic

Pat Jordan - Flower Sculpture - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Pat Jordan

Mike Hutchings - Candlestick holder - 1 Day Blacksmith Course

Mike Hutchings

Allen Lee - Bill Hooks - 2 Day Blacksmith Course 

Allen Lee

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

Kevin Germany

Tom Brooks - candlestick holder - 1 day course

Tom Brooks

Tom Brooks - looking chuffed with his candlestick holder

Tom Brooks Forge

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

Richard Pierce

Barry Miller - dragons doorknocker - 1 day in the forge

Barry Miller

Mel Blake - flower - 1 day in the forge

Mel Blake

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

Mike Robinson

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

Laurie Shattock

Matt Batchelor - tools - 1 day blacksmith course

Matt Batchelor

Lesley Prior - number 11 - 1 day blacksmith course

Lesley Prior 11

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 power hammer stamp and a fly press leaf veining tool. 

Chris Hill Tools N Scrolls

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

Chris Hill Roses Etc

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

Chris Hill Twists

Chris Hill - Proud as can be!

Chris Hill Proud

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

Phillip Symmons

David Paynter - garden arch - 5 day course

Dave Paynter

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

Malcolm Clark

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

Nigel Wickham

Sean o Brien - sign - 2 day blacksmith course

Sean O Brien

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

Steve Mann

Roy Oakenden - rams head shovel - 1 day blacksmith course

Roy Ockenden

Matt Willets - candlestick holder - 1 day blacksmith course

Matt Willetts

Fabiana and hubby - door knocker - 1 day course

Fab

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

Kyle Winkelmaier

Keith Knight - flower candlestick holder - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Keith Knight

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

Elaine Hughes

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

Mark Frost

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

Paul Stacey

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

Mark Attwell

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

David Troy
David Spreadbury Troy

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

Steve James

Patrick Humphries - candlestick holder - 1 day blacksmith lesson

Patrick Humphries

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

Scotty Dodd

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

Henry Gill
Henry Gill 2

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.

Ginny
Ginny Mackie

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

Heather Wall

Keith Franklin - Lampstand and rams head poker - 2 day blacksmith course

Keith Franklin

Marc Pinnell - Welly holder - 1 day blacksmith course

Marc Pinnell

Tom Weinburg - Rams head tongs - 1 day

Tom Weinberg

Sarah and Alex - Hooks - 1 day course

Sara And Alex 1

Martin Wood - Tongs and punches - 1 day

Martin Wood

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

Malcolm Fry Rhshovel

Hugh Jones - candlestick holder - 1 day 

Hugh Jones Cstick

Pauls' Burmease head stands - 2 days

Paul Burmese Stands

Dons handrail - 2 day course

Don Handrail

Charlie Wale - Rams head knocker, 2 day course

Charlie Wale

Charles Blundell - 5 day course - Charles and his stuff

Charles
Charles Stuff

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

Andre Hopkinson C Rail
Andrew Hopkinson Hangin

Chris Hope - Obelisk and candle holder, 2 day course

Chris Hope 2
Chris Hope

Hamish Freeman - Fire dogs and Lily, 4 day course

Hamish Freeman Fire Dogs
Hamish Freeman Lilly

Steve Mann - Fire set, 2 day course

Steve Mann Fire Set

Jos Jones - Bulls head hooks, 1 day course

Jos Jones Bulls Head Hooks

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

Paul Morgan Shoe Horn Knife And Poker

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

Robert Smith Rose Handles

Danny Mullender - Hanging Basket, 1 day course

Danny Mullender

Mike Tanner - Bird feeder, 1 day course

Mike Tanner

Rob Baker - Candlestick holder, 2 day course

Rob Baker

James Stephens - Curtain rails, 2 day course

James Stephens

Bob Blunden - Hinges and candlestick holder

Bob

Charlie Batty - window grill

Charlie Batty

Martin Howard - Boot scraper, music wall plant pot holders

Martin Howard Take 2 1
Martin Howard Take 2
Martin Howard

Simon Porter - Rams head poker and holder and letter holder

Simon Porter

Jake Evans - Music stand - 2 days

Jake Evans

David Lindfield - Doorknocker

David Lindfield

Daniel Page - Shelf brackets

Daniel Page

Ben Gibbons - boot scraper

Ben Gibbons

Rams head candlestick holder by Jan Svobodova

Rams Candle

Paper knives by John Lewis

John Lewis

A candlestick holder by Andrew Marshallsay

Candlestick Holder

Door holders by David Wood

Door Holders

A door knocker by Colin Palser

Door Knocker From Cast

A sculpture by Jon Clayton

Sculpture

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

Lilly
Rose And Glass

A fire stand and cupboard handle by David Humphrey

Fire Stand And Handle

window grill by Andrew Lindsey

Andrew Lindsey

A candlestick holder by Graham Smith

Graham Smith

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

John Baker Dragons Head Knocker

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

Jerry Smith

Boot puller by Jon Hatch

Boot Puller By Jon Hatch

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

Josie Ord
Richard Ord

Wall Hooks made by Andy

Andy

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

Jon

Pair of hinges made by Drew

Drew