Blacksmith Experience Day Cumbria

Blacksmith Experience Day Cumbria

Get forging on a blacksmith experience day in Cumbria! Join Richard at his forge in the Cumbrian countryside to learn all about the work of a blacksmith. During the course of this full day you’ll fabricate your very own forged item to take home with you.

This is traditional artisan work at its best working metal the same way as it has been done for thousands of years. Richard is passionate about blacksmithing and has been making a living out of metal work since 2009. Now he is taking his skills and passing them on to students who come to his purpose-built training forge.

Hidden away amongst the fields and farmland around Brampton (which is just north east of Carlisle) you’ll find Richard working away in his forge. And although it’s purpose-built the machines and tools are very much traditional. The centre-piece is the double hearth coke-fire forge with a propane gas furnace and a classic Massey 2Cwt power hammer (for heavy forging work). There are also lots of handmade blacksmith tools – which Richard has made himself!

Everything you need to forge metal is here at Middle Row Forge. The big decision for you on the day is to decide what sort of project you’d like to undertake. Richard sets aside a number of options for novice blacksmiths all of which are very much achievable in a day. It could be something practical like a hand tool a fire poker a bottle opener or something purely artistic.

Once you’ve picked what you fancy making you’ll work with Richard in his teaching forge to heat shape and manipulate the metal to your chosen form. The workshop is very much hands-on so expect to be getting your sleeves rolled up and properly stuck in as you taper bend twist and rivet the hot metal.

By the end of your blacksmith experience day in Cumbria you’ll be able to proudly show off your very own hand-crafted piece of ironwork to your friends and family. A lovely day in a lovely place with a blacksmith who’s infectiously enthusiastic about his ironwork.

Find out more and book your place today!

Rocket Building Workshop

Rocket Building Workshop

Book onto a rocket building workshop and learn how to build a proper rocket! And when we say rocket we mean an actual 1m-high missile capable of being propelled several thousand feet in the air. Yes you read that right. You’ll be building a rocket that’ll be heading way up high in the sky! How exciting is that?

Luckily you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be into rocketry. These innovative rocket building workshops will take you through the whole process in just a day. From the initial design through assembly and onto preparing the mounts for the launch it’s fascinating stuff. You even learn how to install and test a parachute for your rocket’s re-entry so it lands gently enough that you can re-use your hand-crafted rocket.

Each participant gets to build their own rocket and the culmination of all that hard work in the workshop is a launch event where you will get to fire your rocket off into space (well into the blue at least!). You’ll be transported to the special outdoor rocket launch zone where the final preparations will be undertaken ready for blast off. Once launched into orbit your attention turns to tracking the rocket and then recovery.

Of course behind every great rocket is a team of great scientists. Here at this Rocket HQ Ben is head of rocketry. He’s been building rockets for many many years. He’s overseen more than 1500 launches with high performance hybrid nitrous oxide-powered designs producing 10KM of thrust and regularly reaching between 20 000 and 30 000ft in the stratosphere.

Ben launched his fully-fledged UK rocket business based out of former RAF Coltishall near Norwich where your workshop will take place. His aim is to provide training simulation and services to the UK space industry including launching rockets with payloads or for high altitude weather monitoring for example.

These one-day rocket building workshops give you the chance to find out just how you can build and launch your very own space rocket. Ideally aimed at grown ups these fab experiences allow you to realise those childhood rocket-building dreams. Time to get ready to go to infinity and beyond and book your place!

Find out more and book your place today!

Silversmithing Workshops Kent

Silversmithing Workshops Kent

Make your way to Folkestone’s Creative Quarter for these silversmith courses! It’s off to the Kent coastline for these wonderful jewellery making workshops where you have the chance to gets on hands-on with the ore to create some fabulous silver jewellery.

This Kent studio is where Leah and Cerys create and sell their jewels and art. It’s on a cobbled street in the very heart of the old town of Folkestone with lots of arts crafts cafes and eateries all around creating a lovely vibe to the whole area.

We are offering a trio of silversmith courses at this Kent studio. For those curious to discover how silver can be worked there’s the two-hour workshop to make a silver bangle. Simple yet highly effective a sterling silver band is a lovely piece of jewellery to make and wear. You’ll learn the shaping techniques and even how to clean and polish your bangle so it shines brightly around your wrist.

Silversmithing is suitable for all the family which is why we have the family ring-making workshop. Over two hours you will learn how to make a hammered silver ring each. Host Leah will assist the little ones with the bits of the process that involve heating up the metal so this is course that’s suitable for even the youngest of silversmiths.

For those wanting to really explore silversmithing using traditional techniques and methods we highly recommend the full-day course. You’ll be concentrating on making a ring or a pendant adorned with a cabochon stone. That’s to say a colourful stone that has been polished into a domed-form that’s flat on the other side to fit perfectly into your silver creation.

If you’re wondering if you have the creative eye to participate in a course like this it’s worth remembering what Leah herself says. She very much believes in Wabi Sabi which is the Japanese idea of ‘beauty in imperfection’ which means that hand-made touch just adds to the appeal and the charm of your jewellery. And of course everything you make during your silversmith course in Kent is yours to keep whether you wear it yourself or give it as a gorgeous bespoke gift.

Find out more and book your place today!

Potters Wheel Experience Staffordshire

Potters Wheel Experience Staffordshire

Learn to throw clay on this potter’s wheel experience! Taught on a one-to-one basis these courses show you all the basics of using a potter’s wheel. By the end of the day you should be throwing with consistency and pulling walls to create your very own pottery pieces.

Ceramic design and painting duo Mathew and Rachel are both born and bred in Staffordshire part of the Potteries area famous worldwide for fine ceramics. As well as being an accomplished potter Mathew is also a teacher so you’ll find he’s methodical in his teaching and super patient too – just what’s needed when you’re negotiating a lump of clay and a spinning wheel for the first time.

Mathew hosts these full day courses from his home workshop on the doorstep of Trentham Gardens the oasis of green and calm in Stafford. There’s even a couple of comfortable chain hotels within walking distance of his artist’s studios making this Staffordshire pottery easily ‘do-able’ even if you’re not in the Staffordshire or Midlands areas.

These courses start at the very beginning of pottery making. As you carefully prep your clay (it has to be just the right consistency for turning) Mathew will be talking you through all the processes. He’ll tell you that the single most important moment is when you centre your clay on the moving wheel. Get this right and you’re well on your way.

After that it’s all about the potter’s wheel turning at the right speed to be able to shape your clay. That first hand gesture to make the clay move is certainly tricky. Before you know it you’ll be faced with either a wobbly blob or a cylinder with smooth sides to be proud of. /Practice practice and more practice is what’s needed to succeed in pottery. Once you’re satisfied with the shape you’ve turned you will be shown how to (carefully!) use the wire to slice and move your piece off the wheel ready for drying.

By the end of this potter’s wheel experience you should have around half a dozen pieces that will be fired in the kiln for you. So not only will these hand-turned pottery pieces such as bowls and vases be a thing of beauty you’ll be able to use them too!

Find out more and book your place today!

Willow Weaving Courses

Willow Weaving Courses

Willow weaving courses – learn the craft of basketry and willow weaving on these fabulous workshops. All classes are very much hands-on and you’ll all leave with woven goods that you’ve made during your class.

Taking place at Mantel Farm in East Sussex these weaving workshops are ideal for those with little or no weaving experience. We are offering three different length courses and all include the materials and tools you need to weave.

All workshops include a talk on the traditions and heritage of weaving the types of willow used how you can grow willow yourself the harvesting and how to prepare your willow for weaving. It’s worth mentioning that some strength and dexterity in the hands is required for these courses and you will be using sharp tools.

Your host for these weaving workshops is Julia Gurr. She has been weaving using mostly willow but also other materials for many years. A skilled and artistic weaver Julia makes contemporary and traditional pieces that are both beautiful objects and practical too taking inspiration from different cultures. From a picnic basket to a large woven planter Julie’s woven artefacts are truly lovely.

During these workshops you will be making your own woven items that you will be taking home with you. On the ‘Willow Plant Support’ half day course you’ll be fashioning an obelisk that stands proudly in your garden for your sweet peas or runner beans to climb as they grow. On the full-day ‘Introduction to Weaving’ course you’ll make a stylish boat-shaped basket and a hanging basket that makes a delightful bird feeder or garlic store in your kitchen.

On the two-day ‘Willow Basket’ Course you’ll create an intricate woven egg basket. You’ll use several basket making techniques to produce the woven base the sides the turned down border and the handle. The finished piece is superbly strong so it can be used not just for eggs but shopping collecting fruit and so on.

You’ll be shown and taught various weaving techniques such as randing waling pairing finishing borders and making handles some or all of which you’ll be able to put into practice during your workshop. We think these willow weaving courses will appeal to anyone who likes arts and crafts and wants to learn a new yet very traditional skill.

Find out more and book your place today!