Irons in the fire

Thursday 3 October 2019

9am – 5.30pm


The course

The course will take place in the 150 year old Museum smithy, where everything is done as it would have been more than a century ago. Students will make a simple toasting fork or poker.

The tutor

Martin Fox’s background includes training as an architect, a degree in art history, and working as a full time archaeologist through most of the 1970s both in England and South America. He is a retired project manager at Gatwick airport. He trained as a blacksmith in 1992 at Plumpton Agricultural college and has been demonstrating blacksmithing at the Museum for over 15 years. His interests are varied, and include timber framing, furniture restoration, and anything to do with building.

Participant information

The course is limited to four participants, who will receive practical tuition and hands-on experience with materials provided.

Please wear old clothing which covers arms and legs, and wear sturdy footwear. The forge is partially open to the elements it can be advisable to bring suitable outdoor, waterproof clothing.

If you have them bring leather-palmed gloves and protective goggles. Also if you have one, please bring a 2-3 lb ball or cross-pien hammer. Please note that participants will be on their feet for much of the day.

Optional preparation suggestion from the tutor: If you do not use a hammer on a regular basis try buying a pack of 50mm. (2 inch) nails and practice driving them straight into a piece of softwood, say 100×50 (4×2 inches). After practice try to get the nail in with three blows (fingers holding the nail only for the first) straight and true. Also hit the wood directly with the hammer, try to get the full imprint of the head. For this you will need a hammer with a weight of between 2-3.5 lbs. If your hammer is lighter try shorter nails.

Fee and refreshments

£95 per person, to include materials, tuition, teas and coffees, but please bring a bottle of water to drink. Please let the museum know in advance any special dietary requirements. The Museum café will be open or you can bring a packed lunch.