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Shape and mold bright hot iron under your hammer.
Blacksmithing is a powerful craft where bright hot iron is shaped with hammer and skill atop an anvil to create beautiful and useful objects. There’s been smiths in the British isles since iron was first on the go around 2,500 years ago. This new black metal, iron, was harder, sharper and stronger than anything that came before it, and revolutionised our world.
The iron worked in the prehistory of Britain was made through a technique called bloomery iron smelting (which we also run courses on) which uses a super hot furnace full of charcoal and iron ore minerals to create a fresh lump of hot iron.
The idea of smithing, shaping and beating metals into objects with tools was quite new and novel as most previously used metals would get melted and poured into moulds to create objects. No wonder the blacksmiths of the past were seen as mystical, powerful and respected people.
Blacksmithing can be physically demanding but it’s generally not about using every ounce of strength to pound the metal: rather practice, skill and planned movements are the way. The most exciting things about blacksmithing is that you start with a plain lump of iron and with the right tools, and through skill, creativity and time, it can become any object that you can envision! Come and try your hand at making a couple of simple objects such as fire pokers, hooks and pins with guidance and encouragement. Hear the anvil ring as the iron bends, morphs and transforms under your hammer.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided throughout the day and you will go away with new skills from a community based activity, an information booklet and your own hand forged iron items, as well as memories of a day immersed in prehistoric crafts.
Suitable for complete beginners: this is a chance to discover metalworking among fellow enthusiasts and perhaps discover a new passion, all whilst immersed in the stunning setting of our prehistoric museum, set in the lochs and hills of Highland Scotland.
Course details: £130 (+fees)
Arrival at 9.00am, beginning with a welcoming cup of something, exploring the site and meeting your fellow course participants and leaders.
Chat about metalworking, Iron Age tools and the archaeology of the time, at the dawn of the Iron Age.
Light the fire and work the bellows in a real joint effort to manage the fire and get the forge up to heat.
Take turns with your fellow participants to work the bellows, or heat some iron and shape it into simple objects with the guidance of our skilled course leaders. You will learn many forging techniques through this.
A lunch of traditional, hearty food, cooked in our Iron Age kitchen.
More forging and bellow operating will continue in the afternoon.
At the end, some food will be cooked in the dying embers of the forge and shared. The day will finish around 5.30pm.
You will leave with the satisfaction of having crafted some simple objects from iron to take home, an information booklet about blacksmithing and memories of an Iron Age experience.
Please note, the booking cut-off for these workshops is one week prior to the date of the workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel any workshops if there are not enough participants booked on to meet our minimum requirement or due to adverse weather conditions. In these cases, we are happy to help you re-book your course or process a refund.