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A big hello to everyone here.

I am new to blacksmithing, having had my first ever blacksmithing lesson only yesterday! This was a course for utter beginners at the Westpoint forge in Devon, run by an extremely nice bloke called John Bellamy. Under his expert instruction all of us on the course made a fabulous set of outdoor wine glass holders, and a nice set of toasting forks. I'll post pics of mine at some point, as soon as I find out how! They didnt go that badly for a first ever attempt at forging!

I must say that having tried my hand at it for the first time, I am bitten by the bug. It was the most fun I have ever had in a day, and cannot wait for the next course (as soon as I can afford it). In the meantime, I hope to be able to learn more here, and to meet some real experts of the craft.

So to everyone here, Hello!

Matt :)

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Go to IForgeIron.com and click on getting started. This will provide you with a lot of information and show you how to use the site.

You may want to mark your calendar for the following events at Westpoint Show ground home to the Devon County Show.

* January 12th a Forging Experience Taster course day
That leaves just over a fortnight to catch up on your reading. (grin).

* January 26th & 27th Various twists attend on either day or both, learn how to make decorative features for handles railings etc

Go to IForgeIron.com > Blueprints > Blueprints 1000

BP1031 Step Twist
BP1029 Twist 03
BP1028 Twists 02
BP1027 Twist 01

Study what is being done and how it is being done. Then purchace some modeling clay (art supply store, or children's toys) and take the clay home and practice. The clay will move the same way as metal moves and provides a way to practice blacksmithing technique without needing a fire.

Welcome to Blacksmithing

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I recently took my first ever blacksmithing lesson, at the Westpoint forge in Dorset, and am desperate to have more lessons, and as soon as possible.

Can any of the British members here recommend any local forges that may be able to help me out?

Thanks in advance.

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He certainly knows his stuff. And he's good and patient when we mess up!

Cheers for the dates, Glenn. I'd love to be able to attend more courses at westpoint, but sadly it is a little far away from where I live (about an hour and a half to drive) for it to be utterly practical. I'm still desperate to have more lessons, though, and so I've been looking around for something more local. I live in North Somerset, in the Bristol area, and so if any of you know about courses run in this area, I would really appreciate it.

Hi Sam!

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Go to IForgeIron.com > Getting Started > GS0003 Blacksmithing Groups > United Kingdom for a list of groups there.

BABA is the local UK group and the education page has "Training and Courses" that are available. You may wish to check the events page to see if there is something there.

There are several cities listed and you will have to choose which is within driving distance for you.

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Matt, do you have somewhere you can set up your own equipment? You don't need a lot of money, space or equipment to get started. A garage, back garden etc. will do. I use a very crude setup at the moment and am teaching myself the basics. Lessons are great, but I like to learn on my own too. I find it's useful to take what I learn -- be it at an actual lesson, from a book, from the internet -- and try, apply, and practise it.

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I have tons of room. A nice big garage and workshop, and plenty of outdoor space. Best thing is, dear old dad, who went on the course with me, wants to get his hands on a forge and anvil as well now, so if he gets one I won't have to bother spending my own money!

Being able to practice what I learn on my own would be handy, as money is a real issue.

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New blacksmithing gear is available in the UK, but be prepared to cry at the prices. Hang around car boot sales, scrap yards etc. and start improvising... blacksmiths can improvise just about anything they want.

I've noticed that on eBay UK you can often find anvils going for about

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