Blacksmith Mark Aylen
Mark in his forge

Many people are interested in blacksmithing but might not believe it is something they could do themselves, let alone have their own forge at home. A blacksmith Forgingexperience day is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at an ancient craft, with all tools, materials and guidance provided.

Having been interested in the idea of blacksmithing, Mark decided to sign up for a course, even though he didn’t think it would be possible to pursue it as a hobby at home. Since completing that first course, he has gone on to build his own coal hearth and separate gas hearth, and collect and make all the tools needed to set up his own forge at Shorland Old Farm.

Since then, he’s used the forge to make further tools as well as traditional items, brackets and fittings in keeping with Shorland Old Farm (a 17th Century Devon longhouse), as well as practical items and gifts for sale.  He’s now gone on to share his interest in this ancient craft by offering blacksmith experience days.

 

 

What is a blacksmith experience day at Shorland Old Farm?

Mark’s objective is to promote blacksmithing as both a traditional yet currently relevant craft, inspiring those who attend to learn more about blacksmithing, and possibly to pursue their journey further.  In so doing, he hopes they will not only enjoy the craft themselves, but also help to preserve it for future generations. He likes people to know it’s possible to start blacksmithing with a minimum of equipment and investment (traditional blacksmith apprentices made their own tools during their apprenticeship).

Iron curtain holdbacksThe experience day is designed for those who would like to try blacksmithing for the first time.  No previous experience is required.

The Blacksmith Experience is a practical, hands-on day. You will be introduced to the basic tools of the trade; you’ll be shown – and try for yourself – a number of different techniques and skills to make one or more items from a list provided (the number of items made will depend on the time available and the items being made). At the end of the day you will take these items home with you to use and enjoy (and impress your family and friends!).

All materials will be provided.

Mark will be more than happy to talk about his experience in setting up his forge, and provide pointers and sources of information for anyone who might want to do something similar.

Ultimately the day will be driven by you.  Experience days are generally run on a one-to-one basis, but if two people wish to share the experience and work together, that’s not a problem provided this can be achieved while meeting current government Covid-19 requirements and precautions.

Blacksmith Experience Days run from 9.00am – 5.00pm with a break for lunch.  Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided free of charge throughout the day.

 

Health and SafetyShorland Forge

Please be aware that blacksmithing involves hot metal and heavy tools. Although precautions are taken to minimise risks, it is not uncommon to sustain odd bumps, cuts and the occasional burn when working with hot and cold metal.

Blacksmith Experience Day Price
  • One participant £150
  • 2 participants £250
Accommodation

For those travelling from further afield, or who would simply like to extend their stay in this beautiful part of North Devon, we are able to offer two accommodation options:

Option 1: Self-contained, private B&B ground floor annexe with a double bedroom (with kingsize bed); private bathroom with toilet, basin and shower; private breakfast room, equipped with table and chairs, fridge, microwave, toaster, tea and coffee-making facilites, and breakfast station with cereals, fruit, bread, butter, preserves, fruit juice, yogurts, porridge provided.

Price for the B&B annexe is £70.00 per night

Option 2: Shorland Cottage – self-catering cottage with open-plan living area upstairs, and two bedrooms and a bathroom below.  A full description of Shorland Cottage can be found on the Self-Catering page of our website, here: https://www.shorlandoldfarm.co.uk/self-catering-at-old-shorland/.

Shorland Cottage rental

Up to 3 nights – £100 per night

Additional nights £70 per night

Full week bookings £500

 

 

To book your experience day on a date that suits you, or to find out more, contact Mark at enquiries@shorlandoldfarm.co.uk or call 01598 763505.