Ironart’s Jason Balchin recently started his metalwork restoration course at the National School of Blacksmithing in Hereford – the NHIG Award for Blacksmithing Conservation. The vision behind the programme is to bring together the skills of excellent blacksmithing practice and professional conservation practice to provide unique and specialist training. Andy was really keen to send a member of the Ironart team on the NHIG course to develop our expertise in this field. Examples of course modules will be:
- History of Ironwork: Style, makers and heritage representative organisations.
- Conservation Principles and Practise: Philosophy and ethics, approach and procedure
- Environmental Issues: Working on Heritage sites, protection of work and environment
The course commenced in May 2011 and runs alongside the full time course. Jason will attend a series of five ‘release’ weeks throughout the year. So far he has completed two weeks out of the five. Jason’s latest assignment was to choose an historic piece of ironwork, photograph and document it, develop technical drawings to replicate the piece. Jason chose the screen to the Lady Chapel in St Stephen’s Church in Manvers Street, Bath. Last week saw him making tongs, hardening and tempering medium carbon steel chisels and punches, firewelding and chainmaking. He trained for three days under Paul Allen FWCB. In this picture he is drifting out a punched hole in the horizontal rail from a railing sample to make it bigger.
Jason commenced work here at Ironart in September 2008, and holds a B-Tech First Diploma in Art & Design from Somerset College of Art & Design. Prior to that he achieved a National B-Tech in Restoration and Blacksmithing from Herefordshire College. Jason is a skilled blacksmith who produces accurate and accomplished metalwork, we wish him every success with his course and look forward to sharing his newfound knowledge and skills.