Supporting Young Blacksmiths


16-year-old Loris on a work placement in the workshop

We continue to support young blacksmiths in developing their skills. Over the last couple of months, we have been happy to have Matthias Kuhn, a German Journeyman continuing our tradition of placements. Matthias is in his 6th year of training. During January he has been using the workshop a couple of days a week to get his portfolio ready for applying to study at Steneby Institute of Craft and Design. Steneby is host to Europe’s largest academic metal/blacksmithing workspace and is a brilliant place to study for anyone interested in a career in ironwork.

Matthias tells how in Germany the traditional Journeyman is a familiar sight. Journeymen traditionally don’t use any technology including a smartphone. They cannot spend money on transport and rely on lifts, mainly hitchhiking. This means they meet many people on their travels and get jobs along the way. Exploring different workshops means they learn a wide variety of skills by seeing how smiths work differently across many settings. Journeymen have to remain 50km away from their hometown and they travel and work this way for 3 years and 1 day. Interestingly, Matthais has chosen not to do it the traditional way as he wants to travel beyond Germany and as people don’t recognise the tradition outside Germany it makes things difficult. Matthias is doing his own modern version! We wish him much luck with his plans for studying at Steneby and for the future, it has been a pleasure to have him at Ironart. 

Following on from this we also have local, 16-year-old Loris Sarkissian on a work placement in the workshop, 2 days a week. Loris started studying at Hereford College this September, 3 days a week. He came looking for a work placement for the two days a week he is not at college, to get even more experience. We are happy to welcome Loris into the workshop.


James starts a new blacksmithing course

We’ve just heard that James, Ironart’s recently recruited apprentice has been offered a place on the Design and Forgeworks course at the National School of Blacksmithing in Hereford.
It’s a part time block release course comprising of ten weeks over a two year period.  James’ placement will obviously be here at Ironart where he’ll spend 4-5 hours per week making things in his own time to perfect his techniques. He starts on the 2nd April – and we look forward to seeing what he comes up with!

Blacksmith apprentice James Cuthbertson - Ironart of Bath

Blacksmith apprentice James Cuthbertson - Ironart of Bath

 

Ironart at the BANES Skills Fair 2012

Three of our guys  – Jason, Jim and new apprentice James attended the BANES skills fair at City of Bath College yesterday in central Bath. The guys set up a mobile forge and gave forging demostrations throughout the afternoon. This was the first time a team from Ironart had attended the fair which was aimed at 15 to 19 year old school leavers, to give them an opportunity to explore potential skills and careers for the future. We’ve compiled a short document which gives advice to anyone looking to start a career in metalworking, please follow this link to download it:  Ironart’s guide to getting into metalworking