Blacksmithing apprenticeship

Blacksmithing apprenticeship

Blacksmiths create metal objects by heating wrought iron or steel until it can be shaped and, if necessary, joined to other pieces of metal to make gates, railings, furniture, tools, cooking utensils and weapons, as well as a whole host of sculptural and decorative items.

Traditional tools and techniques such as hammers and anvils are still used in the blacksmith’s forge, but you are also just as likely to see power tools, such as drills, air chisels and hydraulic presses, as well as engineering machinery and welding equipment.

As an apprentice, you could find yourself using metals such as brass, bronze or copper as well as iron and steel, and you will become familiar with different techniques of forging and welding, riveting and finishing. If your employer is a heritage or artistry blacksmith you will work to create one-off or small batches of items. On the other hand, if you work for a general or industrial blacksmith, you will be dealing more closely with large, powerful tools and repetitive patterns of production.

The majority of blacksmiths are self-employed or small firms employing fewer than five people. The industry tends to congregate around colleges that are teaching blacksmithing skills, with a focus around Hereford, Norfolk and Cornwall, although forges can be found all over the country.

Level:

Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary:

not available

Job roles:

Artistry blacksmith, Heritage blacksmith, Industrial blacksmith, General blacksmith

Issuing Authority:

Creative and Cultural Skills – www.ccskills.org.uk