The School of Blacksmithing is a purpose-built teaching facility established by Peat Oberon in 1999 and based at Preston Hall Museum near Stockton-on-Tees. Our weekend courses in blacksmithing take place from Friday to Sunday throughout the year. We currently offer four different courses ranging from a complete beginner’s course to advanced courses for more experienced students.
Peat is an artist blacksmith and former schoolteacher who has over five decades of teaching experience and has taught the craft of blacksmithing to hundreds of students from all over the world. At his School of Blacksmithing, Peat’s expert tuition is given both individually and by group demonstrations on the courses he designs and runs. Each course is limited to eight students.
At the centre of the teaching area there is a custom-built table of eight blacksmithing hearths. This enables each student to work with their own individual fire, anvil and fully-equipped workstation area. Each hearth is equipped with its own set of tools sufficient for the needs of the course. Further sets of tools are available in storage. All of the materials and safety equipment needed for each course are provided to students including a leather apron, safety glasses and gloves.
We believe that our facilities for teaching blacksmithing are the best in the U.K. outside of the college education system.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY
We get lots of wonderful feedback every year in the emails our students send us. Please see below just a few examples of the many lovely comments we’ve received.
"Thank you for delivering such an interesting course. I must say that I learnt a lot about blacksmithing, but most importantly I enjoyed the three days immensely. I was surprised to be hitting hot metal within 15 minutes of starting, but as you said, it is a very practical activity and there is no substitute for experience. Friends and family cannot believe that I produced all those things in the three days as a beginner, it is a testament to your ability as a teacher. I am looking forward to setting up my own forge in the fullness of time."
"I would like to tell you just how much I enjoyed your course. Once again I will tell you what a wonderful teacher you are. The fact that you care for your 'little blacksmiths' really shows and all your effort and preparation goes to bring a truly memorable time. I shall look forward to your next course. I thank you and your wife - the inspiration you have given me shall go forward in my blacksmithing future."
"A short note of thanks for the most enjoyable and creative weekend spent in Stockton. I came away with a real feeling of achievement which is always a sign of a well run and organised course. Your enthusiasm was certainly infectious and your patience in dealing with a bunch of 'greenhorns' was more than appreciated. I will certainly recommend your skills to any other 'wannabe' blacksmiths. I am presently looking around locally for a forge in which to practise. Thank you once again for your hospitality."
"This is a rare opportunity to learn and appreciate the intricacies and craft of blacksmithing. The satisfaction of shaping, bending, splitting and drawing hot metal is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying experiences a maker can have, regardless of age or experience."
"I never imagined that I would produce something that looked and felt so good. I've just arrived home after a 170 mile drive - and all the way, my imagination was working overtime, thinking about the things that I might achieve with what I have learnt in the last three days. My friend was the same and the conversation was largely made up of questions about where we might buy equipment locally and suggestions as to what we might make. Once I've convinced my wife that having a forge in the back garden is a good idea, I'll certainly be darkening Peat's doorstep again for further tuition!"
"Excellent hands-on enjoyment and learning - good atmosphere, fantastic! If you are fed up with talk and want to get down to some honest hard work and bags of enjoyment, this is for you. Nothing is too much for Peat - he never gets tired of the 101 questions!"
"This is not a course for specialists or 'clever' people, it is for anyone and everyone who would like to explore the hidden world of blacksmithing and to be caught up in an adventure which will go on forever. I was certainly somewhat exhausted when I returned home, but the thrill of producing three most attractive pieces kept me going as I showed off to friends and family. The food, companionship and your stimulating guidance all added up to a marvellous weekend. Many thanks indeed."
"This is an excellent course for the absolute novice like me. It was a completely new experience with a first class craftsman instructor and a good atmosphere amongst the rest of the group."
Seymour A. Hickman
"We started blacksmithing within half an hour of arriving. The course was all action and my wife and I still cannot believe how much we achieved in the time and how much we enjoyed the experience. An unbelievably good course"
Chris & Mary Cribb
"I found the course totally absorbing and very satisfying. I can't wait to hit some more hot metal, it's very theraputic - a good means of stress relief!"
"I enjoyed seeing my ram's head magically take shape and also being in a working environment where I was supported and encouraged by Peat and others on the course. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the course, Peat's inspiration and great teaching and the sense of achievement on completing the course."
"The course is brilliant. Very enjoyable and informative. Bashing the red hot iron - Great! Peat, you have illuminated my creative imagination with your enthusiasm for iron. Thank you!"
Keith Stuart Murray
"I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in the field of blacksmithing or metal work. When you experience the process of creating objects in metal first hand you are introduced to a whole new world. You realise and appreciate the skill involved and are encouraged to discover more. Being able to create complete objects in such a short space of time with no prior experience is incredibly rewarding and satisfying."
I cannot recommend this course highly enough. For three days, myself, my wife and four friends were happily absorbed in the process of making things that we would never have thought we were able to achieve given our novice status. Peat's relaxed and helpful style of teaching made it a joy from start to finish and I still can't quite believe I managed to make so many different, useful objects in such a short space of time. A memorable experience!
I went on this course with five friends to celebrate one of my friends sixtieth birthday. When I told people how I was spending part of my half term I was met with unsupportive comments of basically I would never be able to produce anything. How wrong they all were. I produced four highly useful implements which have been shown with pride and received much admiration. The said objects now take pride of place on my fire hearth and in my garden. I cannot believe how absorbed I could become on creating something out of metal but my emotional well being at the end of the course was something to be celebrated. I had ‘hammered’ to my hearts content relieving every ounce of pressure - marvellous. Can I recommend this course? Unreservedly and Peat was the best tutor you could ask for along with Tom his very patient helper.
We did the three day beginners' course. This is a fantastic course with an expert craftsman, team and equipment. They were fun, challenging, intensive full days at the forge. We managed to do a lot more than I thought would be feasible. It is really well organised, great teacher and worth the cost. Thanks Peat and team. Hoping to do the tool making or leaf course next.