Calnan & Anhøj

Course Testimonials

The day in your forge was most enjoyable. Your videos were really clear and I was surprised at how quickly we were all thrown into the forge and were working away by ourselves quite successfully! Your assistance and expertise was much appreciated of course! I’ll be recommending the course and your forge to people I talk to and will keep an eye out for further courses as well.

James Loughlin, Blade Smithing 2021

Great experience! Gunvor is informative and patient. She answered all questions thoroughly and helped bring our creative ventures to life. Thank you Gunvor for all the effort put in. We appreciate you!

Christie Lynn, Blade Smithing 2019

Wow……. I just did the Axe course 2 weeks ago and I must say it was so amazing. A truly fantastic day with a great bunch of people and as always Gunvor did an amazing job at teaching, helping, mentoring and bailing us out when things didn’t quite go to plan. I have done all of the courses now and I must say they are all so different and a great introduction to blacksmithing that leave you wanting more. Thanks Gunvor you rock.

Scott MacBride, Axe Making 2019

This I have to say was one of the most inspiring and enjoyable days out I’ve had in a long time. From the get go, Gunvor was extremely welcoming and patient, answering every question with incredible knowledge and making it so easily accessible for a beginner. At the beginning you’re given a wonderful introduction and then truly thrown into the work; a hammer, an anvil and a piece of steel. You get freedom to work the way you think will work, while Gunvor is ever present to answer any questions, and give you pointers if you ever feel lost as to what to do next. Well worth every moment and don’t blame her if you feel the urge to build your own forge at home!!

Seán O’Halloran, Blade Smithing 2018

For a number of years, the idea of making something in a blacksmith forge appealed to me. Having watched several videos on YouTube on the subject I decided to go for it and booked this course. 6 like-minded people listened eagerly to Gunvor’s expert instructions and began heating our lumps of metal before bashing the living daylights out of it. Slowly but surely it started to resemble something remotely looking like an axe. Ray Mears would be proud. The atmosphere was fantastic and after a long day, each of us were beaming with a smile from ear to ear holding our axe heads. Thanks for a truly memorable experience that will stay with me forever!

Cliff Wayenberg, Axe Making 2018

Amazing day out! I was surprised with how much freedom we were given. The time taken to explain things and get on with it was excellent! Gunvor made excellent use of simple playdo to explain how the metal moved and really gave a good insight into why things work as they do. I WANT TO GO DO IT AGAIN! IT WAS AMAZING!

Gavin Dooley, Blade Smithing 2018

I think we all learned an immense amount from you in such a short space of time.  Plans are stewing in my brain for a homemade forge and hopefully coming back in the future to learn more!

Eric, Blade Smithing 2017

I would recommend your course to anyone who can lift a hammer. Thank you for one of the very best experiences I have had. It was a fantastic day (and I got some fireside tools as well!) Your tuition and patience was very encouraging and your enthusiasm was infectious. There was a great group of like-minded people all friendly and willing to help each other which made us all a bit more relaxed and not so scared of making a mistake. I will never again take for granted the work that goes into handmade tools. My right arm felt like Usain Bolts leg after a race, from the amount of hammering I did! But it was worth it.

John Harkin, Fire Side Tools 2015

We needed something really different and rewarding for our small team of four and The Forge was absolutely perfect, we worked together, not even thinking of our mobile phones and got much closer as a team as a result. The reward at the end was perfect in every way, and we still revert back to it today many weeks later.

Then CEO of Volkswagen Group Ireland – Simon Elliott who made a fire brazier and also came on a staff outing with his team in 2013

Great weekend! Loads of tips and techniques to pick up even if you have previous experience. Highly recommended to people of all skill levels.

Colin Whyte, Fire Brazier 2015

I found the time I spent at the forge to be both relaxing and exhilarating, and the satisfaction I gained from making a physical object surpassed any I could hope for from my day job (I work in the IT industry) I would recommend to any office worker a day working with blacksmiths whose job it is to encourage you to hit things!

David De Roach, 2009

Fabulous weekend, such an achievement! Great teacher and great company, can’t wait for some good weather to christen it! Would recommend anyone who’s interested give it a go, you can totally do it.

Karen Mas-Mollinedo, Fire Brazier 2015

Many thanks for a most enjoyable and informative day last Saturday. I was impressed by the well organised, relaxed, and friendly atmosphere of the course. I’ve always enjoyed craft inspired hobbies – wood turning, small metal engineering – so the Christmas present from my wife of the blacksmithing course gift voucher was inspired. I’ll certainly recommend the course to my friends!

Brian, Fire Side Tools 2015

Group Booking at the Russborough Forge

Thank you Gunvor for a great day at the forge. Everyone in the group seems to have named their knife out of pride. I think I speak for us all when I say we had a great day, and I look forward to coming back again in the near future!

Dublin Circus Project, Group Booking Sep 2014

I’m pretty sure I’ve never been that close to fire in my life, even when toasting marshmallows! It was great fun and there was a lovely atmosphere there in the forge among everyone. You had a great way of sharing your time among us all and giving us the necessary attention and I actually believed that I was going to go home with a finished product, and I did – a lovely Celtic brooch even though I had zero previous experience!

Frances 2012

I wanted to thank you again for a really great weekend! I enjoyed myself immensely, learning a new skill and gaining huge respect for the ease with which you manipulate dangerously hot metals.

Christoph, fire brazier & log holder 2016

Blacksmithing really gets your mind going and you have to focus… You don’t go and distract yourself on thinking about other things in your life like school. It’s amazing the way you can move metal and you can shape it… it’s incredibly strong and the ability to move that just gives you so much pleasure. You have to pay attention to so much more than what it seems though – its not just banging metal – it’s a precise art. It also helps your arm muscles!

Sam, age 13 from rte juniors ‘Kids Speak’ filmed at the Forge in June 2013

Gunvor, who has been a blacksmith for 18 years, was a calm, informative and affable teacher who I found did just the right combination of talking and throwing us into the deep end. And oh what a deep end. I found myself in the joyous position of having a red hot fire, a hammer, tongs, and an anvil of my own. Oh yes, an anvil of my own!

Emma Bidwell, Sep 2014

I think you get to show off a log-holder a bit more than say a crochet cushion!

Laura, log holder 2014

I really enjoyed your axe-making course which I got as a gift voucher – and will treasure my axe for the rest of my days. Already I am looking for excuses to use it and I feel sure we will have plentiful supplies of kindling henceforth. Your forge is a great place to work and the easy, happy atmosphere was really nice.

Keith, axe maker 2013

Thank you for A WONDERFUL DAY all the staff really enjoyed it and it was an excellent team building day. There were many comments about how great a teacher you are and I will definitely recommend it to other people, thank you for everything.

Margret Keogh, staff outing 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and am looking forward to the next. You can be well proud of the courses you are running, both from tuition and content point of view. It is always nice to see something done properly!

Lindsay Beach, knife maker 2013

Well done for bringing such a fabulous craft to the public. I am a big fan of reviving old crafts and skills, so this is really great.

Laura & Sean Teegan, 2012

Thank you for a magic day……….we learned so much….. every time I close my eyes I see white metal…. waiting to be whacked with a hammer…………thank you so much!

Helen & Brighid, 2011

Calnan & Anhøj

See the Forge