• Blade smithing at our forge

Blade Smithing Course

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 19 customer ratings
(19 customer reviews)


Blade smithing for beginners. If you would like to make a good knife blade of your own design and spend a morning hot-forging steel this is the course for you.
Includes: Forging of full-tang blades in one-layer carbon steel. Insight into finishing, basic heat treatments and sharpening.
Doesn’t include: forging of other types of blades, handle making.
Time: 9am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays (please see full description further down the page) 
Covid-19 measures: For 2020 & 2021 course instructions will be provided via video prior to and during the course. This will enable safer participant / teacher interaction. Face masks must be worn at all times during this course. Our forge setup complies with social distancing measures and recommended hygiene standards.
Availability: the 2020 schedule is fully booked, so sorry! If you would like to be put on our cancellations list please register your interest by emailing me on [email protected] 

SKU: N/A Category:


A blade smithing day

Before the course you will receive a guide to general blade designs & uses and a ‘design sheet’ which will help you in the designing of your full-tang blade. You can also just bring along ‘an image from the net’ and sketch it out on the day! I’m not looking for anything too accurate, just a general idea of proportions and profile. You will also receive a video link. The first video is an introduction into the use of the anvil and hearth; how to achieve the correct heat in the right place; minimum and maximum heat ranges and their corresponding colors as well as health & safety. The second video shows the various steps in forging and covers tips on hammer and anvil use specific to blade smithing.

9am – 1pm. Once you have picked an anvil and sketched out your design, you will spend the morning forging. Since 2010 we must have had at least 2000 participants through the forge and one of the things that people often mention, is their surprise of how much freedom they are given in the forging of their blade. We aim to finish the forging process by 1pm where you leave us to grind and sand your blade while you take a break.
1-3pm: Lunch break during which you are required to watch another video which covers the finishing process as well as information on the heat treatments. The Russborough Café is open March – December.
3-4pm. Hardening and sharpening of the blade.


Please go to our bladesmithing ‘Q & A‘ or read our blog https://calnan-anhoj.ie/our-bladesmithing-courses-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/


If you are thinking of going into blade-smithing on a professional level and for a more in depth program of the theory of heat treatments – UK blade-smith Owen Bush’s courses come highly recommended: www.owenbush.co.uk

Covid-19 Safety Measures

  • Social distancing.
  • Facemask wearing (you must bring your own)
  • Additional ‘PPE’ includes a new pair of leather rigger gloves for each participant to bring home after. Safety goggles provided are disinfected after each use (or bring your own if you prefer)
  • All windows and doors will be wide open.
  • Instructional videos to shorten time spent together.
  • Participants have their own set of colour coded hand tools which will be disinfected after each course.
  • Group sizes comply with current restrictions.

19 reviews for Blade Smithing Course

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    John Yoder (verified owner)

    I have always wanted to make a knife in a forge. So decided to try this. Gunvor made this A perfect experience for me. From the coal forge ( yes Gunvor I know it’s not coal but can’t remember the right name haha) to the polishing she took us through step by step. Allowing us to do whatever we wanted with the knife. I cannot Express how much I would recommend this class if you have ever thought about getting in front of a forge. Thank you both for an amazing day out!!

  2. admin

    Thanks very much John, much appreciated! The fuel we use is coke 🙂

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Seán O’Halloran (verified owner)

    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!!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott macbride (verified owner)

    I must say I had a blast at the blade smithing course, so much so i’m going to try and go again as soon as a space opens up. It was a real hands on day and I loved it. Gunvor was fantastic and it was a pleasure to spend the day with her in the forge. I can’t wait to get back to their forge and try some of their other classes. I would highly RECOMMENDED the blade smithing course to anyone. Thanks Gunvor for a great day.

  5. admin

    Thanks a mill Scott! 😀

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    John Glenny

    Gunvor – Thanks for such a great day on Saturday last. You were immensely patient, it was interesting to take a flat steel profile and bend it, twist it, shape it and hammer it under heat. I think that all six of us were delighted with the blades that we made. For anyone interested in learning a new skill I highly recommend the bladesmithing course.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gavin Dooley

    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.


  8. admin

    Thank you Gavin! Welcome back any time! 🙂

  9. admin

    Thanks very much John!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott macbride (verified owner)

    I know this is my second review so I’ll keep it short. I just took the blade-smithing course for the second time and I must say it was as awesome as it was the first time – it was actually even better!

    Thanks Gunvor for another great day.

  11. admin

    Cheers Scott, keep up the good work! 🙂

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    D Larkin

    Fantastic experience fantastic host

  13. admin

    Thank you kindly Denis!

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mark Bolster (verified owner)

    The blade smithing was an amazing experience I can not recommended it enough. Gunvor is an excellent teacher. Explained everything in great detail and then let’s you have at it. It really is cool to see the lump of steel you start with turn into an awesome blade by the end. I enjoyed it so much I have signed up again. Hammering away on that glowing steel is addictive.

  15. admin

    Than you kindly Mark! 😃 Sounds like you’ve been hooked on blacksmithing!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kevin Westnott (verified owner)

    Really interesting course, I can’t recommend it enough, it’s a really enjoyable day

  17. admin

    Thanks very much Kevin, much appreciated!

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    Claire Cullivan (verified owner)

    Hi Gunvor. Eoin & Ryan are still buzzing from their bladesmithing experience last Saturday. Thank you for taking them on your course. It was everything & more that they hoped it would be. You have certainly added fuel to the fire in their bellies for forging. We hope to see you again in the not too distant future.
    P.S. they apologise again for getting lost in the maze & being late back to class!!

  19. admin

    That’s brilliant, they were great thank you! And they’re not the first to loose their way in that maze – it’s a tricky one 😅

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ronan McGuirk

    What an amazing way to spend a day. My friends and i did the blade smithing course and enjoyed it so much we are already planning our next visit. Gunvor was a great teacher, so skilled and patient as she guided us through the process while giving us total freedom to design and make our own BLADES as we wanted. I cannot recommend it enough, it is such a unique, interesting and hands on experience. Thanks for a great day gunvor.

  21. admin

    Thanks very much Ronan, much appreciated, it was nice to meet you all 🙂

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Vincent graham

    Fantastic Day. Really Enjoyable. Thanks to Anhoj

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sean Forsyth (verified owner)

    Loved it! Was a great course, and had a lot of fun doing it. Really loved the knife I made and would recommend this to anyone interested in forging or blade making.

  24. admin

    Thank you very much Sean!

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Niamh Spain (verified owner)

    We had a really enjoyable day with Gunvor in the forge making some iron age knives. The course is a great introduction to blacksmithing and working steel, would recommend to anyone interested in metalwork

  26. Rated 5 out of 5


    This was a really enjoyable day. I did it with a group of friends and we all had a great experience. Gunvor was a patient teacher and gave us as much help and assistance as we needed while allowing us to work on our own blades. I would highly recommend this.

  27. admin

    Thanks very much Sarah-Jayne, it was nice to meet you all 🙂

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Stewart Kenny (verified owner)

    Absolutely love these courses and have done them multiple times – I would not consider myself a very crafty or practical person at all – but under Gunvor’s expert eye and guidance I have produced fantastic and beautiful WORK, that I never thought possible – the workshops are run in a fun and friendly environment and Gunvor has a fabulous teaching style and is so personable and approachable that she is able to break down complex ideas and tasks to simple actions that are easy to achieve and Understand. I would very highly recommend these workshops to anyone no matter what their level or ability.

  29. admin

    Thank you so much Stewart, really appreciate that 😀

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    Barry O’Neill

    Thoroughly enjoyable knife making course. Really Informative and fully IMMERSIVE. Having been the last member of my family to complete a course I’m upset I didn’t do it sooner ! I will definitely be considering which course to do next !! Thanks Gunvor For the experience !

  31. admin

    That’s awesome Barry, thank you! 🙂

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Michel Paschalis (verified owner)

    It was one of the most enjoyable activities I have done in my life. I had a great day and was very happy at the end. So glad I could have this experience, thank you very much!!

  33. admin

    So happy you had a good day Michel! 🙂

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Conor Skerritt

    Absolutely wonderful experience in a gorgeous setting. we had a fabulous day at the forge, and got lots of individual attention and theoretical knowledge as well as hands on experience. I would thoroughly recommend! Thanks Gunvor!

  35. admin

    Thank you kindly Conor, really appreciate that! 😀

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