• Blade smithing at our forge

Blade Smithing Course

(28 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. A practical course where the forging and finishing of a full-tang blade in one-layer carbon steel is the focus. Participants will forge, hand polish, heat-treat and sharpen.
Doesn’t include: forging of other types of blades, handle making, theory of metallurgy or heat-treatments.
Time: Saturdays 9am-5pm (please see full description further down the page)
Please note: Course instructions will be provided via video prior to the course. Face masks currently must be worn at all times, our forge has room for social distancing & tutors are fully vaccinated.
Availability: We are currently fully booked until 30 April 2022. Booking will open again in February. Meanwhile you can join the cancellations list by emailing gunvor@calnan-anhoj.ie (We don’t offer gift vouchers sorry!) 
Buy a finished knife: For an alternative gift idea you can buy a handmade iron age knife here (forged by our son Ellis! 🙂)

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28 reviews for Blade Smithing Course

  1. 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. 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. admin

    Thanks a mill Scott!

  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.

  6. 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. 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. 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. D Larkin

    Fantastic experience fantastic host

  13. admin

    Thank you kindly Denis!

  14. 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. 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. 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 🙂

  19. 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!!

  20. 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. Vincent graham

    Fantastic Day. Really Enjoyable. Thanks to Anhoj

  23. 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. 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. SJ

    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. 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. 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. 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. 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!

  36. Tom O Malley

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful experience. My day of forging was brilliant fun. Every thing was explained clearly and all my tools were set up nicely beside the coal fire. Gunvor is a fantastic teacher. I learned so much. Beautiful setting to build a knife too.

  37. admin

    Thank you very much Tom! 🙂

  38. Jola

    What a fantastic day!!! I have no interest in blades but I’ve always wanted to experience hot-forging steel. I loved it. Gunvor is amazing. Very experienced, talented, calm, patient and gave very clear instructions. Turns out I have no talent in that matter but I totally enjoyed it and would Definitely come back to do it again ?

  39. Bill Shanahan

    I attended Gunvor’s bladesmithing workshop on 18 september 2021. Thank you Gunvor for such a great day at the forge, and helping me to complete my long-term wish to build my own knife. It was an amazing experience and Gunvor is a great teacher and gave great instruction and guidance freely and multiple times throughout the day. Any small mishaps and she was there to give advice on how to correct it. The time in the forge went by so fast, who would have thought that time would fly so fast while standing by a fire and hitting a piece of hot steel – by lunch time we had a knife in our hand. Likewise after lunch nobody was rushed and we were all able to finish our blades to our liking, despite running over time we were never made to feel that it was time to go. I would highly recommend this course to anybody and will be looking through my own calendar to book myself in again… When you are hooked you’re hooked! Thank you again, Gunvor.

  40. Gunvor

    Ah thank you Jola, I’m afraid I can’t agree that you have no talent in the matter – you made the nicest little fish-shaped knife for crying out loud! ?

  41. Gunvor

    Thank you kindly Bill 🙂 I am very grateful to the people who taught me in the past, so I guess I try and provide that space where you can just get on with it on your own terms and explore the material and the process. At the same time – because time is limited – I try and perfect the tips and tricks, so people can get that blade forged nicely! You are more than welcome back anytime!

  42. Amanda (verified owner)

    Thanks Gunvor for the wonderful day! My knife didn’t exactly follow the plan, but I’m delighted with what I finished up with. I keep looking at it, and am slightly surprised each time that I actually made it. The angle grinder solves all problems 🙂 Thanks again!

  43. Gunvor

    Hey Amanda, thats lovely, yes its so nice to make things! 🙂

  44. Andrew (verified owner)

    Thanks so much Gunvor. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in metalwork. The videos explain everything well and on the day you have lots of freedom to work while Gunvor is full of sage advice. Thanks again for a fantastic day.

  45. Gunvor

    Thanks very much Andrew, really appreciate it! 🙂

  46. Jeff

    Excellent day of making. Lots of fun! Thanks again! I will recommend it to everyone while showing off my new knife 🙂

  47. Gunvor

    Thank you kindly Jeff!

  48. Conor

    I have wanted to make my own knife for ages and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It was an amazing Experience. Gunvor made the whole day interesting and her endless patience was greatly appreciated. I hope to attend again sometime 😁👍🏻

  49. Gunvor

    Thanks a lot Conor 😁

  50. Shane

    WE had an excellent day at the forge and came away with a beautiful piece and a greater APPRECIATION for the skill involved in working in this medium . Gunvor is a patient teacher and was great at guiding us through the process, from the shaping on the forge, to finishing and sharpening the blades . highly recommend the course.

  51. Dave Gargan

    What an amazing experience. First off Gunvor was so accommodating as we had to move the date several times due to COVID. Thank you again! Gunvor extended the warmest welcome From the moment we stepped out of the drizzly cold into the cosy warm forge. The whole day was completely hands on. gunvor had prepped us with introductory material beforehand. Then the exploration began with the lightest of guiding touches – this is how great tuition works and i learned and experienced so much in such a short space of time. The pace of the day is relaxed with plenty of time to chat with others over the forges as the metal heats. I came away with a much better appreciation for the effort and skill required to work iron, a pile of new stories and a blade both beautiful and blemished that details the journey that i feel I made myself. Can’t recommend highly enough. Thank you for an amazing experience Gunvor.

  52. Gunvor

    Amazing feedback Dave, thank you so much for that!!

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