Course Overview

 

Artist Blacksmithing

The Artist Blacksmithing programme encourages applications from tenacious, motivated and creative individuals excited by the diverse and extensive possibilities of working in hot forged metal. The programme focus is about challenging norms and bringing contemporary ideas to the rich tradition of blacksmithing. Consequently, there is particular emphasis on innovative thinking and skilled making. The programme encompasses a breadth of practice from architectural design to interior product and sculpture, all made from hot forged metal.

Supported by excellent lecturers and technical support staff,  students on the programme have access to the largest training-based forge in Europe. A network of specialist workshops are available, where students extend their knowledge into such material areas as wood, ceramics, textiles, and plastics.  The programme recognises the importance of making through digital fabrication as well as traditional making skills.

We enable our students to understand the connection between theoretical concepts and the practical concerns that drive contemporary forged metal design. This constantly evolving course is informed by current academic scholarship and the demands of a vibrant industry.
 
The result: our graduates are defining and redefining the cultural position of forged metal design.
BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing Hereford College of Arts
You will develop your own personal vocabulary in hot forged metal by exploring and challenging the material and process. New and innovative ideas will be generated through critically reviewing personal research sources and an immersion in making work. A developing technical virtuosity in hot forging and metalworking technique will be central to resolving your quality designs into professionally produced and highly individual final outcomes.

The BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing programme at Hereford College of Arts is recognised world wide and is uniquely placed to be at the forefront of contemporary forged metalwork practice.

 



Critical Studies

These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed.  Click here for more details


Careers and Progression

Why take this course?

Artist Blacksmithing is enjoying a renaissance not only in the more usual arenas of domestic and architectural forge work but also within the gallery and public arts context, thus providing Artist Blacksmith graduates with clear opportunities to establish an innovative design-led creative practice.

The programme develops Artist Blacksmith graduates who are independent, critically aware practitioners,  who  posess proficient business management skills. Graduates are well-informed  about their practice and have the capacity to express their ideas through the medium of forged metal with clarity, imagination and confidence. Many graduates develop careers as self-employed practitioners: setting up design studios and workshops and  producing work ranging in scale and breadth from large scale exterior forged metalwork to small gallery objects.

Graduates can choose to gain experiences by becoming journeymen working for smiths across the world or can explore opportunities in the creative arts sector via consultancy, community arts, teaching,  artist residencies and also postgraduate study. – Please click here to view our MA Programme

Features

What you will experience

  • The programme is highly respected nationally and internationally, and is uniquely placed to be at the forefront of contemporary forged metalwork practice.
  • You will be part of a vibrant arts college, where your design skills will be tested  and developed. You will have access to well equipped studios, a full range of craft workshops including CAD/CAM cutting and 3D printing technologies, enabling you to investigate other materials, test ideas and make high-spec maquettes or components
  • We believe in the importance of laying a strong foundation of blacksmithing processes and techniques. You will receive focussed forging and metalwork skills training at the National School of Blacksmithing , based at The Rural Craft Centre, which is the largest forge training facility in Europe.
  • You will have opportunities to work to commission on external live briefs including the production of designs that satisfy client/commissioner requirements.
  • You will curate and exhibit your work in a professional environment. (Collaboration with galleries and makers in developing  professional networks  is  an intrinsic part of the programme.)
  • The ‘Masters of Metal’ lecture series is delivered ‘throughout the year by high-profile, national and international designers and artists, giving insights into their own design practice, and there are opportunities to participate in specialist Master-Classes delivered by industry professionals. Recent contributors have included Peat Oberon and Jake James.
  • The programme has established close relationships with other major international institutions delivering forged metal programmes, including the University of Gothenburg, HDK Steneby, Sweden, and the University of Illinois at Carbondale USA.
  • The programme is, at its heart, a practice-based degree focussing on forged metal and design, and with an emphasis on learning through doing. You will discover that research and experimentation is an essential part of the design process
  • You will curate and exhibit your work in a professional environment. Access to galleries and professional networks are an intrinsic part of the programme.
  •  You will be develop professional business practices through a series of seminars and lectures, gaining insight into current business practice and completing a personal business plan, constructing a professional portfolio and online digital presence in support of your final degree show.

BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing Hereford College of Arts

Facilities

  Workshops & Studios

You will receive highly specialised, technical training at the National School of Blacksmithing which is the largest blacksmithing training facility in Europe.  You will have access to well-equipped studios and craft workshops within the art school including ceramics, jewellery, print and textiles, as well as extensive photography, IT and library facilities.
 

Learn more by watching

 





Masterclass with Jake James



Leszek Sikon Interview from Dan Haworth-Salter on Vimeo.

 

Toby Forbes Gower Interview from Dan Haworth-Salter on Vimeo.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Successful portfolio interview
  • 80 UCAS Points New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 (equates to 200 UCAS points previous tariff) For more details on the new tariff system please visit https://www.ucas.com/advisers/guides-and-resources/tariff-2017
  • Mature Students with related experience
  • Applicants whose first language is not English - proof of IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities - The college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience.  Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.  Alternatively, please contact us at registry@hca.ac.uk and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements

What you will study:

Central to all aspects of delivery within the course are the following:

Learning Through Doing - the programme is at its heart a practice-based degree with an emphasis on learning through doing.  Analysis and reflection are fundamental to the course; the intention is that you will have all the skills needed to create a sustainable practice after you’ve graduated.

Individuality - the programme encourages a breadth of practice; work can be designed and made with a wide range of materials combining innovative and traditional, time honoured techniques and processes.

Intellectual and Creative Space - group and individual tutorials and critiques underpin very open and flexible learning opportunities.  You are encouraged to explore and take speculative risks within modules and throughout the course.
 
Communication Skills - critiques encourage you to express your opinions and ideas in written and visual presentations as well as verbally in one-to-one tutorial and peer group situations.

Contextualisation - the programme philosophy encourages an integration of theory and practice which is introduced in Module PIC1- Practice in Context One in Level 4. This is reinforced by the Gravity series of lectures, when visiting practitioners talk to you about their practice.  Visitors are of both national and international standing. 

Open Access Workshops - In addition to timetabled forge access at the Rural Crafts Centre, Holme Lacy students are also able to access all other workshops including ceramics , small metals , print, digital making and IT which enables students to use a wide range of materials when exploring designs or alternatively make components using other materials to combine with forge components.

Overview of Year One – Level 4: investigative, experimental and analytical

The first year of the programme focuses on a thorough grounding in technique together with research and exploration which creates a platform for an interdisciplinary and mixed media design practice.

The programme which is primarily project based encourages creative thinking and experimentation, particular emphasis is placed upon the development of appropriate drawing, design and material skills.  You are introduced to the importance of a reflective, analytical and evaluative approach through personal visual research and learning journals. 

An ability to articulate and communicate your thinking about design and your understanding of contemporary and professional practice is continuously cultivated within studio and workshop based projects.

Throughout the whole of year one, studio activity is underpinned by the Module PIC 1 - Practice in Context in which issues of a broader cultural and contextual nature are explored through a discourse lecture and seminar programme.

Central to all aspects of delivery within the course are the following :

Learning Through Doing - the programme is at its heart a practice-based degree with an emphasis on learning through doing.  Analysis and reflection are fundamental to the course; the intention is that you will have all the skills needed to create a sustainable practice after you’ve graduated.

Individuality - the programme encourages a breadth of practice; work can be designed and made with a wide range of materials combining innovative and traditional, time honoured techniques and processes.
 
Intellectual and Creative Space - group and individual tutorials and critiques underpin very open and flexible learning opportunities.  You are encouraged to explore and take speculative risks within modules and throughout the course.

Communication Skills - critiques encourage you to express your opinions and ideas in written and visual presentations as well as verbally in one-to-one tutorial and peer group situations.

Contextualisation - the programme philosophy encourages an integration of theory and practice which is introduced in Module PIC1- Practice in Context One in Level 4 and reinforced in Module PIC2- Practice in Context Two during Level 5 leading.  This is reinforced by the Gravity series of lectures, when visiting practitioners talk to you about their practice.  Visitors are of both national and international standing.  You will be also given the opportunity to show your work externally, enter competitions and make connections with practitioners and galleries.

Open Access Workshops - In addition to timetabled forge access at the Rural Crafts Centre, Holme Lacy students are also able to access all other workshops including ceramics , small metals , print, digital making and IT which enables students to use a wide range of materials when exploring designs or alternatively make components using other materials to combine with forge components.

Entrepreneurship - Within the curriculum delivery at Level 5 Module ADEF – Exploring Futures you will undertake work based learning opportunities and complete a Personal Development Plan .

Overview of Year Two – Level 5: establishing practice

The second year of the programme encourages you to focus and specialise and you will undertake a number of modules that are a combination of research –led and design and issue driven projects with relevance to external developments within blacksmithing.

You will continue to develop your forge skills and connecting research. The working of new technologies alongside traditional approaches and techniques within Artist Blacksmithing will be encouraged and explored. Structured projects combine with an offer of live and research led projects and work based learning activities that contribute to the formulation of personal development plans and research questions in preparation for Level 6

Studio activity is further underpinned by the Module PIC 2 - Practice in Context which explores connections and links between theory and practice and issues of a broader cultural and contextual nature through a discourse lecture and seminar programme.

Central to all aspects of delivery within the course are the following:

Learning Through Doing - the programme is at its heart a practice-based degree with an emphasis on learning through doing.  Analysis and reflection are fundamental to the course; the intention is that you will have all the skills needed to create a sustainable practice after you’ve graduated.

Individuality - the programme encourages a breadth of practice; work can be designed and made with a wide range of materials combining innovative and traditional, time honoured techniques and processes.

Intellectual and Creative Space - group and individual tutorials and critiques underpin very open and flexible learning opportunities.  You are encouraged to explore and take speculative risks within modules and throughout the course.

Communication Skills - critiques encourage students to express their opinions and ideas in written and visual presentations as well as verbally in one-to-one tutorial and peer group situations.

Contextualisation - the programme philosophy encourages an integration of theory and practice culminating with a Dissertation at this Level.  This is reinforced by the Gravity series of lectures, when visiting practitioners talk to you about their practice.  Visitors are of both national and international standing.  You will be given the opportunity to show your work externally, enter competitions and make connections with practitioners and galleries.

Open Access Workshops -  In addition to timetabled forge access at the Rural Crafts Centre, Holme Lacy students are also able to access all other workshops including ceramics , small metals , print, digital making and IT which enables students to use a wide range of materials when exploring designs or alternatively make components using other materials to combine with forge components.

Entrepreneurship - In Level 6 of Module CDPP - Professional Practice students participate in a series of seminars exploring current business practice and complete a fully costed business plan. They are also required to create a professional portfolio and develop an online digital presence. Module CDRP - Resolution of Practice, you will the opportunity to hone your  practice and complete a marketable body of work, and will engage in peer discussions about the future direction of your practice and career


Overview of Year Three – Level 6: resolution of practice

This final year will provide the intellectual and creative space for you to fully realise your creative ambition evidenced through the production of a resolved body of work. Emphasis will be placed upon your ability to critically evaluate and make appropriate use of the interaction between intention, process, outcomes, and context and make informed choices when selecting techniques and processes in the pursuit of innovation outcomes.

You will be expected to work in an increasingly self-directed manner to a professional level and will have the opportunity to produce a body of work for public exhibition.

Professional and entrepreneurial skills appropriate for sustaining practice are embedded and in Module CCPP - Professional Practice, you will  participate in a series of seminars exploring current business practice and complete a fully costed business plan. You will be also required to create a professional portfolio and develop an online digital presence.

You will also be required to undertake an in depth and critical analysis of an agreed area of study in the form of a Dissertation.