Bob began working as a blacksmith at Cliftonville School, Northampton under the tuition of Mr King, the metal work master. Further training was given by Mr Ian Ring, a Master Blacksmith, from Sturminster Newton, Dorset. While he has done other things in his life he has always spent time working the hot metal on the anvil.
He started his own blacksmithing business in 1990. Bob has given training to a number of apprentices and schooled a further 51 students. Bob says: “I feel it very important to continue training people and passing on the knowledge and skills of my trade” To this end last year he gave talks and demonstrations to 1500 local school children on a voluntary basis.
As a modern blacksmith Bob makes the full range of wrought iron products as well as working for British Heritage and the National Trust on restoration projects. Damascus/Damascene and pattern welded steel are also within his skills.
Bob’s workshop is a commercial business but he is still happy to allow visitors to look round and see the working of a forge. He will also host blacksmithing experience days at a very reasonable cost.
Meet Bob in a video made by the Canal & River Trust
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“The paynefull smith, with force of fervent heat, The hardest yron soone doth mollify, That with his heavy sledge he can it beat, And fashion it to what he it list apply."
Edmund Spenser, Sonnet XXXII