For Chris, hearing the words “I want to be a Blacksmith’ is ‘music to his ears’ – so when a letter landed on his desk from aspiring Blacksmith/Metalworker Alasdair Burrows with those six little words as an opening introduction it made him stop and read.
Becoming a blacksmith is not something you just decide to do accidentally. It’s born from a passion and love for creating beautiful objects. Objects so appealing you can almost ‘feel’ the joy beholden to the creator in using the art of forging hot metal. It’s a powerful feeling having so much control over the metal when it’s hot – twisting, turning and manipulating it into a bespoke work of art.
Sixteen-year old Alasdair wrote to Chris to enquire about the possibility of a work placement and whilst Chris is passionate about inspiring the next generation there are numerous limitations in our ability to accommodate such requests. Suitability of projects for the student to work on, Chris’s time to mentor as well as the obvious health and safety policies, have to be carefully considered and managed.
After a patient six-month wait I am delighted to say that this week we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming Alasdair into the workshop on a week of work experience.
Alasdair comments “I have really benefited from the opportunity, learning some new skills, ways of doing things and the chance to see the entire operation up close. It is always rewarding to make anything by hand and the responsibility I have been given here has gone a long way to help my knowledge, capability and craftsmanship grow.
Alasdair has been running a small metalwork craft business alongside studying for his GCSE’s and has already enjoyed making candelabras and hanging basket brackets under his ‘Blue Bear Metalwork’ business name (www.facebook.com/bluebearmetalwork)
Chris comments “Alasdair’s letter really struck a cord with me – you could almost feel his passion for the art of Blacksmithing through the paper on which it was written. Having the next generation share the passion, which I felt when I was first starting out – and still feel today is something that I find immensely heart-warming. I am delighted to have been able to give Alasdair the opportunity to work in our forge and discover more about the art of Blacksmithing as a career path.”
A note from Chris. All requests for work experience are considered on an individual basis and we regret we will not always be able to accept applications.