Throughout this degree I have taken part in several small exhibitions, most recently as part of a group in the bar Kongs. Previously, I have shown work during Made in Roath, Made in Spring and Hampshire open studios.
After leaving this degree i plan on working towards a career as a Blacksmith and there are several potential avenues to go down to reach this point.
In the UK there are only a few extended courses dedicated to Blacksmithing, Hereford College of Arts and West Dean college offer the most intensive courses but the price attached means it’s unlikely i could pursue this for several years.
Apprenticeships are rare and hard to find so while i will keep watch, this is the most unlikely course i could take.
After asking several working Blacksmiths and welders, a vast majority of the advice was to set up my own workshop and teach myself through books, videos and occasional teaching from others. This year i have made contact with a professional cutler who taught me several methods of making a knife and is a helpful person to keep in contact with (as are several of the other Blacksmiths i have made an acquaintance with).
This is achievable as after winning the Helen Gregory Memorial award, i was given £400 towards materials for my practice. With this i bought a basic forge, a welder, the other beginning equipment necessary and safety materials. I also bought a fair amount of steel that i’ve been using throughout the year.
Since this route is mostly independent, a social media and online presence is important. This year i have built up and connected my Website and other pages online.