thebestof hitchin Become Blacksmiths for a Day!
25th January 2012
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Here’s a novel idea for the one you love this Valentines:

Be a Blacksmith for a Day!

Jo Fry is a true local and has lived his whole life in the area, firstly in Little Wymondley and secondly Hitchin.  His love of deconstructing and re-making things started from a very young age.  He attended Hitchin Boys School (where his two sons are now) and excelled at metalwork and woodwork.  A chance of a job a local forge in Ickleford came about and Jo left school at 15 to start in the trade.

After some years perfecting the trade, Jo had a stint in industrial metalwork, and then set up his own business at the forge at Standalone Farm in 1993 where he spends his time making things for home and industry.  Over the years he has trained a number of apprentices and continued his own professional development at COSIRA courses – in particular focusing on traditional methods and techniques such as forge welding.

Jo has launched a new venture from his forge at Standalone Farm, Letchworth Garden City – blacksmith courses for all abilities! And father and son Keith and Luke Yexley from thebestof hitchin were the first attendees to try out the course in early January.

Jo has been working as a blacksmith for over 30 years, most of which have been spent at the Standalone Farm Forge.  Making anything and everything that people want in metal – from gates and railings to the odd sword!
Driven by the desire to ‘make things’ Jo started working at a local forge, learning the trade on leaving school.

“I choose metal as a medium originally purely as it was more forgiving than wood. I really enjoy my career in metalworking, and making and creating products is a totally satisfying way to earn a living. I want to re-create this experience for everyone attending my courses – a real taste of a day in the life of a blacksmith!”

The courses are a great way to de-stress from a hectic lifestyle, try out a new skill or re-kindle a love of metalwork from school days...there is no need for any previous experience; Jo will help people develop their skills further.  Participants can choose items they wish to make (such as toasting forks/pokers etc) and the day will cover the relevant techniques required to make a chosen product.  Each course will be bespoke and have only two participants – meaning lots of one-to-one tuition. Gift vouchers available!

Keith and Luke made toasting forks and a coat rail during their day at the forge which are now proudly displayed in the Yexley family house.  "It was a great day and good to spend some father/son time too.  We didn't really know what to expect but were chuffed with what we made.  A brilliant idea for a special present"

For full details please visit the website

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