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Blacksmith Workshop

Have you ever daydreamed about working in a Forge, using only your hands and brute force to craft something practical and beautiful?

Perhaps it’s something that your ancestors did and have often wondered what it was like, Or maybe it’s a career change your looking for, but want to try it first before packing the day job in!  Well here is your chance!

Finin Liam Christie is one of Irelands most renowned Blacksmiths. He has had a long and varied career, scroll down for his full bio, but his main claim to fame is that he uses only traditional methods, using sight and his hands to judge the metal, and only using time honoured methods and traditional tools. Take a workshop with Finin, in his Forge, and who knows what it will spark in you!

“Excellent day. This was a birthday present from my wife and I really enjoyed it. Finin is an excellent teacher and matched skills to abilities very well. I worked gradually up through the skills of shaping, bending and cutting hot steel (and how to judge a good working temperature). Finin took complex jobs and broke them down into simple steps. I got to start with “easy” task of making a poker and moved up to harder tasks. All the way up to my own “Forged in Fire” challenge of making a knife out of a car suspension spring. Fascinating to feel the difference between working with mild and high carbon steel. And very proud of what I made. Thanks for the great day”

B. Roche – Dublin

Finin and I are delighted to offer one, two or three day workshops, where working one-on-one with Finin you can explore this fascinating craft and create something special of your own. Be it medieval style weapons like swords and battle axes or something for the home such as fire tongs, an axe for chopping logs, barbecue tools, even a set of kitchen knives….. it is entirely up to you and your imagination !

One Day Workshop €220

Two Day Workshop €360

Three Day Workshop €530

Prices include tax, all equipment, steel/iron used in the creation of your personal work of art and you can bring a lunch (you’ll be hungry !)

Packages can be created to include accommodation and transport to and from the forge.

“Ever since I was a child I have dreamt of flaming coal, hammers, anvils and the rhythmic sound of the metal being moulded into shape. I went to medieval fares to watch them work and make weapons, tool and everyday objects out of the raw steel, dreaming of wielding the hammer myself.

Finin made that dream come true and made it more than I could have ever wanted. He is a master at his craft, an excellent teacher and a genuinely great guy. Under his guidance, I went from never having touched an anvil to making items I am proud of. Finin helped me feel confident that I could achieve this and encouraged me to make this more than a one-time thing.

I came with only a curiosity for blacksmithing, I left with a desire for more, I brought home a forge and more encouragement than I could have asked for. And I will be back for a hammer!”

Silas Wulff

Finin has been working as a blacksmith nearly his whole life, at 16 he became an apprentice with the National Railway here in Ireland, where he trained for 5 years by the same men who had apprenticed under Finins grandfather many years before.Finin’s grandfather, James Christie, was considered one of Ireland’s best blacksmiths.

Striking out on his own back in the 1980s, he tells some very funny tales about the time early on in his career, when he would cycle across Dublin city looking for bent or damaged gates to repair, with (amazingly!) his anvil strapped to his back and the hammer and tongs strapped to the handlebars !

Just a year later Finin was able to buy his first  own van, the next year he registered his own business and began getting steady work. “There was no work then, but I made work,” Finin says. “And I’ve been working for myself ever since.”

His hard work paid off and eventually he became the official contractor for the City of Dublin. Over the next 16 years, he worked on government buildings, city parks and county council houses, growing the business to provide work for a team of 18 men.

It was during this time Finin met his lovely wife Samantha and together they created a loving family with 5 children.

Now Finin lives in the small village of Colgreany and works on special projects, including restoring old gates and railings from the forge at the back of his home using only traditional methods, taking time out to teach classes and workshops and to travel the world representing Ireland in various Smithing competitions. He recently won the Mjonøy Blacksmith Challenge, held in Vinje, Norway, where he and his team had to make a full sized Ram for the competition !

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