Meet Alan Colebatch

From an early age I have always had a keen interest in making things. I would spend hours in my grandad’s shed constructing creations out of wood and any material I could get my hands on. I was brought up on a farm so materials were readily available.

After making several things out of steel the way that metal can be stretched and worked into complex shapes intrigued me. When I was 15 I had the chance to work for a Blacksmith in Herefordshire, this is where I was introduced to forging. I was shown how to forge hooks, gate hinges and wall lights using various methods. I carried on working there on school holidays and occasional weekends learning how steel can be forged.

At 16 I spent a lot of time working in a sheet metal and fabrication workshop making steel framed building components for the industry. From welding big sections of steel beams to the sheet metal flashing that weather proofs it, I was taught how it was done within certain tolerances and within building regulations. Site work was also a big part of the job.

It was satisfying to see something I had made from CAD drawings get put together like a big mechano set. This type of work was enjoyable but very different to the traditional forging.

Blacksmith

When I left school I went to Hereford College Of Technology to do the Blacksmithing course. The course involved traditional blacksmithing and modern fabrication techniques. I obtained the necessary skills and qualifications I needed to make my way.

I left college and went to work for a very reputable and very well known blacksmith in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire doing work for such places as house development sites, national heritage, sculptures, Bristol Cathedral and many others. I was introduced to various metals such as wrought iron, bronze, stainless steel, copper and brass. Whilst working here I was slowly equipping my own workshop at home with big ideas and inspiration from what I have achieved so far.

After nearly 3 years there I started my own business and here we are today!