To be a master forger you need patience, strength and artistry, but also a way into the craft, someone to show you the ropes. Josh Burrell, this week’s blacksmith featured in Forged in Britain, has all the above.
Josh, 26, shares a forge with his father Graham, a blacksmith who has passed down the tricks of the trade, this is a family affair. Graham, 64, has been working in the trade since 1983 and has taught Josh everything he needs to know.
Based in Loughborough, Josh and Graham work alongside each other creating beautiful pieces of metal work. Together they run Exile Ironworks a workshop that specialises in woodworking axes and other traditional British edged tools.
This week, Josh demonstrates to HISTORY the forging of an English Carpenters Axe, a tool that came into existence around the 17th century.
“Coming home from school my dad always had a smell,” Josh tells Forged in Britain, not a bad smell mind, “grinding and iron dust… it seemed almost magical.” The strength of this father and son duo lies not only in their forge, but also their close bond.
Forged in Britain
Forged in Britain is a brand new and exclusive series of shorts. In each episode, HISTORY meets five of Britain's leading forgers each who have their own unique approach to this ancient craft. Each week, the forgers demonstrate how they create new blades and share their knowledge on the item they have made. You can catch the series on Thursdays at 9pm during episodes of Forged in Fire, but also online the day after.