The Tharwa Valley Forge is a working forge that not only runs courses, but manufactures custom cutlery for a range of clients. The focus here is on making and creating and is "hands on" in nature and is dirty. The work varies from day to day and it is difficult to predict what will be happening at any particular time. There is a small team of staff at the Forge who love what they do. Otherwise they wouldn't be here.

Thre is no easy way to become a knifemaker, other than by making knives. There are no formal apprenticeships in Australia, or TAFE or University courses. Its learnt on the job. Most makers are self employed, very few employ others or have apprentices. Here at the Forge we are about learning and expanding our skills and are keen to give young people encouragement in getting started.

We do offer limited places for work experience at the Tharwa Valley Forge. We are registed with the ACT Department of Education as a work experience provider. Placements can happen year round, depending on availability.


Who can do work experience at the Tharwa Valley Forge?

Work experience is available for students in years 10 - 12 at school in ACT or NSW. It must be part of the school work experience program. The student needs to be at least 14 years old and have parental consent. Preference will be given to students studying Design and Industrial Technology subjects.


What kinds of things will I do?

  • Make things
  • Help make things
  • Do some things a lot of times
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Solve problems, figure things out
  • Grinding, sanding, possibly forging, light metal work, polishing, cutting, sorting things out.
  • Use different kinds of equipment (after safety and usage briefings)


What won't I do?

  • Make a sword
  • Work on my own project
  • Participate on a course
  • Photocopying (we don't have one)


What do I have to do to be considered for a Work Experience placement?

Write an email to us, introducing yourself and outlining why and when you are considering doing a placement. Please send some pictures of some things that you have made by yourself. This lets us know a bit about your skill level and attention to detail. We will get back to you to  talk further. You will probably have to come out for an interview before being offered a place.


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