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A Grand Afternoon at Portland Works!

including Blacksmiths Workshop session, Cutlery factory tour and Gin Tasting

Friday 9th February 2024, 2.45pm til 7pm

With Gregory & Tesseras Blacksmiths, Michael May Knives and Locksley Gin Distillery

Please note - There is a fee of £30 per person for the event

Operating a collection of workspaces for traditional and modern craftspeople within one of the UK’s most important historical industrial buildings

Portland Works is often referred to as the birthplace of stainless steel cutlery manufacturing. It was built in Sheffield in 1879 and is now one of the last remaining working examples of a purpose built metal trades factory. Following a half-century of neglect, the building was purchased in 2013 by a social enterprise comprising more than 500 community shareholders who, having saved it from residential conversion, are now undertaking an extensive renovation.

The grade 2* listed building has been reborn as a centre for small manufacturing, independent artists and craftspeople, with more than 30 small businesses located within the 2600 square metre floor space. These include blacksmiths, knife makers, an engraver and several engineers; cabinetmakers and joiners; jewellers and silver platers; artists; rug and guitar makers; CNC manufacturing, photographers and a Yorkshire based gin distillery.

A Grand Afternoon at Portland Works sees the Sheffield Society of Architects continue with it's CPD Makers' Series, to bring a unique insight into three of the crafts taking place in this historic setting. 

The afternoon will begin at Gregory & Tesseras Blacksmiths, with a small forging demonstration, showing some of the techniques and reasons for using forged steel. There will be samples of different joints, shapes and forged sections to take a look at.

The group will then be split into two teams of 6. One group will head up to Michael May Knives to have a tour of their workshop and a demonstration of the processes and techniques that go into making traditional pocket knives and kitchen knives, with an opportunity to get hands-on 

with the techniques. 


The other group will undertake some striking at the Blacksmith's - Through discussion with the Sheffield Design Awards team, the Blacksmiths are keen to explore production of a prototype plaque for the awards. Attendees will be involved in realising their design, using a number of forging techniques to make it really interesting to make and to look at.


The groups will then swap, and when complete will finalise and assemble the plaque together. 

Once all the heavy work has been completed, we will move to Locksley Distillery for a tour, followed by a gin & tonic and some pizzas in their tasting room.

Please note - There is a fee of £30 for the event, which includes - 

  • Tour of Blacksmiths' workshop

  • Blacksmiths forging demonstration 

  • Hands-on striking session with Blacksmith

  • Tour of Cutlers' works

  • Cutlers knife making demonstration

  • Hands-on session with Cutlers' techniques

  • Gin distillery tour

  • A gin & tonic in the tasting room

  • Pizza

Please register first to ensure that there are still tickets available, and then make payment(s) via bank transfer to:

Sheffield Society of Architects

Sort Code: 30 97 51(Lloyds Bank)

Account Number: 45448060

Payment Reference: SSA Portland Works


Registration Deadline: Friday 2nd February 2024

Event Date: Friday 9th February 2024, 14:45hrs – 19:00hrs  (Tour starts at 15:00hrs prompt)

Meeting Point: Gregory & Tesseras Blacksmiths, Portland Works, Randall Street, Sheffield, S2 4SJ.

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