Journey of a bladesmith
Even as a young kid, I was always intrigued by blades. Our family photos show that nearly all my childhood Halloween costumes included some sort of blade, sword, or dagger. I stopped dressing up for Halloween around eighth grade, but I did not set aside my fascination with blades.
Right around that same time, I began to watch a History Channel show called “Forged in Fire,” which is essentially MasterChef but with knives instead of food. This show, paired with countless YouTube videos, really began to strengthen my interest in bladesmithing – creating blades of my own.
For Christmas, I asked for some tools and a workbench. To my surprise, under the tree I found my first tools. I used those tools to make my first actual hardened and sharpened knives. As time went on, I upgraded my tools and workspace to where I currently am. Prior to this past summer, all my knives were made by a process called stock-removal, where an angle grinder is used to cut the metal to shape.
After meeting my current mentor, American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith Greg Neely, he recommended that I take a two-week introduction to bladesmithing course offered by the ABS. I attended a course taught by ABS Mastersmith Scott McGhee in Waynesboro, Virginia.
I learned the skills and techniques necessary to forge a quality blade by hand on an anvil. Since completing the course, I have forged each knife by hand. I am currently working on building stock and refining my skills, with the hope and plan to launch a brand and start selling knives by 2022.
I enjoy making hunting knives, but lately I have been working on chef’s knives, too. I am so excited to see where this bladesmithing hobby can lead me. I have already learned that the bladesmithing community is tight-knit and supportive, and it is full of creative and interesting people from all walks of life. I am enjoying getting to know others who share the same hobby. I hope to someday share blades with some of the bladesmiths I have been watching and learning from on YouTube and television.
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