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I Forge Iron

A long time thinker, first time forger

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Hello everyone, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Matthias and I am an American expat currently residing in South Africa. I'm 36, and a freelance photographer. My interest in knife smithing, and black smithing in general, began in the late 1990's when I was a Chef. I was working with sharp implements daily and often wished the knives on the market were more ideal for my particular hands, stance, and job. Since then, it has grown from an idea in the back of my mind to a practical reality.

We are in the final 6 months of our time here and in all likelyhood will be rotating back to the United States for a time. Since we often shift locations, acquiring things like an anvil and a forge have been logistically difficult (although this idea is quickly changing in my mind). This will be our first time back in the US in over a decade for any length of time, so this is the ideal opportunity to get a basic set up. Even if it means having to store it when we shift in the future.

That's not to say I have been idle. My wife and I have recently completed a one-on-one (well, technically it was two-on-one) knife making course here with a great smith who has been fantastic about encouragement and opening his smithy for me to use to gain experience. We were absolutely astounded that, with guidance, our first attempts came out not only looking like knives but beautiful ones at that.

It seems this community is rather open about information, something not all professions that have a hobbyist following can say. I look forward to learning from, sharing into, and (in time) giving back to a community like this.

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Welcome! Any possibility of skewing your return so you can attend Quad-State this year? It's the end of September (last full weekend) and in Troy Ohio.

A lot of the old Keen-Junk, Blacksmiths virtual junkyard, crew camp together there for a good time! (some rent hotel rooms too, we try not to judge them...)

I should be driving out from New Mexico USA. It's GREAT place to get everything your smithy needs!

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Welcome to IFI and to the art/craft. Stay tuned to IFI, as it has a wealth of info and a bunch of great people that are willing to help solve problems that you have along the way and share ideas on specific projects. Don't forget to post pix of your work and set up. We like pix. :D

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Welcome to IFI. There are plenty of us hobby smiths here and we all learn from people like CurlyGeorge and Thomas Powers who have already answered your post. If you have a question, just go ahead and ask. There is plenty of knowledge and opinions to be gathered here. Hope to see some of your work once you get settled in the states. In the mean time, any pics of the knives you and your wife have already made?

Mark <><

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