In 2012 following my retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps.I was fortunate to find a group of retired and former Marines, the Semper Fi Community Task Force of North Alabama (http://semperfictf.org/) They pulled me in and gave me a new purpose, helping our fellow veterans and their families. While this is still an important part of my life, in 2016 I was looking for another outlet for my energy, I needed a hobby!
In my younger years I had spent a little time learning the basics of blacksmithing. I decided to renew this interest and began gathering information and equipment. My early attempts were "interesting" to say it nicely, but I quickly realized if I was going to be serious I needed instruction. Enter the Athens Forge (http://athensforge.com/index.html) Travis Fleming, Ronnie Howard, and Al Stephens. I learned and continue to learn from this group. I then began taking classes through the Southern Ohio Artisans Workshops (http://southernohioartisanworkshops.com) from outstanding artists/makers including Ian Pratt, Rich McDonald, Ken Gahagan, Joe Seabolt and Jim Kibler.
In addition to the above I have had the opportunity to spend time with and learn from numerous makers such as Hershel, John and Frank House, Dr. Jim Batson and Butch Sheely. All have been generous with their time and mentorship.
Currently I am focused on producing historically accurate and inspired knives, tomahawks, and swords which are grounded in my background as a real world user. During the course of my military career and a lifetime of hunting I have relied on numerous blades, some were production pieces from companies including Buck, CRKT, Gerber, Kershaw and Benchmade. Others were custom pieces from Randall, Bill Buchman, Allen Elishewitz, and Al Mar. All were well made, served the intended purpose and I learned many lessons. My goal is to incorporate that understanding of proper feel, proportion and performance into the blades I make.
A major goal for the near future is to complete my American Bladesmith Society (ABS) Journeyman rating, In October 2019 I will be attending the 10 day Introduction to Bladesmithing course to add/improve my skill sets.
As always my longterm goal is to craft well made, historically inspired, strong performing weapons and tools.