There’s something brutishly appealing about hammering out one’s own knife or sword from scratch — you might imagine you’re a character on Game of Thrones, or (for more staunch traditionalists) one of King Arthur’s merry combatants. Bladesmithing — i.e., ancient-style weaponry hewn using blacksmithing methods — is a centuries-solid niche hobby that’s a natural fit in rugged locales such as our own Blue Ridge Mountains.
Gerry Drew says he “caught the blacksmith bug” when he took a class at Tryon Arts and Crafts School some years back. He kept with it, sharpened his craft, and has made his mark with artisan blades under his brand GL Drew Knives. He’ll give back on Saturday, January 9, when he leads a day-long “Beginning Bladesmithing” class at the school.
“Students will learn to forge, heat-treat, and put a wood handle on a small camp knife,” Drew tells Bold Life. Most instructors, he says, use gas-fired forges in their home shops. “But we teach with coal-fired forges at the school,” he promises. “This is the traditional blacksmithing process.”
8am-5pm. $100 for craft-school members, $130 for nonmembers. 373 Harmon Field Road, Tryon. 828-859-8323. www.tryonartsandcrafts.org