Forged in Fire, is a show that airs on the History Channel. Its a competition between bladesmiths wherein they have to make an incredible powerful weapon within a given amount of time. The show has been a tremendous hit and i am a big fan of the show especially its concept, the different styles of blade, the different way of forging, the technical terms along with the explanation that they provide us during the show and the list goes on and on.
Host and Judges:
The show is hosted by Wil Willis, who is an ex army ranger and ex air force pararescueman and has hands-on experience with a wide range of weapons in real battle situations. The show is judged by J.Neilson, Doug Marcaida, David Baker and Jason Knight. All the said names are considered experts or more like godly figure in bladesmithing.
J. Neilson has been making knives for 20 years and is one of the best all-round bladesmiths in the world. He was recognized in 2008 when he achieved the rank of Mastersmith in the American Bladesmith Society, a title held by less than 115 people worldwide
Doug Marcaida is an edged weapon combat specialist who also designs some of the world’s deadliest blades. Doug is a highly skilled martial artist who has also studied fighting styles and techniques around the world. From hand-to-hand combat to battlefield strategy, Doug is a walking encyclopedia in the evolution of weapons of war.
David Baker is a world-renowned swordsmith who specializes in recreating some of world’s rarest edged weapons. David is constantly challenging his scholarship of weaponry, researching forgotten techniques and examining world-class collections to ensure his replicas are as close to and as functional as the originals.
South Carolina’s sole Master Bladesmith, Jason Knight, has been making knives for 15 years. Considered by his peers as one of the most accomplished knife makers in the country, he has amassed numerous awards for his work, including the coveted B.R. Hughes Award for Best Blade by a Mastersmith. Jason employs only the finest materials and meticulous techniques to craft his signature knives, which are highly sought after by hunters, collectors and soldiers around the world.
The show comprises of 3 rounds, in the first round 4 bladesmiths are given different material from which they have to prepare a specific dimension of knife. For preparing the said knife, bladesmith are given 10 minutes of time for drawing and 3 hours to prepare the blade. The 2nd round comprise of making handle for the blade prepared in 1st round, for preparing the handle, bladesmiths are given 3 hours. After completing the blade by inserting a handle the blade is tested by ice chopping test, coconut cut test etc. After qualifying 2nd round, bladesmiths are asked to recreate an ancient weapon for which they are given 5 days. After several test, a person whose blade performs better, wins $10,000/- and the title of “Forged in Fire Champion”
Purpose of the Show:
The main purpose of the show is to promote bladesmithing. The show provides great intrinsic knowledge of what is meant by bladesmithing, and what are the challenges faced by bladesmithing. I have personally watched each and every episode that is aired. By watching this show, i came to know different types of blade like bowie knife, japanese katana, Chakara, Khopesh, Khanda, Scottish Claymore, Hunga Manga and many other, i also came to know different types of steel used to make blade such as Damascus, 1024 Steel, leaf steel etc., different ways of forging such as water forging, sand forging, oil forging etc., different problems that can emerged while creating a blade such as delamination, cracks, etc.
I have written about the show because i personally feel that a bladesmith is not paid and respected the way they should be. The effort they put by turning a scrap into a beautiful knife is extraordinary. And it is the only show which makes us aware about it and in a way gives respect to bladesmith. I hope that after going through above detail you would be tempted to watch the show. And Finally please, give your comment of what do you think about the show.
3 thoughts on “Forged in Fire”
Thanks for the kind comments about us blacksmiths.
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Great post! And I totally agree.