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JAMES PROCTOR (BLADESMITH)

MY STORY

My journey into the world of blacksmithing began when I was just a child, around 9 or 10 years old. Fascinated by the craft showcased in shows like "Forged in Fire," my passion was ignited. Sensing my developing interest, my father enrolled us in a two-day introductory blacksmithing course at our local College of the Arts. Together, we forged simple yet beautiful items like hooks, towel racks, and metal leaves. This experience kindled a flame within me that, although dormant for a while, never truly faded.

By the age of 14, this smoldering interest had transformed into a burning passion. After extensive research, I discovered that starting in blacksmithing on a small scale was indeed possible. With some persuasion, I managed to convince my father to invest in the essential tools for my newfound endeavor: a forge, anvil, hammer, and tongs. I enthusiastically embarked on creating various hooks, fire pokers, bottle openers, tools, and even art pieces.

A breakthrough came when a friend gifted me some hardenable steel. My initial foray into bladesmithing was challenging, especially when my first knife attempt cracked due to using water for hardening. Learning from this, I switched to oil for my second attempt, which proved successful. Holding that successfully crafted knife in my hand was a pivotal moment, crystallizing my resolve to pursue this craft.

Today, I stand at a thrilling juncture, dedicated to creating functional art that is not just for the present but crafted to endure for generations to come. My journey from a curious child to a passionate bladesmith is a testament to the power of persistent passion and the beauty of handcrafted art.

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