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Michael Kemp

Hi! My name is Michael Kemp and I got my first taste of bladesmithing around 1999. I built a coal forge from blocks, bricks, bailing wire, sheet metal, iron pipe, and a blow drier. I managed to turn out a couple knives with hammer, anvil, and hand tools. It takes a lot of time to finish a blade without power tools. The demands of family, the day job, and a fir tree crunching half of the forging shed finally put bladesmithing on hold.

But the terrible fact was, I'd already been incurably infected with the bladesmithing bug. I kept thinking about knives, reading up on blades and bladesmithing, rolling knife designs over in my mind.

Then one Summer day in 2008 I looked around and realized: the kids are grown and gone, I've got some spare time, and we rebuilt the shed a few months ago. Say no more! I looked up our local Grand Old Man of bladesmithing: Wayne Goddard. He gave me a chunk of well casing and some Kaowool - to which I added a handful of brass fittings, some copper tubing, a pressure regulator and a T-Rex burner and hey presto: a propane forge!

I've gradually cleared out the old log cabin workshop and turned it into a bladesmith shop with a belt grinder, tempering oven, torches, power tools, vices, etc. etc.

My passion and delight at the process, demands, and creativity of bladesmithing has worked its way into my bones. It is incurable. I find fulfillment and satisfaction in taking ideas, steel, wood, fire, and time - and creating a compelling and useful tool: the finished knife. It might be for a particular customer, or to turn an imagined design into reality, or to make an existing design again - but just a little better this time.