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Katheryn Garrett describes her experience as a recipient of a SIBs scholarship

I am extremely grateful to have received an SIB scholarship, and am similarly grateful I was able to take the Blade 100 class. As a materials engineering student, I was already vaguely familiar with the process of blacksmithing and how it worked from a theory point of view. As a friend to several bladesmiths, I was able to both hear and watch a bit of what they did. I was certainly intrigued, but without taking Blade 100 would not have learned how much I enjoyed bladesmithing. Without the SIB scholarship, I would not have been able to afford the class. 


Hammering out metal absolutely wrecked the muscles in my arm the first couple sessions, but it was satisfying to see how my work was changing the metal. Grinding it down, taking off scale and giving it shape was a long process, but I enjoyed seeing how smoothing out the surfaces and profile created a shape. Picking, grinding, gluing, and finishing the wood was a much faster process than I anticipated, and I really enjoyed feeling out the shape I liked best. Being able to hammer metal, to define its shape, to change its properties, and to create a handle built for me -largely by myself- has left me proud of what I am capable of. I keep the (sheathed) knife on my desk and occasionally reach out and hold it, feeling the way the handle fits perfectly in my hand, and enjoying the color of the wood. I made that, with aching muscles, tiny burns, and hours of standing in front of an angle grinder, and it turned out beautifully. Taking the class and learning the basics of bladesmithing reminded me of how much I’ve always enjoyed the process of creating, and felt like a practical demonstration of what my major has been teaching me. Thank you to the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths, and to Desert Metal Craft for the opportunity.




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New York Times reporter Amelia Nierenberg interviewed Governance Committee members Elizabeth Belz and Joy Fire for an article about blacksmithing that came out last year. Here is a free link if you di

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