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Sterling Sam

Sterling was a recipient of one of our monthly Monty to Burn mini grant drawings. Many thanks for sharing more of your story with us Sterling!

"I feel very privileged to have received a Money to Burn grant. The money, while not a lot, allowed me to offset some of the cost of a weekend class in mokume gane. That is a subject that you can only learn in a handful of places, nationwide. One of the biggest passions of my life is learning more about metalsmithing in general, and blacksmithing and bladesmithing in particular. Having also done damascus, forging 2 high carbon steel types into a homogeneous bar, I can certainly say that forging mokume gane is far more difficult. Heating the metal too long and one can end up with a puddle on the forge floor. I was fortunate in that I now have a mokume gane billet that can be used for future projects, a pommel or guard for a knife perhaps.

What I appreciate about SIBS as an organization is that is represents a community that supports others regardless of their race, gender, age, sexuality, or orientation. A huge challenge that I face is both age and race. I have never, ever, met another BIPOC or AAPI blacksmith, let alone one that is 62+. I contact individuals in other white male dominated metalsmithing/blacksmithing organizations and, in some cases, don't even get a reply. And I belong to some of them, in bladesmithing, there is no choice but the American Bladesmithing Society (ABS). While I have never met a member of SIBS, I appreciate the fact that they are trying to generate diversity in the field of blacksmithing. Blacksmithing and bladesmithing need that, desperately so. SIBS are a lot less focussed on the final product, more interested in inclusiveness."

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NY times article about blacksmithing

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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