// Meet nate //
I have been bladesmithing for a long time. I have always dreamed of being good enough as an artist to make a living doing so, and I practiced my craft as though that was always the final destination.
My life had been changing very rapidly, and I won an episode of the show Forged in Fire in 2017. During filming, I had a powerful, emotional epiphany: I put all this time and passion into learning how to make blades, what good was it if I did nothing with it?
To me, it was an honest moment, a realization of my desire to continue to build and create. After winning, there was a belief from myself that I could succeed in bladesmithing for a living.
1996 - 2001
From ages ten through fifteen, I was just a kid trying to live out fantasies. I used bits of junk and hand tools found in our garage to make knives and swords in our backyard patio.
Movies, tv, video games and books were my biggest influences at the time, but my most significant influence came from a book called “the art of blacksmithing” by Alex W. Bealer, from which I got my first real instructions on how to make things from steel.
2001 - 2007
THE ERA OF KNOWLEDGE
In 2001, I met Jared Williams, my first mentor in bladesmithing. In addition to a growing library of books on bladesmithing, I studied “the craft of the Japanese sword” intensely.
In 2005, I took the introductory course from the ABS at their school in Washington, Arkansas.
In 2007, I attended the Damascus making course from the ABS, and passed the initial portion of the Journeyman smith test.
2007 - 2015
HONING MY SKILLS
From 2007 to 2015, I was able to spend time practicing what I had already learned. My day job afforded me the opportunity to rent houses and set up shop in the garages.
My mentor and friend, Jared Williams, began studying with Ed Fowler and the HEPK (High Endurance Performance Knife Association), and he would share what he was learning with me.
I began taking commissions, including hunting knives, Damascus and swords, and hosting some group events.
In 2014, I attended my first blade show in Atlanta.
In 2015, I was added to the list of HEPK master smiths after passing a performance test.
2016 - Present
A Dream became reality
In 2015-2016, Nate started a family and set aside full-time bladesmithing. In 2017, he competed on History Channel’s show Forged in Fire, Season four Episode 17, winning the title of Champion, and started his company “Cutting edge Metalworks”.
In 2018, Nate gave up a full-time job at St. Mark’s Hospital to pursue bladesmithing and be a stay at home Dad.
The years 2018-2021 have been marked by an explosion of ideas and creativity, collaborations and experiences.