Forged in Making

Because I watch way too much TV.

At some time last year, my husband found a show on History channel called Forged in Fire.  I wanted to watch it too because they were really into making these random knives and things.  The basics of how each episode works are they start with four blacksmiths, they are challenged to make knives out of specific materials to pass certain tests, after two rounds they narrow it down to two, they are challenged to make a historic weapon.  The winner then gets $10,000.


So we’re watching it again since the season has started back up.  It’s squeezed in between “the Oak Island mystery hole” show and “I think I heard a squatch!” or at least that’s what I’ve gathered from the DVR commercials.  (That could be taken way out of context…what the hell are they showing on History channel?!)  There are a lot of funny characters on the show.  I’m pretty sure you could label all of the judges as “way too into knives” but they each have their own specialties of being way too into knives.  One is a master blacksmith, one is a sort of history buff of weapons, and the other is “a highly skilled martial artist who has also studied fighting styles and techniques around the world. From hand-to-hand combat to battlefield strategy, Doug is a walking encyclopedia in the evolution of weapons of war.”  The host is an Army and Airforce vet.

Besides the judges the people that come on the show are fantastic.  I never learn their names; they automatically get nicknames.  “Santa Blacksmith” was actually a professional Santa Clause, and he made the joke “what’s the hottest thing in a blacksmith’s forge?” then sort of posed as if to say “me.” -should have won just for that.  There was a guy who looked like a double from Ong Bok: Tai warrior named Ryu (actually remembered his name) and he made some cool hatchet.

So why am I even talking about this knife making show?

Because they’re makers!  And I keep hearing them talk about things while they’re making these knives that are similar to things I’ve said to myself while I’m making quilts or stuffed animals.  Just a couple of examples:

  • “I take pride in making something that will last for years and be passed down”
  • “The quench could make or break my knife”
  • “This is a dying artform”
  • “When I tell people I do this, they don’t understand why.”
  • “what’s the hottest thing in a blacksmith’s forge?” (okay it’s just too silly  not to mention again)

I really like that the quilts I made will (hopefully) be passed down over years and years.  I make them strong to last for a really long time, and I hope they’ll keep people snuggly for years.  And…because of one very bad incident, I am terrified to wash my quilts for the first time!  Every single time!  It’s just like when they quench their knives, which is when they take it from a white-hot forge fire and dunk it in a bucket of water or oil (it just depends on their style I guess) and it’s literally a make or break.  If there are any weak seams, they could shatter in this process.

People tell me that quilting is a dying artform and it’s so refreshing to see younger people doing it.  Well, first of all, I’m glad people think I’m a younger person, and secondly, I see it everywhere!  I guess you just have to look for it, but I guess you see what you’re looking for.  I also have a lot of people say “I want to make a quilt some day” and I don’t know why they don’t, I mean I work on them every day.  They “don’t have the time” or “don’t know where to start” but I know that really means “I don’t care enough to do it” just like working out, you have to learn how to do it, research, and make time!

I guess what I’m getting at is that whether you’re making quilts, knives, dolls or paintings, you’re making art.  You’re making art to be passed down for generations and to be enjoyed for years to come, and that is really cool.

I’m currently in Savannah for QuiltCon, but I wanted to get this out here.  I hope you’re having a great week!  Until next time, happy sewing!

2 thoughts on “Forged in Making

  1. Maria and I agree that keeping old skills alive is important. I find it funny that you make up nicknames for those contestants. I just got back last week from competing on that show ( not sure when it will air) and it would be interesting to see what kind of name I ended up with. Lol
    Keep making and sewing that’s what really makes us special…the skills we can learn!

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