The Thirty-First Annual Seminar
is a Good News/Bad News post. First the bad news, both
Brian Lyttle and Jason Knight will be unable to attend
this years seminar. It's a long story, but we wish them
well and hope they can make it next year.
Now for the good news. I have "twisted the arms" of Tim Wright and Rick Barrett. They have both agreed to come and fill the empty slots! Once again, we have a stellar list of lecturers and demonstrators.
The New England Bladesmiths Guild’s seminar at Ashokan is one of the oldest and most prestigious hammer-ins in America. This year is no exception, as we have spent the last several months assembling a lineup of demonstrators to live up to this tradition.
Tim Zowada will start things off on Friday evening with an introduction and a warm welcome. Tim will also be available to answer questions as to what he has been up to for the past year, while organizing the event.
Tim Wright has been with us at Ashokan several times. He will start the weekend with a lecture on how he approaches the knife making business, and dealing with customers. If you know Brian, you know he always has a lot of interesting things to say. I'm sure this will not be the exception. This will be a two part lecture, finishing up on Sunday morning.
On Saturday morning, those looking for tips on Japanese non-ferrous alloys will not want to miss the talk by veteran craftsman Jim Kelso. Jim was one of those "big names" I always heard when I was getting my start. That was a long time ago, and I have learnd a lot from him over the years. Obviously, we should all be paying close attention to what this master has to say.
Rick Barrett is kind enough to fill in for Jason Knight. He will be doing a combined demonstration making Damascus steel and forging a blade Staurday morning.
After Rick is finished, Richard Sexstone will describe how he does the fantastic patterns in his Damascus. Richard is one of those knife makers who seems to stand quietly in the background. Yet, when I look through the knife books for interesting ideas, I always spend extra time looking at his work. He does things with Damascus patterning that are extremely unique and creative.
After lunch, we are honored to have both Peter Gill and Roger Pinnock with us. Peter and Roger have been involved in the knife business for a long time. Two years ago, they gave a fascinating talk about the knife business from the customers perspective. Unfortunately, they ran out of time before they ran out of things to say. This year we have them back to complete their lecture.
Bill McGrath is our answer man for what to do with the finished knives in the most serious of circumstances. Bill’s skill with a blade makes him the guy you would want next to you in a dark alley in any of the roughest areas of the world. This year Bill will teach us uses and techniques of edged outdoor tools.
Have you ever had problems getting smooth, straight grinds on your blades? We've got the guy who can sort that out for you. No problem. One of the best grinders in the business is Jim Siska. If you have ever seen his hollow ground blades, you know you will want to pay close attention to everything he shows you. We are very pleased to have this excellent craftsman as one of our regulars.
Getting just the right color on Copper based alloys can be difficult. Kim Kelso will be back in the afternoon to demonstrate various patina techniques. From surface preperation, to different rokusho solutions, Jim will be showing us how he gets those colors on his amazing work.
There is a lot to making a good folding knife. After dinner, Richard Sexstone will be back to show how he puts together his fantastic folders.
One of the most important, and often overlooked aspects of knife making is the heat treatment. Kevin Cashen is one of the most knowlegeable and respected knifemakers in the country. He is very well known for the work he has put in to making the strongest, and best edge holding blades possible. Saturday evening, Kevin will demonstrate how to get the most out of your steel.
The "open forge" has been a great opportunity for participants to share and learn forging techniques from some of the most experienced smiths in the business. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.
Don't forget to bring along any knives, or knife related items, that you may have for sale or just want to show off. The Ashokan knife show and exhibit is always an excellent presentation of a variety of knives and swords. Also, don't forget the opportunity to obtain equipment, tools, and other items from the tailgate sales surrounding the pavilion on Saturday.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!Participation will belimited to the first 90 registrants. Registration deadline is September 5th. Payment is refundable 100% if you are unable to attend and you let us know by the deadline date. After this date a 50% refund is available. Register early to guarantee your
space! Please register on-line from the link below.
Registration is now open! if you would like to register on line click here: