Sheath and Dagger, circa 1997, damascus steel, silver, African blackwood, Private Collection and Folding Knife, circa 2005, mocomegane, steel, mother-of-pearl, James T. Treacy Collection, Apprenticeship - Bladesmithing|
John D. Smith (b. 1949)
Photography by Jason Dowdle
Bladesmithing is the hand-forging of edged implements such as knives and engraving tools. Master bladesmith J. D. Smith specializes in making knives and swords for superior edge holding, strength, functionality and beauty of form using pattern-welded steel, or Damascus steel. He explains his interest in blades: "Weapons . . . can separate a free man from a slave. . . . Why do I make knives? It's a statement. I make them because I can. Because I'm free. "