After my wedding in 2008, my wife and I struck out across the American countryside on a freeform honeymoon to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana before we swung back to go to her Dad’s wedding. For a few days on this journey, we stayed with my Aunt Sara and Uncle John (well, close enough to an actual uncle for the sake of my storytelling) in Riverton, Wyoming. My aunt spent a good amount of my youth on the wrong side of the law, so I’d barely gotten a chance to know her up to that point. During our stay, they showed us around Wyoming, visited with us and generously fed and housed us in their spare room. Over the course of this, John introduced us to his knifemaking forge and walked us through the creation of a beautiful Damascus bowie knife, complete with a curly maple handle, silver inlay set in by my wife, and a leather scabbard that he taught me to sew. That was a few years ago, admittedly, and living in apartments and condos while going to medical school has left me with little time to further explore the craft, but I’m declaring here my intention to return and to properly learn the art of blademaking. I saw them again at a family reunion of sorts last week and got a few pointers on how to get started. I’ll keep updates here to let you all know how it goes.
Edit: Anybody interested in what John Strohecker is capable of should check out his forge’s facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blackfoot-Forge/583993724960912