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Bladesmithing Symposium & Knife Show is July 15-17

Learning professional skills needed to forge a knife blade will be the subject of the Third Annual ABS “Hammer In” New England Bladesmithing Symposium & Knife Show at the New England School of Metalwork in Auburn from Friday morning through Sunday, July 15-17.

Demonstrations and workshops in blade forging and cutting will be conducted throughout the event by master bladesmiths who are certified by the event organizer, the American Bladesmith Society. The bladesmiths are from Maine and several other states. Sessions are open to all for a registration fee of $55. (See

“Our symposium shows anyone who may be interested in a viable professional career in bladesmithing how to pursue that path, further hone their skill sets and become ABS-certified,” said Dereck Glaser, metalsmithing program director at the New England School of Metalwork. “This is an opportunity to see and learn practical and professional skills from some the best master bladesmiths in New England and around the country, all right here at our facility in Auburn.”

While displaying their own knives and blades, registrants will also have the opportunity to try their hand at forging a blade guided by an ABS master bladesmith. Workshops will showcase skills (and master bladesmiths) including: forging, grinding and heat treating a knife to pass the journeyman test (Lin Rhea); Damascus steel (Christoph Deringer); blade grinding and hand finishes (JD Smith); preparing for the journeyman test (Mace Vitale); handles and guards, quality assurance (Jim Batson); green coal, hands-on forging (Nick Rossi and Herb Kettell); and forging tomahawks (Butch Sheely).

A knife show and auction will also be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 at no charge and open to the public. Registrants may offer their own blades at the auction.

In 2009 The New England School of Metalwork became only the third school in the country to be certified by the American Bladesmith Society to offer professional training in bladesmithing skills.

Registration for the three-day Bladesmithing Symposium & Knife Show can be entered online at the ABS website, Or anyone may register for the program at the New England School of Metalwork, 7 Albiston Way in Auburn on Thursday, July 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. or Friday, July 23 beginning at 8 a.m.

Questions may be directed to Dereck Glaser at the New England School of Metalwork at 777-3375 ( or to ABS Chairman James Batson at 256-971-6860 (

Founded in 1976 and now with members in six continents, the American Bladesmith Society, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the art and science of the forged blade. Blades made by ABS members are most sought after by collectors, hunters and others who seek the beauty and quality that is recognized in blades made according to professional standards and practices.

With headquarters in Auburn, Maine and with a Mobile Welding Training Center trailer for traveling to any location, the New England School of Metalwork ( is a non-profit educational institution with courses and programs geared to all phases of welding, metalwork and bladesmithing, ranging from basics for beginners to advanced tutoring for skilled professionals.

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