Beginner Bladesmithing


Dakota Slack

Class runs: September 6-9

Tuition: $600

Material Fee: $60

Skill level: Beginner and up

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This class, geared for beginners, will take you through the basics of making a simple 3-4” bladed knife. The focus will be on a full tang utility or hunting knife through the process of forging, grinding, heat treating, handling, and polishing. Beyond the physical process, we’ll get into the ideas of blade design, material choices, and construction methods. No experience with bladesmithing is needed.


Dakota Slack grew up in the woods of New Hampshire with a keen interest in hunting, camping, and fishing, and he has nearly always carried a knife. He began bladesmithing in 2014 and has built a career on the cornerstones of culinary and outdoor knives. He won international acclaim in 2020 as he took first place in the Deutsches Klingenmuseum’s chef knife competition. Dakota uses and tests his knives both in the kitchen and in the field and feels strongly that any knife meant for real utility should be up to the task. In recent years he has been drawn toward historically inspired swords and daggers. He continues to explore both utilitarian craft and artistic expression as a bladesmith and seeks to meld the two in each piece he produces.

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