The Western Sword


Matt Parkinson  ABS JS

Class runs: April 10-15

Tuition: $750

Material fee: $90

Skill level: Intermediate and up, should have good hand forging and grinding skills 

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       The sword is an object of power. The sword conjures images in our minds of Knights thoughts of chivalry of kings and heroic deeds in ages long past. In the hand, a well-made sword makes you feel like you can stand against anything. But swords are not just long knives, they are a thing unto themselves. Swords were the highest technology of their time and were venerated like nothing else made. The smiths that forged these blades were and are a breed apart, this six day class will be covering the basics of  forging, grinding, heat treatment of swords blades along with the fitting out of furniture.

       The focus of this class will be an Oakshoot type XV or XVIII arming sword with a blade length of 26-29”.  This class will use that lens to explore some of the subtler aspects of Swordsmithing including the basic principles of geometric design, along with sword dynamics and  how they effect the performance of the sword and how they can be “tuned”. Blades will be forged from 1084 steel, with fittings from mild steel, a wooden core handle with a cord and leather wrapped grip.

        This is an intermediate level class and students will need to have some basic skill at forging as well as grinding and finishing. This class will be intense and a lot of work, but also incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun.



Matthew has been a full time professional blacksmith and Bladesmith since 1998, He is a member of Dragons Breath Forge. Matthew began teaching in 2007 and has taught at several craft schools. Matthew's work has been featured in Blade Magazine, Knives illustrated Knife Magazine and Pirate quarterly. In 2015 Matthew was a competitor on and won the first episode of “Forged in Fire” on the History Channel.  He returned to forged in fire in 2016 for a champions round and placed second making a Scottish claymore that also split a bullet. In 2016 Matthew attained the rank of Journeyman smith in the ABS.

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