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Runnin' Around

Emiliano Carrillo

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This post belongs in Show and Tell as much as it does in The Way I think.


Over the last couple months I've had a lot of crazy opportunities and travels, finally met many old friends and made some great new ones. This journey has been amazing since it began. With my first Fire and Brimstone in 2014, where I met a huge number of inspiring smiths and saw more people than I had ever thought might be part of this community I've come to call home, I realized that this really is a community with deep roots that I wanted to call my own. I began to see the same group of guys every year at Kerry's and began to see them at Ashokan and other gatherings. Some of the best friends I've ever had have been met at blacksmithing and bladesmithing hammer-ins. This is as much about the continuous path of learning as it is about the friendships and brotherhood that are built along the way. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have met all of these amazing smiths and people, and so I'll share maybe too many photos of this summer leading into fall.


I began the summer by flying out to Indianapolis where Luke Shearer and Ryan Stevens picked me up from the airport. They had just driven all the way from TEXAS and managed to arrive within twenty minutes of me! Great timing high fives over, we drove about an hour and began to terrorize Dave DelaGardelle and his amazing wife for the next week or so. We watched a lot of dumb videos on Youtube and even looked at some great work by Dave!



I had prepared a few pieces for this trip. I created a pattern welded sword blank for Dave to work on. It was 600 layers of alternating density pattern weld on the edge wrapped around, and six alternating cores of steel and iron in the center. I forged thick, just because I figured more material to work with is better. I didn't realize how thin the pieces Dave makes are! He was able to literally forge two full sized viking swords from that one billet I gave him!



I also forged a small seax the day before leaving to Dave's, also for him to finish up!



While we were at Dave's we helped him move the last things out of the old Mad Dwarf workshop into his new shop set up at his new home.



There was also a lot of goofing around, so I dunno how much work we actually got done.



We spent some time at Andy Davis' shop forging and messing around. I got to document a small viking age spear Andy has and he taught me how to hollow grind!




Our time there had come to a close and we al migrated up towards Nate Runals' place in Michigan for some further shenanigans! Nate's place is beautiful, with open air and a beautiful rustic shop that we played in for the next week or so.



The first night we were there we stayed up till four in the morning talking about craft and experience and trying to figure out what collaboration we would bring to life that week. Inspired by the sounds of night around us and the draw of nature, we decided to get up at seven in the morning and prepare for the days work.



A vision quest was in order, and so we gathered some essentials (sausages and a hatchet) and went into the woods to find what craft was and where we stood in that journey that in so many ways in a parallel to the journey of life. We cut a tree and made fire wood from it, shaving wood and preparing a fire the old way.



Long story short we were half way there and Luke got himself in the leg with the hatchet. Undeterred we had some lunch and then went home to make sure he didn't die.


We were all sitting to lunch later that day when further calamity struck. A home made steel knife I had brought to eat with felt the murderous intent of Luke Shearer, The Shearer. When striking a corn cob, the tip of the knife flew into the air. If you're noticing a trend it's because Luke is the Worst.



I thought that it was all for naught, and that Luke would break everything I loved but later that night, a knight in shining armor arrived.



John Page went into Crazy John Mode and created a pattern welded ring with iron and silver in like an afternoon and put us all to shame. That day Nate and I worked on a knife I had brought. It is made of my own moon steel and we finished it with some chocolate chip cookie-wood (diver salvaged black oak) and cutlers resin Nate made.



When we first arrived we talked some about inlay, and it was decided I would prepare a short inlaying demo. Luke has kind of an amazing collection of blades kicking around the back of his trunk, and there was one I had noticed when we unloaded the car had caught my interest. It was a small seax in wrought iron and 1084. I inlaid some silver and then brought it home with me to finish. You guys will all see it when SOMEONE gets their butt in gear and finishes it!



This is one of my favorite pictures of the two week trip. From left to right: John Page, Robert Burns, Jason Kraus, Me, Ryan Stevens, Nate Runals, Dave DelaGardelle, Luke Shearer, Peter Braspenninx, and Rusty Zylstra.





Now onto the second leg! Ever a glutton for punishment I flew back into Hartford, only an hour from home, and then immediately got picked up by Matt Venier and started the trip down to Atlanta for Blade show!



Daunted and tired and also almost swept away by rain, we made it to Baltimore that night where we met up with JJ Simon. We continued on the path the next day, picking up Sam Salvati and driving on down to Roanoke in style.



We stayed with the amazing Jesus Hernandez and shared some of his home made mead and discussed the craft.

The next day it was back on the road and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway!



The VC claimed another devotee when Sam finally got behind the wheel and understood.



We found a beef jerky outlet store (!!!) and made it to the show the next day with almost no disaster.


For everyone who hasn't been to the blade show in Atlanta, it is really overwhelming, with every sort of work you can imagine. There are custom makers there who do the tightest cleanest work I've ever seen and are so friendly and love to share secrets. There are places to buy a 150 dollar 'katana.' There are places to buy fossilized ivory and other ancient material, as well as bone and horn and antler, or micarta, or pattern weld, or mokume, or anything under the sun really.


It was a great time with some fantastic friends. Left to right it's Matt Venier, Sam Salvati, Me, Nick Hyde, and JJ Simon.






After that whirlwind of brotherhood and sleeplessness and good food and great fun, it was time to come home. It is a somewhat sad feeling to go from hanging out with many great friends to being back in the shop, where it's just me working and creating, but when I came back it was with the warmth of all these new and old friendships.

I got to work and forged a sword and finished inlaying that seax that Luke entrusted to me. I played with a cat and took some days off going to the river and made some more moon steel. I made some seaxes and even taught a summer class at my college to high school kid for two weeks.

201607_Blacksmithing in the Moonlight 369 (Hart).JPG




I made a kitchen knife for my dad's oldest friend and started quenching some stuff in water.




I even went to Ashokan and had a blast. The rest of that stuff will be for a later post, but for now, the journey continues!



201607_Blacksmithing in the Moonlight 278 (Hart).JPG



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great group of guys. I am sitting here with my wife, and keep going, "see him, he is one of my friends from _________________."


keep at it bro.

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/


“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Man did a wizard ask you to share in an adventure! That's some crazy and lucky travels! :D I've had the luck of meeting Luke, Ryan, Dave, Nate and John all that Scott Roush's and they are wild men when it comes to late night forges... also trying to think if Luke was involved in the breaking of a fencing sword haha! can't take him anywhere :P

-Michael Lenaghan

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Looks like to much fun! Man I'm so jealous!


Edit: If your adventures ever lead to the cattle ridden state of Missouri, you know where to find me!

Edited by Collin Miller

“If you trust in yourself. . . believe in your dreams. . . and follow your star. . . you will still get beaten by the people who have spent their time working hard and learning things, the people who weren't so lazy.” ~ Terry Pratchett


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What an awesome series of journeys! That is a huge amount of talent gathering together.

James Helm - Helm Enterprises, Forging Division


Come see me at the Blade Show! Table 26R.


Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.


My blog dedicated to the metalwork I make and sell: http://helmforge.blogspot.com/

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That's quite the trip! A lot of fantastic folks and fantastic times were obviously had and I think we are all glad to see the whole adventure documented.

I'm also happy to say I've met some of those fine gents. ;)

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Better watch it Emilliano....Gonna break that seax you sent me for a sheath if you aren't careful :angry:

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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