Element Fe is an artistic metal studio just north of Seattle on beautiful Guemes Island, in Washington State
Though I've done metal work of some kind all my life, beginning with simple jewelry as a kid and moving into silver work in my late teens and early twenties, my affair with blacksmithing began in 1998 when I built my first forge.
Our local blacksmiths' group brought in several of the amazing smiths from Colonial Williamsburg for classes on forged tools, including kitchen implements such as spatulas, ladles, and spoons. I made these and sold them at summer craft shows where I saw Ray Rantanen make a Damascus (Layered Steel) hunting knife from start to finish. There I saw that it was just another branch of blacksmithing. As Ray said, "It's not rocket science," which he should know—he's a retired NASA engineer!
Damascus knives rekindled my love of cutlery—I had been quite the knife collector as a boy! Beautiful layered steel blades are quite a tour-de-force of blacksmithing, but most of them sit on a display stand or in a safe, since they sell for many hundreds, or thousands of dollars.
I soon decided that it was much more satisfying to me to make a favorite knife that would be used every day, and for most of us, that means a cooking knife. Working with top Northwest chefs has helped me fine tune balance, ergonomics, and performance to a high standard, all while keeping the knives affordable and still offering a 100% handmade product.