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April 19, 2011
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Hawk weekend by CuSmith Hawk weekend by CuSmith
Two small-ish axe heads made during a weekend tomahawk making class at the Brookfield Craft Center with Joe Szilaski. Dude is amazing at what he does, and is a very capable instructor. The head on top started out as a railroad spike, and judging by the sparks made while grinding, it is maybe a medium carbon steel.

The small bearded axe head started as a piece of W1 steel 1"x1"x4" and took quite a bit of time to make. I had never made an axe head with such a dramatic downward swoop of material before this class and learning how to do that was great fun. Lots learned about how to move the metal where you want it to go.

Both have yet to be brought down to a sharpened edge and heat-treated.
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:icontriadenforcer:
How much do these lessons normally cost?
Reply
:iconcusmith:
Generally right around $250 for two 6 hour days, but some of the more specialized classes can get up to $300 or more.
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:icontriadenforcer:
And here I was, Thinking that bladesmithing could only be done as a hobby or part-time job...

Thing is, I'll gladly take up a full-time job as a bladesmith.
Reply
:iconcusmith:
Well, it's typically not the sort of thing you can rely on initially. Unless you're lucky enough to be in an area with a lot of people who are willing to buy a lot of your knives directly from you, it might be hard to get things going in terms of supporting yourself entirely by selling blades. There's a lot of competition out there and some of it is the real deal, and some of it is garbage that people buy instead of quality stuff because it's what they can afford.
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:icontriadenforcer:
Another thing:

How was Joe able to come to America, As a bladesmith?

The INS usually grants Green cards to those who are educated to work in careers that generate loads of money, Like banking, Finance, Engineering etc etc...

They don't seem the type to take in a guy, Who worked as a laborer or other menial stuff, As a blue collar worker.

(No Offence to Joe, He's a good craftsman.)
Reply
:iconcusmith:
I don't really know to tell you the truth, I never asked him. I know his wife was born here, maybe that's how? Not sure on that one.
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:iconsothoth:
Woah, jealous that you got to take a class with Joe. The man is a master. Great looking hawks!
Reply
:iconcusmith:
He's a great guy, I try to take at least one class of his a year if it's offered. You don't live too far away from his shop, you know. He offers classes there on a regular basis last time I checked.

And thanks!
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