When Forged In Fire won the BLADE Magazine 2016 Publisher’s Award during this year’s BLADE Show, it was the first time a television program of any kind was recognized by BLADE® Magazine in such a manner. Selected by the BLADE staff, the Publisher’s Award honors a person or organization that has furthered the knife community in a fashion that bodes well for the future of that community, both inside and out. Forged In Fire on History answers that requirement—and then some.
It’s rare that knifemaking of any type is given the high-profile exposure of television coverage, much less a weekly program of its own. However, Forged in Fire has done just that and much more. Those who watch it are familiar with the group of bladesmiths it gathers each week, each group different from the last, with the bladesmith in each charged with forging a knife—often in a very exotic style—in a stated time limit under the watchful gaze of a panel of judges and millions of TV viewers. Meanwhile, the winner of each episode earns a grand prize of $10,000.
As with most high-profile endeavors, there are those who criticize the program for portraying knives in a so-called negative way and creating an atmosphere that is not conducive to making the best knife possible—but then making the best knife possible is not necessarily the goal. The goals include to demonstrate not only how tough it can be to make a quality knife under a short deadline but also to entertain—and Forged in Fire does that quite well. Meanwhile, bladesmiths, knifemakers and the knife industry in general are getting more exposure before more people than ever before. And that is a great thing.
Now on the cusp of entering its third season, Forged In Fire will have a different look with ABS master smith Jason Knight filling in for ABS master smith J. Neilson. We fully expect the show to enjoy yet another banner season, and for bladesmithing and the knife community in general to continue to benefit from the unprecedented exposure such a TV show brings to knives the world over.
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