FINALLY FRIDAY is a weekly series meant to give you some suggestions on what to geek out about over the next week… or so.
It’s always nice to take a break from regular geek content. By “regular” I simply mean things focused on comics, superheroes, and movies. You know… essentially everything I talk about on the podcast and the blog.
This week, though, I’ve been diving back into the world of blacksmithing. It’s been one of those quiet interests I’ve had since I was a boy, but I never knew how I would go about learning the craft, so I didn’t pursue it. Years later, I’m even more fascinated by the shaping of steel.
One of the biggest shows on TV in regards to blacksmithing and knife-making in particular is Forged in Fire. I found out about this show a year ago and I was instantly intrigued. Since then, I’ve kept up as best as I can, watching each season that hits Hulu. What I find great about the show is the time frame in which these blacksmiths have to create not just a beautiful knife, but one that is functional – it has to slash through something, take a beating in a chop test, and be a killing weapon. And it’s not like they’re handed a bar of perfect steel and set free to make what they want. Nope. I’ve seen them salvage steel from cars and chainsaws, as well as create their own in canisters. And did I mention they only get about 5 hours to complete the entire knife in sweltering heat? Yeah.
I cannot remember how I came upon Alec Steele’s YouTube channel. It was most likely recommended to me on the home page and I thought, “What the heck. I’ll take a look.” If you’re even moderately interested in the blacksmithing craft, Alec’s channel is a must-watch. He’s got the most positive attitude of anyone on the internet. No joke. He sets his mind to something and even if he messes up, he gets right back on the saddle and works on it until it’s finished. I’ve seen him scrap projects he’s spend days on because the shape isn’t right. He’s serious about his craft and smiles every step of the way. Alec is focused on learning. Not just how to be a better blacksmith, but how to be a better maker. It’s incredibly inspiring, even though I don’t have a physical craft. And did I mention he’s only 20? The guy’s a beast!
Those aren’t the only reasons why I watch (and sometimes binge-watch) his channel. His process is extraordinarily educational and entertaining. And every single build turns into a thing of beauty. His love for the craft, as well as the time and attention to detail shines through every single time.
So, yeah. This week’s Finally Friday was different than the usual format, but it was never meant to be one thing other than a space to share what we’re geeking out about. You can geek out on most anything!
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