Jerry Fisk – Arkansas
To say that Jerry Fisk is a legend in the knife making world, might be selling him short. Referring to him as a knife making GOD might be more accurate. If you look at the Awards page on his website, you will see a huge list of awards. Including:
- National Living Treasure by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Museum of World Cultures
- Recipient of Blade Magazine’s Publishers Award
- Recipient OF American Bladesmith Society’s W. W. Scagel Lifetime Achievement Award
- Recipient OF American Bladesmith Society’s Don Hastings Award
- The only Bladesmith to receive the William F. Moran Knife of the Year Award twice
- Member of the American Bladesmith Society Hall of Fame
- Recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Art Award for Traditional Arts
But Jerry started out with a very humble beginning. He was one of five boys in the family. His father bought an old, abandoned house for $250. When it rained, the roof leaked. Each boy had to watch his own spot for leaks and not let the pans or buckets overflow onto the floor. When it was time for a bath, Jerry toted buckets of water into the kitchen for the tub. He was 15 when they finally got running water in the house, and an indoor bathroom.
When he was young, a blacksmith he moved to town. Jerry’s father and the local preacher helped him set up his shop. After church Jerry would stop by to look at the knives the blacksmith displayed on a fold up table on the side of the road. Those were the first forged blades Jerry saw. Later, when he was in sixth grade, Jerry’s class took a field trip to the old Washington Blacksmith shop where James Black forged a knife for Jim Bowie.
Jerry began making knives in 1974 and became a Journeyman Smith through the American Bladesmith Society in 1987. Two years later he became the 17th Master Smith recognized by the ABS. He has also served on the governing board of the ABS and developed the Bladesmithing school in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Because of the way that he was raised, Jerry believes that a knife is a tool, first. Then, it can be pretty to look at. He blends centuries-old techniques with modern methods, and prefers designs drawn from something that simulates nature and works with natural materials. Jerry produces Bowie knives, hunting knives and daggers using mammoth bone, gold wire inlay and Damascus steel, which he forges himself.
Jerry Fisk Contact Information