I had the pleasure of attending Fire and Brimstone 2017 hosted by the Baltimore Knife and Sword Co. The event was held at BKS’s facility in Marriottsville, Maryland (just outside Baltimore) and featured demonstrations from a number of expert bladesmiths.
The weekend started with me visiting with one of my closest friends and former Albion cutler-extraordinare: Joel Dohahue. Joel and I first met at Albion in the early 2000’s. I trained him to cutler swords, and he turned into one of the best sword cutlers Albion had. He is now an attorney who works for the Social Security Administration. Joel and his girlfriend, Susan, took me to some great places for food and drink.
I was also able to meet up with bladesmiths JJ Simon, Matt Venier, Emiliano Carrillo and Justin Mercier at the Walters Art Museum. The museum has a small collection of arms and armour, but many of the pieces were quite interesting.
Over the weekend, Mark Green, Daniel Cauble and Jesus Hernandez built and fired a Catalan smelter which yielded a good sized bloom made from Magnetite ore.
Another highlight of the weekend was Jeff Pringle and his atomic marshmallow crucible furnace. Jeff, an expert on crucible steel, managed to set a new F&B record with 7 pucks in one weekend. Most of them showed a great deal of promise.
Another highlight was the refining hearth that Emiliano Carrillo and Daniel Waddell constructed and fired.
It was an excellent weekend. I learned a great deal, and made a lot of new friends. I have plans in the near future to make my own crucible steel and build and fire my own hearth.