JOSH SMITH - MASTER BLADESMITH
Josh Smith Master Bladesmith
Josh grew up in Lincoln, Montana on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. At the age of 11 Josh’s baseball coach, Rick Dunkerley, began teaching him how to make knives. In the very beginning, Josh would go to Rick’s shop where he learned to remove stock blades under the guidance of Rick.
About a year later, Josh began putting a shop together at his home. Josh’s Dad gave him room to work in his equipment shop, and at the age of 12 Josh joined the American Bladesmith Society. Over the next few years Josh began forging and honing his craft. Josh turned 14 at the Eugene Oregon knife show where he met other incredible knife makers, all too willing to share their talents and knowledge with Josh.
At 15 years old, Josh passed the Journeyman bladesmith test in Atlanta, Georgia at the Blade Show. Josh became the youngest bladesmith to ever pass this test. The Journeyman test is a two part process. A test blade must be forged and heat treated with the capabilities to chop a 1” rope in half, 2- 2x4’s in half and then still shave hair. Once the cutting tests are done the blade must be able to bend 90 degrees in a vise without breaking. After passing the performance test the maker must present 5 knives to a panel of Mastersmith Judges. Each knife is examined closely to ensure the knife is made to the highest standard of craftsmanship. At the Journeyman level a maker is not expected to show perfection but is expected to show a sufficient level of craftsmanship expected from a professional bladesmith.
Josh continued to work on his craft and at the age of 19 he earned his Master Smith rating from the American Bladesmith Society. Josh was the youngest bladesmith to ever pass the Master Smith test.
In 2002 Josh moved to Frenchtown, Montana where he now calls home. Josh and his wife Jessica live on a beautiful piece of property near the Clark Fork river. They have 3 daughters and 1 son that are active in sports. Josh coaches the youth tackle football team and a youth girls basketball team. The Smith kids raise cattle and hogs in 4H in addition to their sports. Jessica teaches 7th grade and is a fitness instructor.