Demonstrators

FABA Conference 2021

We’re excited to be hosting a great group of demonstrators, and teachers this year!

Trenton Tye

“Trenton Tye is a professional blacksmith and demonstrator from southwest Georgia. Originally known for his work on Youtube, he found a bit of fame in the film industry by appearing on the first season of Forged in Fire and then went on to host “Master of Arms” for the Discovery channel. When he is not filming, his shop produces architectural iron work, movie props, and whatever else that makes money. When he is not playing in the shop, Trent volunteers as a consultant to local non-profits, helping them organize and secure long term futures. He continues to make friends on the internet with his commentary and is currently filming his own TV show called “Black Iron”.
Trenton will be demonstrating a few types of braided handles that can used as decorative embellishments in many areas although typically are found in handles for items like fireplace tools.

Peter Hill

My name is Peter Hill and I started blacksmithing about 12 years ago. I was fascinated with moving metal and I made a knife.” That was the start of Peter’s journey. He says he watched a lot of videos, took some classes and used a lot of trial and error. After retiring about 3 years ago he was able to devote more time to the craft. He was a finalist on Forged in Fire (Season 6, episode 30) and continues to make knives and serves as the FABA Southeast Regional Coordinator.
Peter will be demonstrating the construction of a Every Day Carry (EDC) knife on Friday and will be teaching a class on Saturday where students will make their own EDC knife.

Kirk Sullens

An artist-blacksmith by trade, Kirk is inspired by the beauty he sees in the ordinary details that surround him. He uses his skill and creativity to transform unyielding iron into a vast collection of delicate and powerful works of art. Kirk took his first lessons several decades ago and then honed his skills as a artist metalworker with Bass Pro shops. He is known for his animal sculptures and metal art and will be leading a specialty class on creating animal heads using simple tools from the shop.

Ryan Rowe

Ryan is an artist by training and was fascinated by the patterns he created in his glass-blowing.  He took the ideas of blended patterns from the molten sand of glass and translated it into patterns welded in steel.  In his words:  “ I am a 3D artist and welder. Some of my skills in my bag consist of glassblowing, carving, sculpting and bladesmithing. I derive 90% of my bladesmithing skill set from making mosaics and tight threaded patterns in glass to come up with something truely unique in steel. I tend to have a tough time drawing out what I want my final pattern to look like so I often set a mental picture in my head and just go with the flow. I do not use any flux in my welds with the exception of wd40 and I tend to use the press a bit more to kneed and massage my steel as opposed to forceful hits on the power hammer. I enjoy watching every pattern come out different and always look forward to my next innovative pattern.

Dr. Nicole A. Horenstein

Dr. Nicole A. Horenstein is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida’s Chemistry Department. Her research interests include integrating tools in organic synthesis, enzymology, molecular biology, and computational methods to unravel complex biomolecular interactions and events.

Ki Harrison

Ki Harrison has spent the last 34 years learning the fine art of leather working , and teaching what he’s learned for the last 11 years. A little known fact is that he started off as a knife maker, and practically taught himself the craft from a book on knife making by Bob Loveless. But after making a few blades that actually cut and can hold an edge, he needed to make a sheath. After making a few sheaths, his love of leather crafting was born. I am thankful to be recognized as a competent craftsman by the metal workers at this fine event, and it is my intention to continue to attending this yearly gathering, and a few of the regional meetings as well. I hope to see you this weekend!

Ki will be demonstrating the process of making a leather sheath and leading a class in the process.

David Sandlin

David Sandlin, our casting demonstrator for this conference is providing hot examples of Lost Wax and Green Sand casting as well as teaching a class on Green Sand casting on Sunday. David is the Master Craftsman of Traditions Workshop; he contends that with an ostentatious title and $3 might get you a cup of coffee. Traditions Workshop accomplishes restoration, repair and refinishing projects for the community and museums. Projects range from modern furniture back to priceless antiques that sometimes require historical accuracy in the restoration process. David has tackled projects in stained glass, carpentry, sewing, painting, typography, home building, metal work, carving, forming plastics, fiberglass and, of course, blacksmithing.


David was elected to be the President of FABA starting 1 January, 2022. He is a retired USAF fighter pilot, retired software developer/network engineer and an active father of his three adult children. He and his bride, Anna, have been happily married for 32 years and are looking forward to many, many more.

John Hare

John Hare streams blacksmithing, bee keeping, brewing and falconry live on Twitch.tv, a live-streaming and gaming platform. John is a member of the Central Northeast region where he regularly streams the monthly FABA CNE meeting from Barberville Pioneer Settlement, the first Saturday of each month. He has twice been a guest on Amazon’s Prime Gaming channel sharing his blacksmithing content. See his work at https://www.twitch.tv/burrowsforge and on Instagram and Twitter @Burrowsforge

Jordan Borstelmann

Jordan is the owner of Crooked Path Forge and is well-known for his edged-weapon skills as well as his skill in teaching basic blacksmithing as well as bladesmithing.  A contestant on Master of Arms he also has a shop in Gainesville, FL where he teaches.   Jordan will be teaching a class where students will complete a knife, from forging through heat-treatment and sharpening. 

Tim Boyle

Tim Boyle has been a crafter at heart since he was a child. He has over 20 years experience in costume, prop and set building, including work from the Star Wars franchise and has displayed at many Sci-Fi and Comic Conventions (Cons). He says: “I tend to think outside the box and refuse to see items only for their ‘intended’ use.

In his class students will learn about materials and techniques used to make costumes, props, and set pieces. Participants will be able to choose between making a prop broadsword or a battle axe. All materials included, extra kits will be available for purchase. The props built there will be mainly EVA foam with some pvc and a metal rod for support in the sword. Variety of materials including EVA foam, plastic, and some metal.

So, if you need a huge broadsword or a tremendous battleaxe but can’t swing 25 lb of metal easily, this is the place to be.

Stephen-bloom-making-armour

Stephen Bloom

Stephen Bloom has been working steel in one form or another for over 50 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Zoology and a M.S. in Computer Science has been a member of FABA for decades (was the editor of the Clinker Breaker for more than 20 years). His emphasis in blacksmithing and metal work has been on Damascus pattern-welded steel and blade making for a significant portion of those 50 years.

He will combine his academic training and his years of hand-on experience to present a lecture with Q&A at the conference that will include an overview of heat-treating theory and practice and will tie that into making the necessary equipment for the shop.

Mystery Smith!

Sunday morning our mystery smith will enthrall the audience with a unique demonstration.  This individual first swung a hammer against hot metal in middle school as part of a shop class.  Since resuming the smiting of hot iron several years ago, this person has added skill upon skill and today offers classes to those seeking to learn the craft.  (Sorry, but that is all you’re going to get, folks.  Just have to show up on Sunday…..). 

Keeping the art of blacksmithing alive throughout Florida

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