Forged in Fire: Forged In Fire, Season 1 (2015)
January 30, 2018 6:09 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Knife- and sword-making blacksmiths (bladesmiths) from around the US compete to make strong, sharp, elegant weapons in this History Channel game show. In each episode, four bladesmiths each forge a knife blade under time and materials constraints. The best three then add handles to and polish/finish their blades, and the two finalists then each get 5 days at their home forges to re-create a historic weapon.

Forged in Fire at the History Channel website where you can watch several first-season episodes. The show's also available for streaming on Hulu and on Amazon Instant Video.

Contestants in this season include "Not Trent-who-is-a-blacksmith, Trent-the-blacksmith" and David whose billets are seven layers, "one for each of the budo virtues".
posted by brainwane (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Remember, kids! Don't try this at home!
posted by zamboni at 8:25 AM on January 30, 2018

I've been watching this on Hulu recently and it's fascinating to see them work a lump of steel into such beautiful blades. First episode I had no idea what Damascus steel even is, now I look down on anyone who doesn't make some for the final blade. Still not foolish enough to set up my own forge at home (though taking a class is starting to sound interesting.)
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:35 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

InfidelZombie, like you, I've learned a LOT about metalwork from this show. And I've heard anecdotally that smithing classes in the US have seen huge jumps in enrollment specifically because people got inspired by this show.

Someone recommended this show to me because I liked Great British Bake-off, telling me that it has men clapping each other on the shoulder in camaraderie when their swords do well, and in fact I would say it is kinder than Bake-off because none of the judges in Forged in Fire ever pull the kinds of dominance displays that Paul Hollywood does (am currently watching Season 3 of Forged in Fire and the 2016 season of Bakeoff, for context).

There are multiple episodes in this season where someone has to go take a break and then come back to the forge and none of them are ever humiliated for that. I really appreciate that.

Meta note: Since we're currently at Season 4 for Forged in Fire I figure every few days I (or someone else) can put up a post for a full season till we reach the present day.
posted by brainwane at 9:37 AM on January 30, 2018

My husband likes to have this show on in his room while he's sleeping and sometimes out of the blue I just hear BLADESMITHS. YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES. It haunts me.
posted by bleep at 10:02 AM on January 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

My son and i like this show. Last summer we were in Oregon for the eclipse, and there was a smith in the solartown camp with a portable forge making trinkets out of bronze. We stood happily conversing with him because we had a bit of knowledge from FiF.

Here's a one off from British TV called Mastercrafts. It's an interesting contrast because they learn from a master smith to make nails, scrolls and leafy things, not just weapons weapons weapons. Having watched it I would really love to see something like FiF that made functional or artistic items that weren't judged simply on their ability to cut and kill.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:20 AM on January 30, 2018

"Your blade.... WILL KILL"

I love this show. When I lived on the East Coast, I took two Intro to Blacksmithing weekend classes at an art commune on the border between NJ and PA, where we learned nails and scrolls and hooks. Moving metal with a hammer is *FUN*. It's like really really REALLY stiff clay. Which is why forge-welding is actually harder than it looks - take two pieces of stiff clay, stack them, and hit them with something, then see how easily they peel right apart again.

The guys on FoF, though... I would love to be a tenth as capable as any of them. And I really want a backyard forge now.
posted by hanov3r at 10:36 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this show, but I'm also amazed that no competitor on it has yet introduced themselves as "the settler and the agent for the person of..."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:14 PM on January 30, 2018

OK, Season 2 post is up.
posted by brainwane at 10:53 AM on February 1, 2018

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