The start of our future
Since initial exposure to blacksmithing through time spent learning the basics from Uri Hofi in New York state, Allen Rozon, was on a quest to spend time with highly respected teachers within the metal arts community. Soon, trips to different parts of the world became a regular occurrence as relationships developed and opportunities arose.
Some of the classes sought were already well established opportunities for gaining insight into Japanese sword smithing. But even those classes, such as with Michael Bell, would evolve into 6 month intensive sessions and exceed many of the usual boundaries between teacher and student.
An early friendship formed that would guide many of the steps taken over the years. Taro Asano, aka Fusataro, visited Canada early in his career as a licensed master sword smith from Japan. On that first visit, the two met at THAK Ironworks during his demonstration.
An immediate kinship developed between Taro and Allen, which deepened over the years and eventually spawned Tamahagane Arts.
Tamahagane Arts was a vehicle to channel their will to learn, educate and foster a community of people interested in learning from someone with knowledge steeped in formal apprenticeship that could draw from 24 previous generations.
The events and classes created under Tamahagane Arts were purposefully created to give people opportunities that could not be offered in Japan. The goal was to create realistic forging environments that mimicked Taro’s home forge. This striped down version of modern bladesmithing quickly forced students to pay close attention to the material, the process and material’s reaction to the process.
We created very demanding curriculum. Our courses were so demanding that we could not guarantee a successful result for students taking them. People who had a better understanding of what they survived would acknowledge that much of it was like walking into a black belt class as a white belt.
Having learned many lessons through our experiences with Tamahagane Arts, we now pave the road instead of just follow it with Iron Den Forge.