Jay Replogle: Knife Making
Forged in Fire Season Three Episode 12 Champion Jay Republic has had a love for blades dating back to his early childhood. Dragons, wizards, swords, and knights were always in his imagination. He and his brother would craft wooden swords and battle monsters in the backyard. He was completely mesmerized by the ancient craft of blacksmithing. As he grew older, this fascination changed from dream to reality. Jay earned his BFA with a concentration in metals in 2008 from The Appalachian Center for Craft. Through his studies, he has honed his craft in traditional Japanese sword-making as well as blades from around the world.
Jack Wheeler: Jack’s Famous Tongs
Jack is a native of the Chattanooga area (Sand Mountain). He has been working with metal from the early 70s and took up the blacksmith craft in the late 80s. He studied under local artist and received formal training at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. He has studied demonstrated and taught the craft at many of the state and regional blacksmith workshops and conferences. Currently he works and teaches at the Choo Choo Forge Shop, located at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and his home stop in Hixon, Tennessee. His specialties include trade axes (tomahawks), architectural elements, including railings and gates, fireplace hardware, and camping and kitchen hardware. The AACB and its talented members have been an inspiration to him for many years, and he is honored to be asked to demonstrate at the 2024 conference.
Johnny Woolsey: Patina Processes
John has been creating custom metal sculpture and architectural work since 1995. What began as a hobby turned into a full-time realization of his passion to create. Working in both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, his work is constantly evolving between contemporary and traditional styles from silhouettes to forged and fabricated 3-D sculpture. “I am constantly amazed that as I acquire new techniques and skills, my interest in style of work seem to evolve. Today’s challenge or technique comes the seed that sprouts and grows into tomorrow’s expression. This evolution fuels the excitement I feel every day as I try to impart what I feel into the art I produce.”