TEXARKANA, Texas, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- After training bladesmiths in person for 30+ years, the world-famous Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing is going digital. Established as the first American Bladesmith Society school in 1988, the school has added the first comprehensive, self-directed online bladesmithing course to its traditional in-person course offerings. The online Bladesmithing for Beginners course is based on the ABS-approved curriculum the school teaches in its in-person two-week Introduction to Bladesmithing course in Texarkana, Texas.
"Prospective students often tell us the expense of taking two weeks off work and paying for travel keeps them from enrolling," said Don McIntosh, school coordinator. "This is a way for them to learn the basics and decide whether this craft is right for them before committing to an in-person course. Space is also limited in our on-campus classes, and they fill up fast."
With the $395 online Bladesmithing for Beginners course, students have access to HD videos, interactive modules that teach them key vocabulary, shop safety, properties of steel, how to set up a shop, and blade design and geometry. Students learn how to forge, grind, heat treat, and hand sand a hunting knife with a hidden tang. The course is self-led, and students have lifetime access to all course content. The course fee includes the student's first year of membership to the American Bladesmith Society. Students can register for the course at learnbladesmithing.com.
Online instructors include McIntosh, an ABS Journeyman Smith who has been with the school for 15 years, and Mike Williams, an ABS Master Smith who has been teaching for 19 years.
"This online course isn't meant to replace an in-person class—it's meant to be the next best thing for someone who can't train in person," McIntosh said. "Some of our instructors got their start by reading books. If they could learn from a book, we knew we could adapt our class into an online course that would provide students with a solid introduction to the craft."
McIntosh said there are a lot of resources for beginner bladesmiths online, but it's difficult to tell where to start.
"There might be a great bladesmith forging a knife on YouTube, but they might leave out critical foundational material that beginners need to have before they should start forging," McIntosh said. "This course covers all of those bases."
The Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing was founded in 1988 in Washington, Arkansas, as a partnership between Texarkana College and the American Bladesmith Society. The school was named for Bill Moran, an accomplished bladesmith who was known as the father of modern Damascus steel. In July 2019, the school relocated to Texarkana College's main campus in Texarkana, Texas. The school will host an open house and ribbon cutting on Friday, Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m. at 2500 N. Robison Road, Texarkana, Texas.
For more information about the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing, please visit learnbladesmithing.com.
For more information, please contact:
Madeleine Russell, Business Development Specialist
SOURCE Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing