How to Become a Swordsmith

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A swordsmith creates historically accurate reproductions of weaponry for collectors, museums, theatrical performances, sporting events, and other occasions. A person who would like to learn how to become a swordsmith will usually enter this heritage craft field as an apprentice to a master craftsman. In early 2014, the Scotland-based firm of Macdonald Armouries advertised two open apprentice positions. Among other items, the company makes commando knives of superior quality and the only Power Swords available commercially. The Power Swords are fashioned to resemble a piece from the He-man cartoon series.[1]


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Flickr: Katana Kaji
Education High school diploma, Vocational school or bladesmith/swordsmith apprenticeship
Starting pay $19,600.[2]
Median pay $35,350[2]
10 yr growth Slower than average[3]
Related professions Metal worker, carpenter
Author Kasey Clark
 

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Contents

Swordsmith Job Overview

Aspiring swordsmiths should demonstrate a genuine interest in history, as they will be expected to conduct research and study arms from other cultures and eras. It is also helpful if these individuals have experience working with tools or in the field of metallurgy. An eye for detail is critical when crafting realistic reproductions.[1]

Swordsmith Education

An apprencticeship with a senior artisan can last several years.[4] Others looking to enter the profession may choose to take metalwork, blacksmithing, or bladesmithing classes at technical colleges and special forging schools.[5][6] These opportunities allow a student of the craft to put together a unique portfolio of pieces displaying their talents and interests.

Swordsmith Training

While training to become a swordsmith, one may be asked to choose a weaponry focus and complete a piece or set of pieces in that style within a year’s time. [7] During the training period, the student will learn how to use a forge safely and construct weapons that are both durable and artfully designed. Smiths interested in learning these skills offer their services around workshops in exchange for entrance into tutorials rather than pay. As the smith picks up skills, the shop owner will usually give them the chance to take on new responsibilities.[8]

Finding Local Swordsmiths

Those looking to build relationships with accomplished swordsmiths might wonder how one should go about meeting such craftsmen. Swordsmiths often sell their wares at trade shows, Renaissance fairs, and entertainment conventions. Besides these opportunities, however, some smiths operate retail stores out of their workshops. Search online or contact vocational schools with metalworking programs in order to find a local swordsmith.[9]

Swordsmith Work

Many swordsmiths enjoy using the weapons they create to reenact historical events

Also See:How to Become a Mason, How to Become a Gunsmith, How to Become a General Contractor, How to Become a Licensed Contractor, How to Become a Painter

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/rare-chance-as-city-swordsmith-seeks-apprentices-1-3292194
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/jewelers-and-precious-stone-and-metal-workers.htm#tab-5
  3. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/jewelers-and-precious-stone-and-metal-workers.htm#tab-1
  4. http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/PJ_interview.htm#.Uvf_aM5_R0Q
  5. http://www.dragonsbreathforge.com/classes.html
  6. http://dragonflyforge.com/swordsmithing-school/
  7. http://www.swordnewsnetwork.com/training-to-be-a-swordsmith/
  8. http://www.dragonsbreathforge.com/apprenticeship.html
  9. http://medieval.stormthecastle.com/blacksmithing-at-the-renaissance-faire.htm