Jason Knight is an American knife maker and television personality, born on September 25, 1966, in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. He is widely recognized for his award-winning work as a knife maker and for his appearance on the third season of ‘Forged In Fire’ as a judge.
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Early life and education
Jason’s interest in knives started in his early years, when his father read books by Edgar Rice Boroughs, while his mother sewed costumes for him to play pretend games with his cousins. Jason soon found himself drawing and making toy knives and knives for the rest of his childhood, as his fascination with medieval sets, stories and clothing never waned.
Jason started making his own knives in earnest while studying at St. George High School and showed his creations to other knife makers and collectors when he attended the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition every year. Jason was also interested in Native American culture and often attended several Pow-wows, where he met other young blade makers Daniel Winkler and Karen Shook and formed a long-lasting friendship.
In 1992, Winkler’s creations were featured in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans”, which inspired Knight to take his passion for knife making to the next level.
While there is no information about Jason’s parents and family, their support for his hobby was apparent as he was given a grinder during his teens, and in 2001 his grandmother supported him to enroll in a two-week course at the Bill Moran School. or American Bladesmith Society (ABS) in Arkansas: “she paid for my lesson. It was great!” This course was not wasted, however, as he not only enjoyed it very much, but also pushed his career forward, winning his first prize in California, the same year, as Best New Maker.
Debut and awards
After that, Knight promptly gained recognition from other people in the knife industry for his style: “I never stopped.
I spent as many hours as possible learning it. That’s all I did. I did nothing else. I quickly developed a style that is very recognizable, because I love the flowing lines and curves.’ He said in a YouTube video on his channel: ‘My knives would work, but they looked very different from everyone else’s. That was sexy, and it immediately made me popular in the knife making world because I was doing something else.”
In the years that followed, Jason’s forging was recognized several times, including recognition as Knife of the Year by the South Carolina Association of Knifemakers in 2002, and the Best Non-Damascus Hand Forged Award at the Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair in 2004.
In the same year, he was honored by Blade Magazine with a Handmade Award for the best non-Damascus hand-forged knife. In 2006, he was named Best Fighter at the Arkansas Knife Makers Association Show.
Despite his success as a knife maker, Jason’s quest to deepen his knowledge of blacksmithing led to him earning a Journeyman Rating in 2003, followed by a Mastersmith rating in 2007, awarded by ABS. In the same year, he was awarded a BR Hughes Award for Best Knife Making as a Mastersmith candidate. In 2008, he received a Bill Moran Award from ABS and a Handmade Award for Best Bowie from Blade Magazine.
In 2010, Jason was a champion in the Battle of the Bladesmith at the ABS Great Smokey Mountain Symposium.
As of today, Jason Knight is a specialist in curved blades and kukris.
His work is known not only for his mastery of forging, but also for bringing innovation to every knife he makes.
Forged in fire
In 2016, Jason Knight joined the third season of “Forged in Fire”, replacing fellow Master Blacksmith and show judge J. Nelson, who temporarily left the series to recover from hand surgery. Knight’s presence as one of the show’s four judges continued until Nelson’s return in its fourth season.
Airing on the History Channel since its 2015 premiere, ‘Forged in Fire’ is a show in which contestants compete for a $10,000 prize by forging a variety of weapons in three rounds of elimination.
While the participants are often blacksmith enthusiasts, they are usually well known in the trade, enabling them to work with fixed metalworking equipment.
Medical personnel are present during each episode to ensure the safety of participants and staff.
Despite being a show focused on weapon use and crafting, “Forged in Fire” has received good reviews from audiences and experts alike.
Online courses for blacksmith
Jason’s 30,000 hours of blacksmithing experience has enabled him to offer online tailor-made knife making courses on his official webpage Knight Forge Studio. Under the motto “Become the Renaissance”, Knight in his courses covers the creation process of every piece he makes, from concept to design and delivery.
In ‘Forged: Jason Knight Maker Series’, he shares his personal experiences and teaches his students his private studio and favorite tools.
YouTube and podcast
Jason Knight’s is very active on its YouTube channel and shares various videos in TV show format. In his channel he advocates craftsmanship: ‘Being a maker means making a difference with yourself and spreading what you know. Not to see what you can get or to see what you can take with you. Making a difference is going out and just changing your attitude very simply, starting with one person. It starts with you and sharing information.’
Jason encourages people to pursue creative careers: “I don’t care if you make jewelry or make glass, or pottery, or you make a painting and you do blacksmithing, you’re something else, doing something with your hands, and with your mind’.
He continues, talking about the importance of sharing knowledge with other people: ‘I like to do it because I want to keep it alive, and any of the 20 or 30 people you show this to will be the next generation. who goes ‘I’m going through with this. I am forever part of this renaissance. I’m going to share this as it was shared with me.”
Jason has a podcast show titled ‘Beyond the Edge of Knight’.
Jason is married to Shelly – although there is no further information about the couple, it is known that they have been together since the early 90s. Shelly has supported his career for years and currently manages his private studio.
The couple has two children who inherited their father’s talent. Older son Tristen is a graphic designer, illustrator and knife maker, while daughter Tigerlily is an avid knife maker. The family used to live in Harleyville, South Carolina, and moved to Washington State’s Tri-Cities in 2018.
As of mid-2020, Jason Knight has an estimated net worth of over $3 million, which is a result of his award-winning work as a custom knifemaker and blacksmith, and earnings from his performance in “Forged in Fire.”
Jason Knight is a man of white ethnicity, who has dark brown hair and eyes. His long bushy beard and preference for black clothes give him a tough look. His weight and height are unknown.
He was taught the art of blacksmithing by Jay Hendrickson.
In an interview with Golf Kitchen, Quintin Middleton, owner and creator of Middleton Made Knives, revealed that Jason Knight was his instructor: “I started working at a local mall selling knives, cigars, and memorabilia swords. One day Jason Knight came in to buy a sword and he told me he made knives for a living. I asked him, “Can you teach me to make knives?” Then he became my mentor.’
In “Forged in Fire,” Jason shared screen time as a judge with martial artist and weapons specialist Doug Marcaida and weapons history expert David Baker.
Jason worked with Shop Wilson Combat to create “Dark Knight Gunmetal Damascus Bowie”. Each of these specially patterned blades, made from Damascus, was worth over $1,000 and sold out in record time.
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