Blacksmithing is a passion unlike any other. It is a skill that comes from years of literal blood sweat and tears. It is a heart that plays with fire for fun and is content in the heat of the moment. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the forge.
Unlike what so many have seen of late, Blacksmithing is an art that requires time, patience and skill deeper than you can fit into any television program.
Jason Nass currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio and has made forging the primary love of his life for over 20 years. His forging experiences are wide and varied, including industrial closed and open die forging, knife making, tool making, ornamental and architectural iron, fabrication of structural iron, and traditional blacksmithing, specializing in Viking era reproductions.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors with the Western Reserve Artist Blacksmith Association (WRABA), and hosts Open Forge nights from his personal workshop where he strives to share the love of this folk art in hopes of keeping the trade alive.
He is also featured in Season 5 Episode 8 of the History Channel’s hit show “Forged in Fire” where he blazed through the opening round challenges to secure a finalist spot. Sadly, some problems with a spear haft warping in shipping cost him the win.
He teaches both private and group classes in traditional and contemporary blacksmithing techniques as well as tool making. If you are interested in delving into the craft of blacksmithing or learning more advanced techniques, he has classes suited to any skill level and age.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing the bodhran, Celtic music, spending time with his counterpart and partner Rowan Canterbury and his rather spoiled dogs. Both Jason and Rowan do what they do in a world where things are “pre-made” and so many haunt the isles of stores, to hopefully help a few learn that there will never be an end to the magic and the necessity of knowing how to make something with your own hands.
Rowan Canterbury has been working with string in one form or another practically since birth. Truthfully raised in Amish Country, she began learning the arts of crafting clothing and necessities from scrap, often times right from the sheep’s back or the thicket’s edge.
To be fair, for all that she knows of these ancient crafts, she owes her deepest and eternal gratitude for her impressive skills to her Grandmother Eloise Canterbury who started teaching Rowan around the age of 5. (She is now much older than 5). She was taught to make everything from scarfs, to hammocks and even dish towels.
Both of these disciplines were afforded her by a woman that lived through the great depression and grew strong and wise from hardships many will never know. Rowan grew up in a different world were her family actually gardened and cooked food from scratch, scrubbed floors and hung the bed sheets out to dry.
Today, she still uses the stove to heat her tea water and has no Television in her home. She likes to tell her friends that if she had a T.V. she would have never learned what she knows, or have the time to learn to DO more. Her love for fiber has stayed with her and now she is the proud owner of two spinning wheels and enough Alpaca to drive her partner Jason Nass a bit crazy. She LOVES teaching and meeting new people, and what’s more is her love to see her students succeed both materialistically and spiritually. Pay it forward!
She has little spare time, but when she does she plays the fiddle, spends as much time as she can with her daughters, is hoping with the betterment of her health to get back into teaching belly dance, and living with a grumpy old Viking Blacksmith and their two strange and spoiled dogs.