The Demonstrators

Gordon Williams

Hello my name is Gordon Williams. I have been attempting to be a blacksmith since 1986. I started Victory Forge Blacksmith School in 1994 and it continued through 2017 at which time I moved to Utah and have just finished construction of Zion Blacksmith School. I loved teaching and have been able to demonstrate at 32 ABANA chapters across the nation. My demos tend to be fast paced but I try to provide alot of information as I'm working. I look forward to meeting all of you in October!

George Witzke

Artist blacksmith, George Witzke has been a professional blacksmith creating hand-forged ironwork for over 25 years. His journey started with a three day beginner's class taught by none other than, Gordon Williams. Once bitten with the blacksmith bug, George progressed from a hobby smith into a full-time blacksmith in just a few years. His career advanced from participating in local craft shows to selling at high-end arts and craft shows then on to exclusively crafting custom work.


Though he no longer accepts custom commissions, in his years as a smith, George has created a diverse array of beautiful and complex ironwork for both residential and commercial properties. Most notably, he and Gordon created the railing at the Grand Canyon's Mather Point Amphitheater. George now teaches 1 hour to half-day classes called Blacksmith Adventures and sells his smaller, hand-forged home decor items in shops.

George will perform two demonstrations at Hammerfest, both in the Blacksmith Arena. In the morning from 9:30 to noon, he will focus on forging tools for the forge. Later in the day, he and Gordon Williams will team up to demonstrate advanced blacksmithing techniques from 1:30 to 4:00.

Lonnie Jensen

Lonnie Jensen owns Jensen & Sons Ironworks in Colston, UT, a very large and successful metal working shop that produces forged and fabricated ironwork for architectual and commercial uses. Lonnie is a true craftsman who is skilled in a diverse array of metal working skills including Damascus steel and bladesmithing. He is an understudy of Ray Rybar, a Master Smith stamp from the American Bladesmith Society whose specialty has been working with mosaic patterns, words and pictures. He is most known for having bold Damascus patterns and intricate mosaics. When Lonnie learned of this event, he offered to bring a 6 ton Chambersburg hammer just to show and tell!

John Harris

John became interested in knife making and bladesmithing as teenager and has been actively making custom show-quality knives since 1999. John took a special interest in making damascus steel knives in 2002 and has been designing, forging and producing his own raw damascus bars since 2005. John's mechanical talents and desire to have equipment that is tailored to his own way of producing knives have led him to build the majority of the equipment he uses in creating his knives and damascus. Included in this

There are so many videos and books available that a young knife maker can use to learn much of the art of knife making on their own, but to go to the next level and become a real professional in the trade requires one-on-one teaching under true knife makers and bladesmiths. John realized this fact early in his knife making career and knew that to become the artisan he wanted to be and to be recognized as a leader in his field would require not only practice, but study of techniques through classes and directly with other influential knife makers as well. One of John's specialties is nickel damascus, and he learned many of his techniques and tricks-of-the trade in this area from his good friend Jim Ferguson of Temecula, CA, who is one of the premier damascus producers and knife makers in the world. John also learned much of his art knife and finish work techniques from Bill Herndon of Acton, CA. John also spent a lot of his early years in knife making mentoring under John Schulps of Orland, CA, who was key in teaching techniques in handle shape and design. He has also adapted many forging, design, and finishing techniques through intense study of material from other other top-names in the industry such as Ed Fowler, Bob Loveless, and Wayne Goddard.

John is a firm believer in passing on knowledge that one gains in their field so that others can learn and become better at what they do. He will always tell you that if you have the opportunity to learn from and train under masters in the trade, grab it! Their knowledge is invaluable and that is how you will become a true artisan. Most importantly, use and learn from other's knowledge, but design your own piece...make it your own.

John's specialties include the following:

Knife design for both hunters and collectors. Knife styles include drop-point hunters, daggers, bowies, and many other styles designed and made through both bar stock-removal and damascus.

John designs and forges his own damascus in random-ladder, pool & eye, and twist, specializing mainly in nickel-based bars. He also works with ATS-34, O-1 tool, 52100, Stainless, Carbon, and many other steels.

Some of John's key equipment includes a 57-ton hydraulic press with w/ foot control and limit switches to create the most uniform damascus bars available. Four different forges are in use for the varying types of blades and steels used in John's designs. State-of-the-art grinders for varying types of hollow and flat grinds, etc are part of the shop equipment. Recently added is an in-house surface grinder that is used to bring damascus bars to absolute accurate and uniform thickness prior to sale.

John is a member of the California Knife Makers Association and attends many clinics, courses, and seminars to continually further his knowledge as a professional knife maker. John does all his own leather and sheath work as well.

Karen Tappendorf

Karen is a metal working artist who rides the line between large and small metalwork. Her large metalworking is achieved primarily through blacksmithing and welding. Whereas her smaller metalworking consists primarily of jewelry and other small pieces in copper, brass, and silver. Although her smaller work has recently taken a backseat to her larger kinetic art structures meant to be enjoyed from the outdoors, she enjoys the creativity of it all. Karen has made, sold and taught wire wrapping for years and likes to add intricate patterns to many of her pieces of artwork. In recent months she has taught copper dishing to make bowls, spoons and ladles.

Karen’s demonstration will be of a coffee scoop made completely of copper.

She will be teaching a wire wrapped tree of life pendant.

Kenny Robinson

Ken is the owner and operator of Waterman Welding & Machining, along with his wife Sandra. They are also one of the event sponsors.

Ken has been welding for 35+ years. He started welding while working at the Oil Refinery in 1982. Then worked in the Aero Space field fabricating tooling used for aircraft. In the 1990’s, he started working at Waterman Welding. While there he fabricated boats, docks, frames and more.

In 2015, Ken and Sandra purchased the business and continue to fabricate and manufacture products for various companies and individuals such as: aluminum river boat frames, boats, dry boxes, beaver boards, river toilets, coffee pots, mugs, tables, trailers, boat docks, ramps. He also works with other metals building items like: truck flatbeds, brackets for home construction, stairs, handrails, stainless steel countertops, patio furniture, and makes metal repairs of all types. Machining and lathe work is another one of Ken's talents. If you are thinking of a metal project, Ken can help you with the design and make your dream a reality.

Ken's welding demonstration will take place in Zone 9 from 11-12pm. Then, from 1-2pm he will be presenting The Fabulous Tools (and equipment) of Fabrication Tour and Demonstration throughout his shop. The rest of the day, Ken will be teaching Welding 101 in one hour sessions, limit two people per session. Come take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to learn or improve your welding skills. Register now!

Mark Hendersen

My introduction to metal work came in high school welding class. I was fascinated with the process of melting metal and sticking two pieces together. After high school my first real job was in a foundry making molds and filling them with molten iron. I loved the work even though it was hot and dirty. Later I got a job in a steel mill and stayed most of my life, I was hooked on the fire and process of working in the heat. During that time I also started tinkering with a welder and torch, making things for cars and other stuff. I didn’t know anything about forging but I could weld and heat and bend and file and usually make whatever I was working on work. Then I read an article about blacksmithing and the light came on this is what I wanted to do. After the steel mill closed, I thought to myself, now there's no reason I can’t be a blacksmith. I had an old Readers Digest book that showed how to make a forge out of a brake drum so I set out with my welder to cobble together a forge. The first time I succeeded in getting metal hot and hitting it with a hammer I knew this was what I had been missing. I researched everything I could find about forging then I would run out to the shop and try to make it work. One of the best things I did was find a local blacksmithing group and join. I went to all the meetings and workshops learning everything I could, then I would rush home and fire up the forge trying to put to use what I had learned. After more than twenty years I still love every single hammer blow and how it moves the metal into a beautiful or useful form.

Cindy Chinn

Artist Cindy Chinn, AKA the Saw Lady,

Internationally known Artist from Chester, NE.

I love to create- it’s my life. I’ve worked as an artist forever and have done everything from animating video games to painting giant murals. I’ve designed slot machines and micro carved pencils. The list goes on! But after all these years of working in so many mediums, I seemed to have found my niche creating metal art. I am an Artist first and a Welder second and my varied background is what makes me different from a lot of other Metal Artists. Having that diverse background and experience allows me create unique designs …and love the challenges of turning old rusty tools into Folk-art.

It all started in 2005 when I bought a torch and found 12 saws at a yard sale ...16 years and 4000 saws later, I have developed a unique way of telling stories for my collectors around the world. My hand cut designs have been featured in several publications and TV specials, including a documentary on NET/PBS earlier this year.

Cindy will be teaching 30 minute, one-on-one class sessions throughout the day Saturday using a Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Air. Registrants are welcome to watch and ask questions but the real learning happens when you get your hands dirty cutting out a saw blade of your own. Register now for this unique opportunity.

John Blankman

Ben Warth

Ben hails from La Verkin, UT. He was fortunate to apprentice under a skilled armorer for several years. In his demonstration, Ben will be crafting an articulating joint for an elbow. Building plate armor is a labor of love that requires patience and persistance. Come see his demonstration and complete set of armour!

Ben's demonstration will take place throughout the day, as armour making is a long process.

Trent Denison

Trent Denison lives in Cedar City Utah with his wife, 6 horses, 3 rabbits, 2 pigs, and lots of chickens. He grew up watching his engineer/handy-man father fix and repair everything. As an adult, Trent’s curiosity about how things work and DIY spirit continues. As such, he has amassed a large collection of tools over the years, including everything a shade-tree mechanic would need to rebuild an engine, an assortment of wood working tools, welders and plasma cutters and a forge and anvil for blacksmithing. Although blacksmithing is more of a hobby for Trent, he considers it an essential skill for any DIYer. His wife, Dannon, loves feathers, so while she was taking a nap, he decided to pound out a metal feather for her. Having never done this, he watched a few YouTube videos and combined a few techniques learned there to forge this feather, modeled after a turkey wing feather.