I am a fifth-generation Montanan, raised in Lincoln, Montana just outside the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Living in Lincoln I was able to enjoy hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, camping, motorcycles, and sports. My younger sister Sarah and I were raised in a small log house that my parents built almost entirely by themselves.
At age 11, I met Rick Dunkerley when he coached my Little League baseball team. Rick was making hunting knives and had just started learning to forge his own Damascus. For Christmas in 1992, my parents gave me a Dunkerley knife, hand-forged from chainsaw chain. During Christmas break, Rick invited me to his shop to learn about the process of making a knife. That February I joined the American Bladesmith Society as an apprentice, and throughout the next couple of years I worked on improving my knives as Rick continued to fit me into his busy schedule.
At the time I had a lawn-mowing business in which my Mom, Lisa, drove me to my different jobs. I used the money earned from lawn mowing, and working in my parents’ excavation business, to pay for the knife-making equipment I needed for my shop.
In June of 1996, I passed the Journeyman test in Atlanta, becoming the youngest Journeyman Smith in the American Bladesmith Society at the age of 15. I continued refining my work throughout high school, making time between homework, sports, and work. In June of 2000 I passed the A.B.S. Master Smith test, becoming the youngest to do so at the age of 19.
I have four amazing children, Demi, Sadie, Hank, and Macey. I am also married to a beautiful woman, Jessica. We live on 21 acres in Frenchtown, Montana where my shop is. My wife is a school teaching in Missoula. She also teaches fitness classes each morning at a gym.
My kids are all heavily involved in sports. They play basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, football, and run track. I coach our youth tackle football team as well my daughters AAU basketball team. It’s very busy but we love it!
My full time job as a Journeyman lineman for NorthWestern Energy. We serve most of western Montana with power and natural gas. My job varies each day from setting power poles, working in bucket trucks, climbing poles, or operating backhoes.