I grew up next to the waters of the Puget Sound and have always loved the lush greenery that defines Western Washington. One constant theme of my life has been creating art and working with my hands. When I was very young, I thrived when I was drawing, creating and building things, and as I got older I expanded into the realm of food. In my early twenties, while I was working one of my many restaurant gigs, I met a man who would transform my life, Bob Kramer.
My apprenticeship with Bob was a life-changing experience. In the beginning, I knew nothing of the man or his reputation, but as time passed and the challenges of the work grew, so did the depth of my knowledge and understanding. I worked side-by-side with Bob learning the art and trade of Bladesmithing. It was a ground-up education, starting with simply sweeping the floors and drawing casting resin through brass tubing to produce the mosaic pins found in each of Bob’s knives. By the end of 3 years I had learned how to execute all the basic skills of blade grinding, handle construction and sculpting, and the art of forging pattern-welded damascus at an incredibly high level. He gave me an amazingly strong foundation to have as a jumping-off point for my career.
In February of 2012, I made a rash move to Denver, CO. I had ideas about getting back into the food side of things, and thought Denver was the spot for it. However, it wasn’t very long before I felt I needed to go back to knife making – for the first time in my entire life I had found fulfilling work that had given me a greater sense of purpose and I was missing it tremendously. Denver was the wrong direction, so I moved back to gorgeous, green Washington to start Maumasi Fire Arts.
I began working on my first IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for my own shop, and in the interim, was given the fantastic opportunity by Journeyman David Lisch to build knives out of his school (when it wasn’t being used, of course). Working in the shop next to Dave was an opportunity to share knowledge and camaraderie while being able to follow my passion. From Dave I learned how to forge out a blade and I shared with him my new Maumasi Western handle design that I was premiering in my IndieGoGo campaign. We swapped grinds and stories for about a year until the campaign was completed and I began putting together the new Maumasi Fire Arts Studio in Tumwater, WA.
While in Tumwater, I began spending time bringing designs to life that had previously just been pages in my notebook, traveling around the country to learn from other makers (like the amazing Master Smiths Bill Burke, Michael Quesenberry and Steve Culver) and even did a couple stints on Forged in Fire on the History Channel! (Season 1, Episode 7 & Season 4, Episode 1).
In 2017, I was given the opportunity to join Dragon’s Breath Forge, so in July my wife and I made the decision to move across the country. We packed up the shop, our home and our baby boy and drove 3000 miles to a new adventure. Dragon’s Breath Forge has allowed me to be one step closer to a cooperative work space. Here, I have begun teaching classes (check our offerings here: Dragon’s Breath Forge Classroom), learned first-hand how to create meteorite wootz, and shared invaluable experiences with my fellow shop-mates.
What does the future of Maumasi Fire Arts look like? My dream is to build a non-profit cooperative work space that is geared toward an education in metal arts, that is open to anyone who is willing to work in a safe and respectful manner. It will be a space where all can have access to the tools and specialized equipment that are required to create their art and where everyone involved will have the opportunity to be both teacher and student. We all bring our individual lives and experiences to the table, which means everyone has something of value to share. It is my mission to inspire and to be inspired by hand-making meaningful objects that intrinsically embody a history, nostalgia and priceless sentimentality.
Peter started blacksmithing in 1991 after he built his very first forge in his parents’ backyard. In the years that followed, Peter worked for a while with Andrew Leck (Scottish Lion) in Round Pond, Maine and was mentored by Peter Brown (Iron and Silk Gallery) in Edgecomb, Maine, and Mudd Sharrigan of Wiscasset, Maine. During this time, he founded his first company, Dragon’s Breath Forge, which specialized in small ironwork and exotic weaponry. In 1999 Peter brought his business to CT, and set up shop in Oakville, though the shop has since moved to a more spacious and well-lighted location in Wolcott.
Peter is one of few modern smiths that works in a material called wootz, also called crucible steel. Making wootz is a multi-stage process, the end result of which is a durable, hardenable steel that displays a fine grain structure when polished. His wootz has found its way into kitchen knives, swords, axes, and all manner of other devices, and is sometimes even sold to other smiths in bar form for use in their projects!
Peter is an animal lover and avid gardener, and lives in Hawaii with his wife and daughter.
“Forge Rule #1 – don’t f#*% it up!”Visit Website
I began my journey into metalwork with blacksmithing, and over the past 15 years I have turned my eye towards many different techniques and many different materials. I have experience with forging, welding, casting, chasing & repoussé, raising, jeweler’s bench skills, as well as traditional Japanese metalworking techniques including carving, inlay, and uchidashi. All of these techniques bring unique working qualities to an amazing medium.