...smelting his own iron and steel for over twenty years.
...collecting and smelting his own copper and silver ore for more than ten years.
Ray is one of less than one hundred and fifty Master Smiths registered worldwide by the American Bladesmith society. The American Bladesmith Society is the accepted worldwide standard for forging excellence. Queen Elizabeth's armorer, James Jackson, came to the United States in 2001 to test for the coveted American Bladesmith Master stamp. Both Mr. Jackson and Ray Rybar were successful that year.
In order to successfully participate in this workshop your overall forging skills must be intermediate-in other words, you are able to make a taper without making banana; you should have a minimum of 30 hours of instructional forging. This should not the first time you've hit hot metal! This class is not suitable to first starting (first time) blacksmiths. You must have basic forging skills established in order to take this class. Consider taking a forging class with Pieh Tool first. (or other school; practicing via YouTube or other video or apprentice is great.)
The point is you must have your basic forging skills and terminology down. We are not able to teach this at the knifemaking class. If you do sign up, and disregarded this point, and are clearly struggling we may opt to dismiss you; or in the rare instance depending on the circumstances we may permit you to remain but you will essentially be on your own. We are sorry, there are no refunds for dismissed or drop out students. Eligible students who sign up deserve the instruction promised so they can finish their knife. This is not possible when we have an aspiring inexperienced smith needing attention. It is a waste of your money and can cause unneeded stress. So please consider this before signing up.