IMG 8868One of the goals with the shop expansion has been to host guest instructors, so that Jason and other fellow smiths can learn advanced techniques from some of the best knifemakers.

Knowing Master Smith Nick Rossi would be visiting from Maine as the featured instructor at the upcoming Midwest Knifemakers Hammer-in in Mankato this past August, it was perfect timing to invite Rossi to visit Northstar Forge. As part of the stop, Rossi kindly obliged to teach Jason and five other smiths how to make his friction folder as part of a two-day class Aug. 20-21, 2023.

“It was really awesome to have my first guest instructor – of any title, let alone a Master Smith and let alone Nick Rossi – a super cool individual and a really, really good teacher,” Jason said.

As an instructor, Rossi provided very positive and encouraging hands-on instruction, while navigating his way around the shop to each of the student smiths.

81adc683 5095 454e aebe 4daf6b9d2b08 e1695664023324“I learned a lot of really cool techniques and strategies in knifemaking,” Jason said.

It was definitely a good test run on utilizing the newly expanded shop as well and to be reassured it has everything to accommodate such a class.

IMG 8196 Jason also really enjoyed being a student, rather than an instructor in his own shop for a change.

“It was really great to be a guest in my own shop and have somebody else take the wheel,” he said. “It went really well . . . a moment I’ll cherish forever.”

It was also great realizing just how many amenities there are to accommodate guests in this little historic downtown of Carver – from the Airbnb that was walking distance from the shop where Rossi stayed, to the local pizza joint that delivered lunch for the group.

Future guest instructors 

Keep an eye out for future classes with other guest instructors, including a longer class with Master Smith Josh Fisher that will hopefully be coming up next spring. This would be a more advanced build for experienced knifemakers that will likely run 4-5 days and require prerequisites.

“That will be fun bringing him up here from Texas,” Jason said. “Josh Fisher is a very good, very patient teacher. I had the pleasure of taking a class with him at my buddy Luke’s shop in Pennsylvania, so I’m looking forward to learning more from him and upping my game, as well as anybody else who wants to take that class.”

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