Bridgetown Forge in Video
Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge discusses proper ergonomics at the forge. (Corvin Blacke youtube)
Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge shows us some of the handcrafted knives that he has produced in his blacksmith shop, and talks about their unique characteristics. (Food Farmer Earth – A Modern Blacksmith Making Ancient Japanese Culinary Knives)
Helmed by Siberian-born, martial-arts-practicing world traveler Arnon Kartmazov (trained by masters in Israel…and Japan!), Bridgetown Forge hammers out — and will also teach you to make — custom tools, sculpture, and sharp-as-hell knives with a signature organic chunkiness meant to “take something ordinary and make it extraordinary”…but through fire and might, not a preceding submodifier. (Thrillist, Bridgetown Forge Portland, OR )
From the History Channel’s FORGED IN FIRE, Season 1, Episode 4. For this episode’s challenge the competitors create their signature blade by using the Hada technique—a traditional process that involves forging multiple layers of steel together. Arnon competes with other smiths to forge a Katar. Please click here to watch this video.
A student of mine has forged this knife at one of the Bridgetown Forge knife classes, and is testing it in the kitchen. The steel is 1095, differentially hardened. The style of the knife is Santoku, double bevel, with a Japanese grind. The class is 2.5 days long, has no prerequisites, and can accommodate 9 students at a time.
Hand Crafting Chef’s Knives with Blacksmith Arnon Kartmazov: Portland, Oregon blacksmith Arnon Kartmazov crafts chef’s knives. Kartmazov was trained in Israel and Japan. His multicultural experience influences the way he forges his metal work. (OPB Video)
Using a 40kg pneumatic air hammer to forge a rose out of a 1 3/4″ square bar, and an 11″ long kiritsuke blade out of a 3/16″x 1 1/2″ bar of 1095 steel. Combination dies are used for rough forging. The rose is finished using a large pneumatic chisel, and the knife is finished by hand ( not shown). The hammer has enough power to forge down the 1 1/4″ square bar with ease, and enough control to forge the much thinner blade and tang.
This is a demo of a 150 lb Iron Kiss utility hammer and a quick-change die system I have installed. It takes under a minute to change the dies, about an hour and $10-$15 in materials to make a set. In the video, I make a forged element using a side-set, a flatter, and flat dies. Next, crown saddle dies are installed, and the piece in finished — first by fullering & drawing, next by forging the piece sideways. The hammer has fine control and plenty of power to forge the 7/8″ round bar with ease and accuracy. I use the hammer for making knives, cold chiseling and chasing, sculptural pieces, punching, and hammer-making.
This brief video shows Arnon and Nitzan forging a spike at Bridgetown Forge in Portland, Oregon.
Bridgetown Forge owner Arnon Kartmazov describes the development and manufacturing of massage and gentle Shonishin tools (teishin) for Blue Poppy. (Blue Poppy – Gentle Tools… for Massage)
KPTV Portland: Bridgetown Forge’s Arnon Kartmazov talks about his trade. Please click here to watch the video.
Arnon’s Process: A video shot in my shop by the talented Brad Curran, documenting the creation of two chef’s knives.
Very few caucasians have studied in Japan and learned ancient bladesmithing secrets from the masters. Murray Carter and Arnon Kartmazov are two such people, who have also settled in Portland, Oregon. Arnon and Murray have known each other since meeting in Japan in the 90’s, so a collaboration between the two was a natural fit. They worked together to develop a new cleaver design. Check out part 1 of the collaboration: The Clever Cleaver.
After much planning and collaborating, Murray and Arnon are pleased to subject the first prototype Clever Cleavers to some diverse and challenging testing. Watch as they cut the craziest combination of food and materials with the Clever Cleaver which passes all their tests with flying colors.
Watch how Portland, Oregon blacksmiths Arnon Kartmazov and Nitzan Lilie make a pair of tongs by striking.
Please click here to watch this video.
Bridgetown Forge in Print
You may have seen Bridgetown Forge’s double bit axe on TV in Grimm, but it’s the Japanese chef’s knives that are blacksmith Arnon Kartmazov’s real passion. And that’s exactly what you can learn to make yourself – with his help.
Portland’s Globetrotting Blacksmith
In the middle of boring midnight guard duty at an army mechanics shop, an 18-year-old Israeli soldier picked up a two-inch-thick hacksaw blade. He salvaged a handle from a gurney, and made unauthorized use of the shop’s blade grinder.
“I was the envy of the unit,” Arnon Kartmazov says 30 years later, as he reclines in his own workshop in North Portland. “You’re in the field, you need to cut a loaf of bread or a rope…
At his company Bridgetown Forge, his Portland Community College workshop class “Basic Smithing” is one of the most popular. It introduces students to skills he acquired over a lifetime of traveling, and explores the fundamentals of forging hot steel while crafting useful tools for around the home. Students begin with simple shapes and then develop abilities to create more complex objects.
Oregon Public Broadcasting:
Blacksmith Arnon Kartmazov Crafts Japanese-Style Chef’s Knives
When you enter Kartmazov’s shop, you see a variety of heavy industrial machines. All sorts of tools and steels hang on the walls. And you’re likely to hear the rhythmic pounding of machinery, the sounds of a knife being ground, or the striking of an anvil against piece of a steel. Sparks are flying and everything is covered with soot. And Kartmazov, an experienced blacksmith who has trained in Israel and Japan, is in the middle of it all.
Here is a link to an article outlining the making of an item I had a lot of fun developing: a Japanese-style hatchet — one of the most versatile tools I have ever made.
Helmed by Siberian-born, martial-arts-practicing world traveler Arnon Kartmazov (trained by masters in Israel…and Japan!), Bridgetown Forge hammers out — and’ll also teach you to make — custom tools, sculpture, and sharp-as-hell knives with a signature organic chunkiness meant to “take something ordinary and make it extraordinary”…but through fire and might, not a preceding submodifier.
Northwest Blacksmith Association
– Bridgetown Forge
Bridgetown Forge has been established by its owner and operator, Arnon Kartmazov. Arnon has spent 12 years in Japan, where he has apprenticed to a knife-maker, and then a sword-maker, prior to establishing his own smithy in the hills of Northen Kyoto. Arnon has arrived in Portland in 2000, and has been at the same location ever since. He counts Uri Hofi of Israel as one of his main teachers, as well as Ashli Hiroshi of Japan.
Meet Portland’s Master Bladesmiths
Originally from Siberia, Kartmazov’s family moved to Israel when he was young, where he entered his first smithing apprenticeship. Studies in linguistics took him to Japan, where he eventually gave up languages to pursue smithery, which he found more difficult but more satisfying.
Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge works all day on his feet. Like the traditional blacksmith of old, he forges steel, repeatedly pounding and pressing a heated steel mass with his might and swiftness into conforming shape. But one of those feet stands solidly in the modern ‘smithing’ world that relies less on physical might, and more on mental acuity and modern equipment to accomplish the same age-old goal: reshaping raw steel into a finished object of beauty and purpose, “form that follows function”.
You certainly can’t accuse Arnon Kartmazov of having led an ordinary life. Born in Russia, his parents immigrated to Israel when he was around eleven. As is normal in that besieged country, he did his mandatory military service with the Israeli army and saw combat in Lebanon. In his civilian life, he worked in a blacksmith shop, learning the trade of forging ornamental ironwork.
While the author was searching the net to find references about blacksmithing, he noticed an advertisement announcing the opening in 2009 of a blacksmithing school in Portland, Oregon. That is when he met Arnon, and the conversation he had at the time was so inspiring that he decided to have it published in EgoPHobia.
Get hold of the mighty Hand-Forged Nata Hatchet. This masterpiece is forged by Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge. Kartmazov is a highly skilled blacksmith who studied for a decade in Japan and in Israel under Uri Hofi. Kartmazov’s Nata is a traditional Japanese hatchet that carries a square blade, angled hickory handle, and is hand-forged from re-claimed 5160 Carbon Spring Steel (truck leaf suspension springs).