Michael and Gabriel Bell, the father-son swordsmithing duo of Dragonfly Mountain were interviewed live on All Business Media FM February 1st, 2018. Catch the archive recording at the link below:
Marcus Ranum, who attended our Basic Forging Course last October, shared his experience as a student at Tomboyama through a day-by-day journal of the class.
His descriptions and photos provide an excellent peek at the 5-day swordsmithing processes taught at Dragonfly Forge to transform a section of wire rope into a wakizashi, a Japanese-style short sword. He also touches upon the frustrations and triumphs of learning completely new skills. Marcus also shares the secret to swordsmithing: hard work.
Thank you Marcus for documenting your time with us and sharing it.
Tomboyama is proud to announce that it’s very own assistant swordsmithing instructor, Gabriel Bell, will be competing in the upcoming season finale of History Channel’s hit show Forged in Fire. Forged in Fire Season 3 Episode 16 will air on Tuesday, February 14th 7pm EST on History Channel. The episode titled “Redemption” will be Gabriel’s second appearance on the show.
Forged in Fire has been a hit show for History Channel and continues to set viewership records. Its popularity got it renewed for a fourth season and is great indicator of the growing enthusiasm in the techniques and traditions of swordsmithing.
We invite our dear alumni, friends and family to tune in and join us as we cheer him on. If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, Gabriel is hosting a live episode viewing party that night (Februrary 14th) at Shut Up And Eat restaurant on SE Gladstone. Food and Drinks are available. And yes, kids are welcome! Best of luck Gabe!
Our radio segment on the Jefferson Exchange, March 8th, 2016, with Geoffrey Riley is available for listening on the JPR website.
An alumnus of our dojo wrote about his experience here in 2015 during a Basic Forging Course.
“The course is not easy per se, but it’s deeply satisfying. I’d even say it was meditative. You’re able to comfortably lose yourself in the task at hand, while also earning a deeper appreciation of just how much time a steady hand takes to develop. At the end of the course, you have a living blade that you yourself have shaped and created, and a wealth of knowledge. It’s a beginner’s level course, but you leave empowered and equipped to return home and continue your education via honing your skills until you can return to Coos Bay for the next class.”
One can read the whole entry on his blog, The Parlous Professional
“Hidden on a hillside along the Coquille River, not far from Bandon, world renowned craftsman and Dragonfly Forge founder Michael Bell practices an art more than a thousand years old: Japanese sword making.”
A few months ago an alumna of our school, Chrissy, wrote an entry in her blog about her attendance at Dragonfly Forge’s swordsmithing school. She had contacted us inquiring about auditing the Basic Forging Course, as she was an author seeking firsthand experience in the process of forging a sword. Although she attended the school in 2007, prior to the construction of the current larger dojo, her description of experience is very kind and complete.“Several years ago, when I was writing the first draft of Forging the Blade, I realized that I needed to learn something about making swords. Duh! In Chapter XIV, which is about the major arcana card, Temperance, a goddess (who bears a remarkable resemblance to Brigid) forges a magic sword for Molly, the main character. She uses Molly’s blood to bind her to the blade. As the sword is forged, Molly is also forged into a warrior. I figured that forging a blade would be a perfect metaphor for Temperance. This is a key chapter in the book, and to make it work, the reader must totally believe in the drama of a piece of steel and a teenage girl being forged into sentient, magical weapons. The Internet couldn’t give me the information I needed to write a believable chapter. It is an amazing tool for gathering bits and pieces and finding out where to get more, but it couldn’t tell me what a forge smells like, or how a furnace sounds, or how it feels to hammer a piece of steel into shape.”
Those who are interested can read about her experience can check out her blog entry ,“Truth or Fiction? or Yes, I’m Still Working with Temperance.”