Upshur County Bladesmith Recognized For Work - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/25/04-Longview

Upshur County Bladesmith Recognized For Work

An Upshur County man is making a name for himself in the ancient art of making knives.  Bailey Bradshaw is a bladesmith.  He takes a raw piece of steel and turns it into a work of art in the form of a knife or sword.

"I take that same bar of steel and forge it in the traditional method in the shape I want it and then grind it," Bradshaw says.

He works on demand and that sometimes takes some extensive research. One of his pieces is modeled on the original Bowie Knife #1. The knife which now sits in the Arkansas Historic Museum, looks nothing like Hollywood depicts it. He works with a hammer and anvil.  If he had one wrong hit, its just a piece of worthless metal; The right one, and it's a work of art.

"Knives are so intertwined with our culture, all the way from using them in the kitchen to the battlefields throughout history.  That variety creates a fascination," says Bradshaw.

His pieces have sold for up to $4,000. Every detail is carefully chosen, including real mastodon ivory for knife handles.

He now teaches two of his children the art and one day hopes that people will look back and say they own an original Bradshaw creation.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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