Junior criminal justice major Thomas Miller will light up his forge “Hammer & Quill” to teach a new batch of apprentices on Feb. 20 at the Makerspace of Greenville, where pupils of the class will create knives from railroad spikes and absorb knowledge about metalwork.
Thomas Miller said he has been a blacksmith for three years and his forge resides at the Makerspace of Greenville, located at 102 Staton Court, suite E. Mentored under The History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” champion Stephen Bryan, Miller said he began learning the art for his senior project in high school.
Miller taught the Makerspace’s first two blacksmithing classes, both held on Feb. 6, and will teach the upcoming class on Feb. 20, and more classes are scheduled for March. Experience as an Eagle Scout helped Miller teach the class, he said. The first two classes went well, Miller said, and people were taught step-by-step how to create knives from railroad spikes.
“I love this craft so much just because it’s so versatile, and you can make just about anything you need, and so I’m going to switch it up, and we're going to switch it around a couple times. This upcoming month of classes were going to be doing railroad spikes, but they’re going to be made into oyster knives,” Miller said.
Darby George said he and his wife Tara George co-founded the Makerspace. Darby George said the Makerspace provides tools and workspace, at the cost of membership, for people who may not be able to afford the space or tools for their creative needs.
As the business continues to grow, Darby George said he will continue to invest in more tools and supplies. Currently, he said the Makerspace has a full woodshop, metalworking tools, sewing machines, vinyl cutters, 3D printers and a laser cutter and engraver.
“One of the first areas we really wanted to grow in was blacksmithing classes, and actually just about a month ago we were approached by a blacksmith who was looking for a place to keep his equipment and actually be able to teach classes from, so we did our first classes last Saturday (Feb. 6), and they sold out really fast, it was really cool,” Darby George said.
Bill Kitzerow, a lifelong woodworker and patron of the Makerspace, said long-time members of the Makerspace are always ready to help and contribute to one another’s projects, and the Makerspace adheres to social distancing guidelines.
While he was not present for the Feb. 6 Blacksmithing class, Kitzerow said Miller does some “really amazing work” and that Miller is a part of a group of talented people at Makerspace. Kitzerow said he participated as a teacher in one of Makerspace's earlier woodworking classes. He said the Makerspace is meant to be a social, fun place.
“I always say If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. And if you’re not having fun, just don’t do it. It’s a very social environment that we’ve created. And of course, being in the times we’re in we do practice social distancing,” Kitzerow said.