Blacksmith Brock Martin ’10 has yet to make his coolest thing…or has he? Martin was a recent contestant on the History Channel’s hit show “Forged in Fire.” His episode was part of Season 4 and aired in May. Martin advanced to the final round before finishing in second place. The show pits four bladesmiths against each other, making various blades and weapons in timed elimination rounds until a panel of judges declares a winner.
An entrepreneurship major, Martin applied for the show and found out he was selected this past spring. A self-described “bad procrastinator,” Martin said it was tough competing under a clock, but making weapons is right up his alley. “I really enjoy making weapons,” he said. “I do all kinds of blacksmithing and decorative iron, but I mostly make historical and fantasy weapons.”
Martin started blacksmithing about 10 years ago. Growing up, he was always interested in it, but didn’t think it was a practical skill. It wasn’t until he came to WCU and began working with others at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro that he realized blacksmithing was something he could do for a career. Now a full-time blacksmith in Hickory, he often returns to the Green Energy Park to teach and inspire a new generation of blacksmiths. “What I enjoy most about blacksmithing is your ability to improvise,” Martin said. “You can make anything and you can work around a lot of things. It’s just such a versatile craft. I think that’s what draws me to it most.”
Martin’s episode of “Forged in Fire” can be seen at www.history.com/shows/forged-in-fire/season-4/episode-6.