Blacksmith Brock Martin has yet to make his coolest thing. Or has he?

Martin, a Western Carolina University alumnus, was a recent contestant on the History Channel’s hit show “Forged In Fire.” His episode is part of Season 4 and aired on Tuesday, May 9. Martin advanced to the final round before finishing in second place. You can click HERE to see the show.

Martin, who graduated in 2010 after majoring in entrepreneurship, applied and found out he was going to be a contestant about a year ago.

“It was a really cool opportunity,” the Hickory native said. “I had a lot of fun. I just cut up all the time on the set. I thought I’d be a lot more nervous going into it, but it was pretty second nature being under the pressure, under the gun all the time.”

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.

A self-described “bad procrastinator,” Martin said it was tough having to compete 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 said he 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 knew blacksmithing was something he wanted to do for a career.

He is currently a full-time blacksmith in Hickory, and 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.”

Be sure to check out Martin’s episode on “Forged In Fire” to see how he did.

Video by Samuel Wallace. Photos by Ashley Evans.