Heavin Forge 2022 March Intro Course

April 1st, 2022|0 Comments

After lockdown, it was a wonderful surprise for us at Heavin Forge, Bladesmithing Studio and School in Belfast, South Africa, to have a full class of six keen students.

We began on Saturday before the course officially started on Monday, 7 March 2022. Two of our students came from overseas. Our assistant instructor, Jean Wilke, ABS Apprentice Smith, and fellow Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa member kindly collected them from the airport in Johannesburg. His family took them to spend the night with his grandfather on his farm halfway to our forge. They were treated to all the favorite South African dishes and given a farm tour where they saw a few antelope.

Anetta Ameryk is from Poland and aims to become Poland’s first ABS Mastersmith. Martin Cooper is from San Francisco, California, and the other four students are from South Africa. They met for the first time on Sunday evening with a traditional South African “braai” – barbeque.

Anetta stayed in our separate “Ladysmith Suite” while the guys shared the Golden Mole Conservancy Guest House, a large house next door to us that we recently bought for our student’s accommodation.

Although we follow the ABS guideline for the two-week Introduction to Bladesmithing course, we add quite a few extras as our classes are small. The students stay on the property, and we have the luxury of working out of our studio. We allowed the students to work in the studio on Saturdays.

We spent most evenings giving lectures while we braaied and socialized. Days in the studio started early and finished at 5:30 pm with an hour for lunch. Our stores are only one mile away, and because our town is so tiny, even our local butcher got to know each student by name!

The student’s confidence grew with each new knife forged, ground, and heat-treated. One the final Friday, after their written test, they nervously plunged into their mock-up performance test. We only had one student break his knife, and the others bent beautifully and sprung back almost straight. We handed out their well-earned certificates while they used their bent knives to cut juicy watermelon wedges!

Their braai ended early as our students went to bed early as we were up at 3 am for the 3 hour trip to the Kruger National Park for a day visit. We were fortunate and saw elephants, rhino, African wild dog, Cape buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, zebra, impala, hippo, warthog, wildebeest, and a host of beautiful birds.

Most of our students stayed on for the Handles, Fittings, and Sheaths class the following week. This was followed by three days during the last week for the Introduction to Damascus Course.

We all got together to visit a local tourist town, Dullstroom, only 20 miles away, for lunch and to attend the stunning flying demonstration at their birds of prey center. Our students bought craft beer from “Anvil Ale” […]

Heavin Forge Announces 2022 Classes

December 29th, 2021|0 Comments

January 2022
January 6-9, Special Project, Advanced Chef knife (fully booked)
January 26-30, Full House
March 2022
March 7-18, ABS Intro to Bladesmithing (fully booked)
March 21-25, Handles, Fittings and Sheaths (fully booked)March 28-30, Intro to Damascus (fully booked)
April 2022
April 8-10, Basic Bladesmithing
April 22- May 1, Full House
May 2022
May 12-15, Special Project, Bowie Build
May 25-29, Full House
June 2022
June 10-12, Basic Bladesmithing
June 22-26, Full House
August 2022
August 8-19, ABS Intro to Bladesmithing
August 22-26, Handles, Fittings, and Sheaths
September 2022
September 9-11, Basic Bladesmithing
September 21-25, Full House
October 2022
October 7-9, Basic Bladesmithing
October 26-30, Full House
November 2022
November 7-18, ABS Intro to Bladesmithing (5 spaces available)
November 25-27, Basic Bladesmithing
December 2022
December 7-11, Full House
December 14-18, Special Project, Dagger Build (fully booked)

For more information visit The Heavin Forge Website

Call Heather +27 82 442 4840 or Kevin + 27 72 902 9359

For information on class schedules, tuition, and accommodations please contact Kevin and Heather Harvey at email [email protected]


Heavin Forge School in Belfast, South Africa offers American Bladesmith Society approved Bladesmithing classes. Master Smiths Kevin and Heather Harvey operate the school and are the instructors for the classes.

Heavin (Heather and Kevin) have a combined experience of close to 50 years in knifemaking and blacksmithing. We have completed intensive courses with the American Bladesmith Society in Arkansas U.S.A dealing with Bladesmithing and Damascus steel making.  We both have our Master Bladesmith rating with the A.B.S and Kevin has been a member of the Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa since 1991 and Heather a member since 2003.  We are both accredited instructors with the American Bladesmith Society.

Heavin Forge is located on a smallholding on the fringe of Belfast in the Eastern highlands of South Africa. Belfast is one of the coldest and highest towns in South Africa. The airport in Johannesburg is about a two hour drive and a shuttle bus runs five times a day from the airport to Belfast. The route from Johannesburg is main interstate highway all the way.

Kevin and Heather Harvey describe the region as: “scenic” with many touristy things to do within close driving distance. Our small town of 6,000 has all the main amenities such as grocery stores, fast food, pubs, banks, doctors etc. but no mall and no traffic lights! Between our town and the famous Kruger National Park (about 3 hours east of us) is the Panorama Route which takes in some spectacular scenery on the escarpment with waterfalls, indigenous forests and old gold mining towns. The Kruger Park is a must for every visitor.”

ABS Apprentice Smiths are reminded that taking the approved ABS Introduction to Bladesmithing Class shortens the pre-Journeyman Smith jury wait time requirements from 3 years to 2 years.