About Me « Jonas Blade & Metalworks |

About Me

Zack Jonas, Owner and Founder

My Artist’s Statement…

I stole my mom’s paring knife when I was 10 and hid it under the sofa in the basement.

I never cut anything with it, just took it out and admired it from time to time. If I’m honest, ten-year-old me felt empowered by the sensation of it in my hand. I’m really honest, I still do. It has never been about the power to do violence with a blade—although I do think it’s important for me as a maker to respect that potential—but there is just something about knives that I find compelling.

Think about it. Every culture in the world has used knives since long before recorded history, and they are useful in nearly every sphere of human endeavor. You’ve probably used one at least once already today. Knives are simply a feature of our existence in the world we inhabit.

As a bladesmith, I get to explore the balance of form and function through the endless variety of mankind’s oldest and most useful tool. My craft pushes me every day to learn more and work harder. The immediacy of the work is a daily thrill as I see beautiful, useful objects take shape in my hands.

– Zack Jonas

A little bit of my story…

 

I was born and raised in Massachusetts in the 1980’s and I am still a New Englander today. I’ve always loved art, practicing one form or another since my first lesson thirty years ago. High school was no exception to my artistic practice, but I also discovered a passion for learning that would eventually lead me into my first bladesmithing class.

I studied philosophy in college, then took a desk job in Boston after graduation. Browsing the internet one day, I happened across the site of a custom knife dealer and was totally captivated; it had never occurred to me that knives could be made by hand, let alone that they could be an artistic pursuit. The idea ticked so many boxes for me; knives? Check. Art? Check. Fire? Check. Curiosity? Double-check.

In a major stroke of good fortune, it turned out that MASSArt offered an introductory bladesmithing class right there in Boston. I ended up taking that class back-to-back for eight consecutive terms. The teacher, ABS Master Smith JD Smith, recognized my passion and invited me to become his apprentice. I accepted gladly and worked closely with him for about three years. Toward the end of my apprenticeship I also traveled around the country learning from other teachers. My most valuable lesson from that adventure was that everyone has some insight worth learning, and it remains a central feature of my philosophy to seek out knowledge wherever I can find it.

I had a big year in 2012. I got married, moved to New Hampshire, earned my ABS Journeyman Smith ranking, and broke ground on my new workshop. Shortly after the new shop was completed, my wife and I began opening our doors to an international cast of instructors and students in widely varied metalworking techniques, and this has become a really central part of my identity as a maker and as a member of the metalworking community.

I am a full time bladesmith now. I’m incredibly fortunate to have found my calling. It’s not the easy road, but it sure does make me happy.

Learn about the process

Come take a peek behind the curtains and learn a little bit about the work that goes into my knives.

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About Zack Jonas

I won’t bore you with my whole life story, but if you would like to know a little more about me, here’s the abridged version.

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