Dan Petersen, Ph D Board Member
I started my knifemaking career in 1978 when I first moved to Montana after graduate school. I began making knives using the stock removal method, but by 1982 I was forging blades exclusively. Several years later I attended the first ABS Wyoming Hammer-In and met the founders of the ABS. To say I was impressed is an understatement. I became a Journeyman Smith in1986 after serving the then required 3 years as an apprentice. In 1989, I completed all requirements for the Master Smith ranking. I have to say that I was greatly impressed by Bagwell, Hastings, and Moran in my early years. Still, as a bladesmith and mentor it was Don Hastings who helped me the most.
In my other life I am associate dean, professor and researcher at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. I hold a doctorate in psychology and I have spent the last couple of decades as a consultant, researcher, and trainer in the field of crime victim services. I believe that history as a researcher has definitely impacted my bladesmithing and resulted in a mild obsession related to metallurgy and the heat treatment of carbon steels.
I think one of the biggest impacts I may have had in knifemaking was to pitch the concept of having cutting competitions to a few of ABS board members and other bladesmiths back in the 1990s. I then competed in the first cutting competition held at the ABS Moran School of Bladesmithing in Old Washington, Arkansas. Bladesmithing is an avocation and something that is etched in my heart and mind.