HEAVIN FORGE INFO
Heavin (Heather and Kevin) is the name we use on our joint project knives. Home of multi-award winning bladesmiths, Kevin and Heather Harvey.
Heavin Forge is the name of our Knifemaking Studio and School. We hand make high quality collectors knives and swords and make our own damascus (folded and laminated) steel. Bladesmithing courses are offered and damascus wedding bands are also lovingly crafted here.
Kevin Harvey, a mechanical engineer has been making knives since the age of 12. He has been a full time knifemaker since 1996 and had his shop in Gold Reef City, Johannesburg. Kevin is a member of the Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa and a Master Bladesmith with the American Bladesmith Society.
Heather Harvey (nee Shoebotham) qualified as a Certified Farrier and blacksmith in 1983 after attending Montana State University in the U.S.A. This made her South Africa’s first qualified female farrier, blacksmith and later bladesmith. She also had her blacksmith shop and museum at Gold Reef City, where she met Kevin in 1996.
She is also a retired member of the Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa and a Master Bladesmith with the American Bladesmith Society, (the second lady Master in the world, there are now four lady Mastersmiths).
Heather has been making damascus steel since 1995 and she learned to make knives from Kevin. The two of them went to the U.S.A in 1998 to the only Bladesmithing School in the world to attend courses on bladesmithing (forging of knives) and damascus steel making. Years later the two of them have elevated their craft to such a level that they have instructed a few times at the Bladesmithing School in the U.S.A. Their bladesmithing school in Belfast, South Africa has been approved by the ABS to offer their Introduction to Bladesmithing, two-week course, the second school outside of the U.S.A to do so, the other one is in Belgium.
Both are lovers of fly fishing, 4 x 4’ing and horse riding, and the cool climate of the high altitude country atmosphere of Belfast make this the ideal place to have their smithy due to the hot nature of their work.
Heavin Forge is a fascinating place where you can visit by appointment to see their studio, visit their showroom where you can buy one of their edged-investments or browse through their collection of traditional African weapons and antique blacksmithing tools.
Kevin and Heather do not accept custom orders, preferring to make knives by their own inspiration and putting it up for sale once it is completed.
Kevin specializes in high-art, collector’s knives and Heather loved forging traditional, historical damascus knives. They used to do collaborations, Heather making the damascus steel and forging the blade shape with Kevin grinding, embellishing and finishing the knife/ tomahawk/ assegai/sword, etc. They also work closely with a jeweller, Marli Blignaut, who lines their damascus steel rings with precious metals. Kevin does all his own engraving.
Both Kevin and Heather have won numerous awards locally and in the U.S.A with their knives.
For the serious knife-lover there are various knifemaking courses you can attend, staying in their Bunkhouse. Courses normally last three to five days.
Heather and Kevin passed their Master Bladesmithing Test at the Atlanta Blade Show in the U.S.A in June 2003. Five of their knives were submitted to a panel of evaluators. One forged Damascus blade was tested to destruction by surviving a 90-degree bend after performing other cutting feats! They exhibit at the Blade Show in Atlanta, U.S.A when thay can as well as the annual Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa’s Exhibition.
Heavin Forge is situated on a tranquil plot at 68 Lizana Magagula St, Belfast, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Look out for the Heavin Forge sign and the spotted pickup truck, which matches “Damascus” their Dalmatian! Visit by appointment only please.