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Kevin & Heather
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KEVIN HARVEY

American Bladesmiths Society Master Bladesmith.

Member: Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa

Founder Member: Southern African Bladesmiths Association

 
Quillion Kevin03

  My interest in knives began at the age of 12. I was introduced to the craft by my Grandfather who made knives as a hobby. The knifemaking bug bit me hard and I have never been able to give up the habit. Sounds like an addiction? It is! Knife lovers will understand and forgive me!

My knives are tested in the field as I enjoy camping, the outdoors, hunting and especially fly fishing. Africa is a tough place to test knives!

 Kevin at the shooting range

 I completed a diploma in mechanical engineering and worked in a dynamite factory serving my apprenticeship as a fitter-machinist. I was accepted as a member of the highly respected Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa in 1991. I am also a Master Bladesmith with the American Bladesmith Society and a founder member of the Southern African Bladesmiths Association.

  My full-time knife career began in 1996 at gold Reef City, (a re-creation of Johannesburg as a mining town 100 years ago). Here I met Heather, my wife, and we went on course together to the Bladesmithing School in Arkansas U.S.A in 1998 to learn bladesmithing and damascus steel making.

 
H Sidesaddle Kevin GRC

We both love fly fishing and decided to combine our workshops and move to the country. Here Heavin (Heather and Kevin) Forge in Belfast, only 2 hours east of Johannesburg, we can concentrate on making the most spectacular knives and have started a knifemaking school, presenting a variety of courses.

Kevin sparks

Dress Bowie6

 Highly collectable art-knives are my specialty. I make my own damascus steel and do both forged and stock removed blades. Africa offers some of the most beautiful handle materials in the world and I use hippo, warthog, indigenous hardwoods, leguaan skin, crocodile, barbel fish scull and any interesting horn or bone available. The knives I make are part of me, I love designing knives and reading every knife publication I can lay my hands on. Inspiration is everywhere! 

I do all my own engraving and embellishment.

Dress bowie close up2

  My knives are sold from our showroom at Heavin Forge and from www.BladeGallery.com. I attend foreign shows as well as our annual Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa show. Please look at my “Knife Gallery” to view a few of my favorite knives that I have made and sold. 

K Portrait

I designed two self-defense folders which have been put into production by Boker in Germany. They are the Boker Plus B@t-Man and Boker Plus Baby B@t.

B@T-MAN

Due to the lack of good quality anvils being available in South Africa, I designed my own, made the pattern myself and had a few cast.

Anvil mould

Kevin Facebook

 

handle materials

 

Val & H Bowie the Brilliant

HEATHER HARVEY

American Bladesmiths Society Master Bladesmith

Retired member: Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa

Founder Member: Southern African Bladesmiths Association

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 I always wanted to be a veterinarian but was always allergic to fur and feathers.  I was not allergic to horses and loved them, so at a very early age I decided to become a farrier, much to my mothers horror!    When I finished school I was already trimming my ponies feet and all my friend's horse's feet.  I had worked with a farrier part-time during weekends and school holidays since I was 15 years old but realized that I needed further training.  I went to the U.S.A and attended the Montana State University Horseshoeing School in 1983, qualified as a Certified Farrier with the American Farriers Association and returned home to start my own business at the tender age of 19. 
Redwing Jumping

After spending a few years shoeing 300 horses a month I developed a very bad allergy to horses.  Ironic.  I had to give up my career and then turned to blacksmithing, joining Gold Reef City, a working museum depicting Johannesburg 100 years ago as a gold rush town.  I mainly did decorative wrought-iron work until I tried my hand at making damascus in 1995.  I believe damascus to be the ultimate in the blacksmith's art and once I had made a few pieces, I was hooked, I wanted to do nothing else...... until I made my first knife in 1997!  I then had found the absolute best - making your own steel and forging a knife from it! While at Gold Reef City I also had the experience of working in their circus!

Circus 1Circus rats

Working at Gold Reef City was fun and I even got to rob the steam train on horseback occasionally! 

Robbing trainPower 3

There were no knifemakers forging knives in South Africa and no-one making traditional folded damascus.  I had no one to turn to for help so I decided to go to the American Bladesmith School in Old Washington, Arkansas to attend their Introduction to Bladesmithing and Damascus courses in 1998.  I was lucky enough to receive the Blade Magazine Scholarship for the Introduction course.  Kevin Harvey, my husband, attended the classes with me and we both came away enlightened and so enthusiastic about forging knives that we, together with Bertie Rietveld and Tom Nelson founded the Southern African Bladesmiths Association (S.A.B.A, pronounced sabre). 

 
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 I loved experimenting with different damascus patterns. I used to make knives from my own damascus and   I especially enjoyed making replicas of traditional African weapons and primitive knives.  I can no longer make knives as I have permanent injuries to both my hands. I can assist Kevin with instruction on the 2-week ABS course but the rest of my time is spent doing admin.

 Kevin and I helped to draw up a marking schedule to be used by the Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa's evaluation committee in order to allow forged knives to be recognized and for people to attain guild membership by submitting forged knives. In 2003 I was the first person to pass their Guild evaluation using forged blades.  Kevin and I both became Master Bladesmiths at the Blade Show in Atlanta, U.S.A in June 2003. I am the second lady Master Bladesmith in the world, (there are now four of us). Kevin and I were the first married couple Master Smiths (Haley and Adam DesRosiers are now the second) and the only two on the African Continent. 

 Russy - asleep in the hayLuxembourg

I used to have my license to fly hot-air balloons and got to take part in the 1993 World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Luxembourg as navigator for the ladies South African team.

ASSEGAIWhen the Lion Feeds

My African weapons that I have forged from damascus steel have been used on three book covers.

Book assegai2

 I am passionate about horses and have passed my Module 1 and 2 EQASA (Equestrian Qualifications Authority of Southern Africa) exams. I rehabilitate injured and young birds and love fly fishing.  Moving to Belfast and combining our workshops has been the most wonderful experience.  To leave the stress of city life for the tranquillity of country living has been the best decision we have ever made.  Our creativity and productivity have increased ten fold and having my horses with me all the time has made my life complete.  I'm sure even the horses are glad to be out of the city, the rides here are spectacularly beautiful.  Can you imagine..... after a hard days work at the forge, having to decide if you would like to go for a ride or pop down to one of 7 dams or the river for a spot of fly fishing??! 

 Heavin Forge truly is Heaven.

 

  

On a game drive
Tiger fish
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