This started out as a platform for James (aka as Jim amongst friends) Austin’s research, work and documentation on axe-making, with the purpose of disseminating knowledge on rediscovering historical ways of forging axes. Since then James has moved more in the direction of making and forging traditional steels for historical tools, and ForgedAxes.com is his platform for sharing his knowledge and work.

About James Austin

James was born in 1957 and grew up in Washington State and California.  After receiving an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley he moved to Germany to pursue his true ambition as a craftsman.  In the scenic village of Diessen in Upper Bavaria, James served a traditional three-year apprenticeship under a master blacksmith.  This study in artistic metalworking rested on the centuries-old skills of hand forging and many other decorative techniques.  James’ experience ranged from the restoration of antique decorative ironwork to contemporary metal design.  Upon completion of his apprenticeship in 1985 he graduated as a distinguished journeyman in the guild of blacksmiths.  James then continued his study of artistic metalsmithing in Europe for three more years, working in Germany, northern Italy and England, and spent a year with a master woodworker doing historical building restoration.  In 1988 James returned to the U.S.A. with a large collection of traditional German tools, antique ironwork, and historical reference material with which to pursue his craft.  He currently lives and works in Oakland, and devotes time to both artistic blacksmithing and historical education.