I’m a relentless searcher of Craigslist. Not necessarily looking for specific things – just browsing and seeing if anything sparks ideas and inspiration.
But I have been looking for a small kiln to play around with melting glass together with metal.
A promising listing showed old, dusty equipment in a dim lighting. A few kilns with blurry pictures. It had all the signs of a great deal in the making. Or a complete waste of time.
Details were available by telephone only. “No emails. Posting on behalf of a friend. Call and ask for Roger.” A gruff voice answered. A man of few words. A guy who makes knives. With a couple of friends. Google Maps showed an isolated, heavily wooded site. It sounded a bit sketchy but…cheap kilns. Really cheap kilns.
I left my husband with information about where I was going and made sure the “Find My Friends” app on his phone worked, in case I disappeared and was never heard from again.
A long peaceful drive took me to a woodsy property with old trailers, rustic barns, sheds draped with tarps and two dogs vigorously sounding the alarm. A little off-putting but I had a good feeling about the place.
I stepped out of the car and slowly made friends with the dogs, who were just doing their jobs, after all. Certainly anyone nearby knew there was a visitor!
To make a long story shorter, it was a fantastic visit!
Roger Green is an expert knife-maker, building his own Damascus steel to make knife blades, or cutting blanks from old sawmill blades. He partners with other artists for the handles.
When a process is tricky due to tool limitations, he crafts his own tools. Roger created custom molds for the brass finger guards, then developed unique finishing techniques.
His shop is a wonderland of old machinery and equipment, acquired over years from many odd situations.
Over two hours later, I’d learned a lot about knives, tested and purchased a tiny dental kiln, and been gifted some scrap metal left over from Roger’s knife-making.
Even more valuable than the kiln? The reminder to be undaunted. To be open. To welcome new people and perspectives into this glorious adventure..
May your 2024 be full of opportunities – and may you welcome them with an open heart.