A chef for 17 years, and a blacksmith for 6. Joel has been head chef in a number of restaurants in the UK (mostly Bristol), as well as working in kitchens in France.
After a cycle trip which took him to India, Joel decided to change his life and undertake a Ba Hons Degree in Artist Blacksmithing, to get to know everything he could about forging the perfect chef's knife.
He now lives that dream, working full time in the forge in Hereford, creating hand made custom blades for chefs all over the world.
Award winning craft artist, writer, lecturer, as well as part time chef - Holland taught on the only degree in Artist Blacksmithing in the world, and helps in the day-to-day running of the business as well as finishing and handling the knives.
Whilst completing a MA in Contemporary Craft, Holland met Joel in a commercial kitchen, and has been working with him creatively ever since. Together they also run the Secret Underground Dumpling Club and other pop up food/art projects where a lot of the knives are given their first road test.
Our forge is set in Moors Meadow Gardens in rural Herefordshire, (Collington, Bromyard, to be precise). Our landlady Ros Bissel curates an amazing garden full of unusual species of plant life. We're very grateful and respectful of our environment and we hope our guests will be too. Often Ros will donate some of the wood from her garden to our handle making supplies, helping us to really invest in locality, provenance and integrity - some of our key motivations for any projects we undertake.
The forge has two gas furnaces, a traditional coke forge, a welding bay, plenty of grinders, polishers, enough whetstones to sink a small boat, plasma cutter, and acid etching area. If you visit you might see our resident MA student, Jack, sweating away over his projects in a corner, or the friendly biscuit and polishing compound consuming rat who lives nearby (we think it might be Jack, actually).