Profile

First Name: Jean
Surname: Wilke
KGSA Number:
Member Type: VOTING MEMBERS
Craft:
Telephone: +27 61 371 6132
Email: jean@fire-goby-forge.co.za
Web Site: http://www.fire-goby-forge.co.za/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FireGobyForge/
Instagram:
Does Courses: Yes
Course Info: I do blade smiting courses from my workshop "Fire Goby Forge" in Pretoria
The goal of the course is to make a Harry Wolhuter Lion killer knife from 5160 carbon steel.
I have 2 versions of the course:
- A 2-day full time version
- A 4 to 5 sessions, Friday evening version
I will be offering more courses in 2021.


Profile: My road to KGSA... The story of my journey to become a guild member at the age of 18years, 2 months.
“As Chairman, congratulations and welcome to the guild.” These words meant that I have achieved my most important goal to date.
My road as knifemaker started with the reality show “Forged in Fire”.
For my 14th birthday I went for a 1-day smithing course. The first moment I took that red-hot piece of steel out of the forge, the universe sighed: “another soul has found his calling…” I thank God for the talent He gave me.
As a 15year old, I spent 2 weeks at Heavin Forge on the ABS course. Here the idea to become the youngest person ever to join KGSA crystalized into a firm goal.
The next year-and-a-half was a search for perfection. And slowly my skill improved. Early December 2019, I designed the first three knives I believed was good enough. My goal for the December holiday was to complete them. Numerous phone calls to Kevin and re-do’s of small things, was the sum of that December holiday.
By mid January I had 2 knives I was confident in and one chef knife I was not certain of. I went to Stuart Smith for a first evaluation… The man is tough, but he saw no large issues and he suggested I make an appointment with the Harveys.
The week leading up to the trip, I completed the cut & bend knife. So we invaded Belfast, with smiling faces and nervous hearts. First was the cut & bend test. It was one of the happiest moments of my life when I passed that. See a video on https://www.facebook.com/FireGobyForge/videos/306943134006530/
Short-lived was my relief as the 2 master smiths took my knives for inspection. There was good and bad news. 2 of the knives were OK but the chef knife was a re-do! So I had 2 knives done, but 2 to go. I went to Stuart and used this press to make the Damascus I required. NOW, I am a 17-year old white Afrikaans male from South Africa, “en ek bang fokol!” so I went with a 50mm diameter hollow grind.
Slow and steady an AMAZING dagger emerged. After months of work, I had 5 knives I hoped would pass the KGSA evaluation. I WAS READY!!! We had a final trip to the Harveys planned…. AND THEN…. COVID-19 lockdown!!!! There I was, a 17year old, with 5 KGSA submission knives and I could not get my knives to the guild.
AND SO, my 18th birthday passed… and me missing the 17year old guild member goal I had chased for so long. FINALLY, at long last Level 3 came and I got the knives to Kevin & Heather and Stuart for letters and FINALLY off to Mr. John Arnold to submit my knives!
ALAS dear friends, Covid-19 was not done with me yet. The judges had a hard time getting together, so I was expecting a looonggg wait.
About three weeks later my phone rang. It was John Arnold.. THEY HAD JUDGED MY KNIVES AND THEY WERE GOOD ENOUGH!! I am not able to describe my emotions. I think the Afrikaans slang saying of “fokken uitspattig!” is the closest I can come. 10minutes later Kevin phoned… “As Chairman, congratulations and welcome to the guild!"

KGSA Submission Set
My KGSA submission set consists of:
- Chef knife
* 1070
- Dagger
* 1070 & 75Ni8
- Bowie
* O1
- Hunter
* 52100