The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades is offering the following courses beginning on Friday, February 14.

•Introduction to Bladesmithing
•Intermediate Bladesmithing

These introductory classes provide 80 hours of instruction over four weekends. The classes are instructed by Master Bladesmith and Arkansas Living Treasure, J.R. Cook.

Class Dates/Times:
Fridays: February 14, February 28, and March 6 (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
Saturdays: February 15, February 29, and March 7 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
Sundays: February 16, March 1, and March 8 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

The classes cover beginning bladesmithing using both hand forging and modern techniques. Students will learn the skills necessary to make a blade through metal selection, proper forging of metal, blade design, hand forging to shape, normalizing, and grinding. Students will also be trained to heat treat, temper, properly edge, test, prepare a guard, and properly hand finish a knife. Students completing the courses should forge two finished blades.

For more information or to enroll, call 870-722-8109 or visit