“If it weren’t for Bill Moran, the namesake of this school, there wouldn’t be an American Bladesmith Society, there wouldn’t be modern Damascus steel, there probably wouldn’t be a TV show called Forged in Fire. The art of bladesmithing would have been lost. It’s impossible to give him too much credit.”

–B.R. Hughes, founding member of the American Bladesmith Society

Since 1988, the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing has offered world-class training in beginning bladesmithing, Damascus steel, handles and guards, advanced grinding, and more. Thousands of bladesmiths, including a number of master smiths and journeyman smiths, got their start right here at our bladesmithing school. In fact, the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing was the world’s first bladesmithing school of its kind.

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Students may register for any of the classes listed by mailing in an application with your check for the total amount of tuition. If the specific class you want is filled, you will be notified as soon as possible. Classes are filled on a first come, first-registered basis. Refund requests must be received 3 weeks prior to the first day of class. Requests may be in writing or you may call us.  Contact TC Community & Business Education at 903-823-3270 or continuing.ed@texarkanacollege.edu.



This is the ultimate online training that gives you everything you need to get started as a bladesmith. Our course includes an introductory class and hands-on work for anyone interested in making quality hand-forged blades. With HD video, downloadable resources, interactive components, and self-assessments, you’ll learn the steps to forging, grinding, heat treating, and finishing your first blade. While you’ll need some tools and equipment to start working on your knife, you can access your course material and learn about techniques and vocabulary from the comfort of your couch, bed, local cafe… you name it! If you have a laptop, an Internet connection, and the basic equipment we recommend in our course, you can delve into bladesmithing online in your own time, at your own pace.  Read more at Learn Bladesmithing.com.



This 2-week course is designed for anyone interested in making quality hand-forged blades and includes lecture and hands-on work. Metal selection, function, and different blade designs will be discussed. Hammer forging to shape, annealing, heat treating, grinding, and tempering will be taught. These semi-finished blades will be tested for their cutting ability, edge holding, hardness and flexibility. Most participants should be able to make a blade that is capable of passing the American Bladesmith Society Journeyman test for cutting and bending by the end of this course.


This course is designed for anyone interested in learning to forge knives.  Emphasis will be on the Brute-De Forge style blade.  Hand forging to shape, grinding, heat treating and had finishing will be covered.  This is a hands-on course that will be taught by Master Smith Joe Keeslar, author of Handles and Guards.  All material will be furnished and students should leave with a finished Brute-De-Forge style knife.


Basic patterns will be included in this detailed study of Damascus. Attention will also be given to pattern variations, pattern manipulation, etc. By the completion of this course a student is expected to be able to consistently produce Damascus blades of excellent quality in a variety of patterns. As a prerequisite, participants should have completed Introduction to Bladesmithing at Texarkana College or reached the level of Journeyman Smith.


The Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing is one of the few places in the world where people can train in the art of making knives. “There is a sort of romance to the art of forging,” said B. R. Hughes, former Dean of Students at Texarkana College and a founder of the American Bladesmith Society (ABS). Through an established program, bladesmiths at the school are certified at Journeyman and Master Bladesmith levels. Over the years, the school, which is run in connection with Texarkana College, has drawn students from Australia, England, France, and South Africa, as well as from most of the states that make up the  U.S. The instructors include world-class bladesmiths sanctioned by the ABS.


Includes detailed information on handles, both the full-tang and narrow tang, guards, butt caps, decorative file work, spiral dagger handles, silver inlay work, finished blades, etc. Students will be instructed on how to make a professional looking knife. Participants are expected to possess the skill and knowledge necessary to forge and grind blades before taking this course. Students should bring finished blades to class.


This class will involve the use of 52100 and 5160 round bar to produce knives of integral construction.  The course will cover the use of power equipment as well as basic forging techniques needed to produce the integral. Both hidden tang and full tang construction will be introduced to students, depending on skill level, and will have the opportunity to make one of each.  All phases of knife making will include basic forging to waxing the blade when finished.


This is a week-long course in folding knives with Master Smith Steve Dunn.  This course will include all aspects of the folding knife.  Materials will be furnished and students should be able to have a completed folding knife in their pocket at the end of the week.  This is a rare opportunity so don’t miss out.  The course is limited to six students.

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Have questions about a class or accommodations?

Contact Amanda Davis, TC Community & Business Education, Administrative Assistant at


Recent Bladesmithing news


American Bladesmith Society honors former Texarkana College employees

By Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing, Community, News, Press Releases

Dr. Carl “Cheesie” Nelson, Texarkana College President from 1975-2001, and James Powell, former TC Dean of Workforce, Associate Dean of Continuing Education and Director of Communication Services, were inducted into the American Bladesmith Society Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday, August 6, 2016, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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