Meet The Maker #7: Jason Ellard from Tasmania
By Riley Burns 10/12/2019
Jason is one of the remarkable young makers in Australia right now, and one to watch for sure.
In the Creative Man team we have been keeping an eye on Jason's work over the last couple of years, and the skill level he is displaying is truly impressive. Check out that hammer for instance!
Below is his story:
My name's Jason Ellard, and I'm an 19 year old blacksmith from the South of Tasmania.
I've been smithing since I was 15, and if all goes according to plan will do for the rest of my life!
I've always been interested in crafts and I like to credit that to my dad, since he's a hobbyist woodworker I've been around manual crafts since I was a kid. I initially started out with stock removal knife making but soon got interested in the forging aspect.
I like to say that I'm a blacksmith because I don't limit myself to only making blades, and my first product that I actually started selling were hammers and blacksmithing tools.
When it comes to types of knives I make a bit of everything to help myself be a more well rounded maker, but I mainly specialise in kitchen knives. While I did start out with and still use monosteel often, I really prefer making Damascus and especially mosaic Damascus, since the patterns that you can come up with are only limited to your imagination, and it really let's my creativity flow.
When it comes to handle construction, once again I do a bit of everything but I mainly do hidden tangs and integral bolsters because it helps to show off the Damascus pattern. For most of my handles I use stabilised timbers, with a preference to using local Australian timbers but I would love to get into using some more exotic stuff like ivory and fossilised materials in the future.
I like to think that there is a piece of me in everything I make, because everything is different and always evolves through the making process.
I'm currently an apprentice member of the ABS, since one of my biggest, if not my biggest career goal is to eventually earn a mastersmith ranking. I'm still a long way away, but given the time to refine my skills as well as focusing on some new aspects of knifemaking that I'm not well versed in, I'm hopeful that I can reach my goal.
Even though respectively I haven't been a blacksmith for very long, I've been enjoying seeing this craft become more popular recently, so this gives me faith that it will get the proper recognition that this craft really deserves.
To contact Jason, check out Ellard Blacksmithing on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ellardblacksmithing/