Keeping Up With Mark
FORGED IN FIRE
Mark was the winning contestant on Forged in Fire: Tabar-Shishpar Home Forge Challenge (Season 4, Episode 20, 2017), History Channel. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, it’s still available on YouTube. Also, catch the bonus clip: Click here.
“We’ve known Debbie for a long time,” Mark Knapp said, adding that the family wanted to move the mastodon so they could sell the house. Knapp is a master craftsman who won The History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” competition in 2017. “We do a lot of things with mammoth ivory. We restore mammoth tusks. We sell a lot of old things in our store. It seemed like a good place for it.”
You can read the full article here: Fairbanks mastodon migrates to new home
Mark was tested for and awarded his American Bladesmith Society
Journeyman Smith Certification in June of 2016.
The Rasmuson Foundation awarded 10 Individual Artist Awards in 2015 and Mark was one of the recipients.
Rasmuson Foundation honors the merit and significance of a life dedicated to serious artistic exploration and growth. The Foundation believes that the artist’s energy, ideas, and creative drive cannot bear fruit without periods of time devoted to experimentation, education, and personal reflection. They also acknowledge that the artists need opportunities to explore at various stages of their artistic careers. Ten artists were awarded $18,000. This award was for mid-career or mature artists to focus their energy and attention for a one-year period on developing their creative work.
Mark received the grant from the Rasmuson Foundation to explore the folk and traditional art skill with other blade makers from Fairbanks and across the state. From the August 22, 2015 Fairbank Daily News-Miner:
An ancient form of bladesmithing is alive and thriving because of a small group of Alaska artisans.
The art form is the labor-intensive creation of high-quality steel, called tamahagane, used in the Japanese tradition of sword making. The word translates loosely as “precious metal” or “precious steel,” with the “precious” probably referring to how it’s made. It is no easy task and is a time-consuming effort, requiring at times round-the-clock work.
Mark and Angel Knapp of Fairbanks, owners of the knife making and outdoors business The Cutting Edge, are the two responsible for bringing the metal-making event to Fairbanks. The Knapps received an $18,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation to explore the folk and traditional art skill with other blade makers from Fairbanks and across the state who joined in the days-long event.