Keeping Up With Mark


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.

His Tabar-Shishpar was also featured in the History Channels, Top 5 Axes: Here, or watch him on Forged in Fires: TOP 27 EPIC KILL TESTS: Here.

Forged in Fire still image

In the fall, Mark takes a break to guide big game animals, like this caribou and moose float hunt with Alaska Skookum Guides.

Mark recently gave a Fairbanks Mastodon landmark a new home.

“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.

Click to read more at the Daily News-Miner

Mark’s expertise and knowledge of the materials used in custom knife making led him to co-author “On the origin of khutu”, an article in the journal Archives of Natural History, published by Edinburgh University Press.

Click to read the article.

When he’s not making knives, Mark is an avid fly fisherman. You can follow his adventures on his quest to catch each of Alaska’s game fish with his own fly patterns at his blog, Alaska Fly Tyer.