The Naylor Forge Story
My career in the Army spanned 32 years with 25 years of service in the Special Forces Regiment. My journey as an Artist Blacksmith began in earnest in the spring of 2002 upon my return from the invasion of Afghanistan when I met Charlie Ochs, a Master Blade Smith from Largo, Florida. He offered me my first blacksmith lesson and I was immediately hooked. Since this time, I have progressed in the trade and have become an advocate for the Artist Blacksmith, offering up this forging art & trade as a diversion from the daily grind of training or combat, and as a means of occupational therapy for soldiers and veterans in every unit I have served in since acquiring the passion for all things forged, especially knives.
Now that I am retired from the Army and working in the private sector, I still partner with Veteran Artist Black Smiths and other professional Blacksmiths around the country, to use this trade as a means of occupational therapy for Veterans, active or retired. I have not met a blacksmith to date that was not excited and willing to teach me and others who were interested in this art. As long as I am able, I intend to do the same.
The various style of cutting implements that I make are obviously influenced by the types of knives I carried and used growing up hunting and fishing in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas; the Master Blade Smiths that were my early mentors, Charlie Ochs, Al Pendray, and Journeyman Smith, the late COL (R) Perry Elder, and with the many soldiers I have served with around the world during combat deployments that are knife and blacksmith aficionados. Each has had an influence on the style and manner of cutting tools that come out of my shop. Each tool that comes out of my Blacksmith Shop is a labor of love. My hope is that you will find each item a functional piece of art that last a lifetime and can be passed down from generation to generation.
Americans love their knives especially those made by hand for use in combat or for hunting. I have learned that there is nothing more satisfying for a serving soldier, veteran, or hunter than using a quality handmade knife or any other rugged cutting tool.
The American Soldier is forged in the warrior tradition for combat with the final heat treat in the "Crucible of Combat". Cold Steel & the Edged weapon is the best illustration for a Warrior. "Nous Defions", "De Oppresso Liber"