Jean Wilke

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Good day name is Jean Wilke and knife making is in my blood!

I am the first scholar to be admitted into both the Cape Knifemaker’s Guild and the Knifemaker’s Guild of Southern Africa. I have been a full-time knifemaker since December 2020 (the day after finishing matric) and enjoying every moment of it. Below is my story…

I started making knives in May 2016, on my 14th birthday, after watching the first episode of the first season of Forged in Fire. I did a ½ day blacksmith course with Dennis Kriel in Pretoria. More courses with Ettienne Vorster and Neels van den Berg followed.

January 2018, as a wide-eyed 15year old, I did my 2-week ABS Introduction to BladeSmithing with Kevin & Heather Harvey, and this kicked my career into high gear. This was followed by evenings, weekends, and holidays in my own, rapidly evolving shop, where my skills were honed. Hard work, wonderful opportunities, and more blessings that I can ever deserve brought me to where I am today.

As for the future…

I hope to travel to the USA and obtain my ABS Journeyman rating in July, but for that I will need EVEN more blessings, hard work and good luck.