A Blazing BlacksmitHER – Kelly Potter

Blazing BlacksmitHERs are ladies that are forging their own path in blacksmithing and sharing their story.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” John Quincy Adams


Kelly Potter

Where in the world are you?

Dallas, Texas

How did you start blacksmithing? Did you take classes?

I was a jeweler and thought that was what I was going to be! I had moved back to Texas from Colorado and took a jewelry class at the local community college just for some studio time and directed projects when there was an announcement that there would be a blacksmithing class starting the next semester. I had just gotten over major illness and was about 40 pounds underweight, so I really didn’t think that anyone like me should be taking the blacksmithing class. I thought, “WHO does that…” But also thought it could help me be a better jeweler.

I really didn’t have a lot going on so I signed up for the semester class. I was absolutely terrible and didn’t know why people would make their own nails when Home Depot was down the street (especially at the rate I was hammering them out). BUT I noticed it made me happy and I loved using my own hands and getting dirty and wearing myself out making things.

I was introduced to another blacksmith through my teacher and I stopped by his shop after the class ended and worked out a trade; I’d teach him mokume gane if he let me kind of hang out and learn some more blacksmithing. Since then I’ve worked in various shops over the last few years and now actually work alongside my original teacher doing architectural blacksmithing.

Are you a beginner, hobby or professional blacksmith?

Professional blacksmith

What is your favorite blacksmithing technique? Even if you are beginner, what do you enjoy doing the most?

Of course, anything involving a power hammer. But I also enjoy making scrolls and anything that can challenge me to come up with a crazy jig or die. I really appreciate a well thought out jig, or series of jigs.

Do you have a favorite tool? What is it?

I have a few constant favorites: a favorite hammer, a favorite anvil at work. Right now I’m really excited about a starrett straight edge I have. I actually made my fiancé make me a special wooden box with a lock on it and felt lining to keep it safe… and a granite surface plate. Perhaps it’s the jeweler still in me, but any tool I can use to push myself towards more accuracy or consistency is what I’m into right now.

What is the worst thing about blacksmithing?

After a while burns are pretty much no big deal and the physical accidents that happen you get used to but the worst is probably just the way everyone looks at you when you try to go anywhere else after leaving the shop and you are dirty and usually have a hole or two in your work clothes.

Are you a member of a blacksmithing association? If so, which one? What does it do for you?

I was a member of North Texas Blacksmithing Association but haven’t kept up with my membership lately.

Kelly Potter's Quiver Kelly Potter's Railing Lantern by Kelly Potter





24 thoughts on “A Blazing BlacksmitHER – Kelly Potter

  1. Ok I just finished watching the episode where Kelly was dropped because her knife had slight turn on the tip. I usually agree with the judges decisions. NOT THIS TIME THEY WHERE SO WRONG. THE FIRST JOB OF A KNIFE IS TO CUT. KELLY YOUR KNIFE CUT. THE OTHER CONTESTANTS DID NOT. PERIOD. I CANNOT SEE ANY REASON WHY THE OTHER CONTESTANT MADE IT THROUGH. YOUR’S PUNCHED THROUGH THE BARREL. HIS PUNCHED THROUGH THE BARREL. YOUR’S CUT THE BAGS. HIS DID NOT. HIS DID NOT HAVE A TINY TURN ON THE TIP. SO WHAT IT DID NOT CUT. HAVE I MADE MYSELF PLAIN ENOUGH. I THINK YOU GOT ROBBED. If you have a contact email or number I will be glad to forward this to the forged in fire people. Thank you

    1. She lost that one because:
      1. The tip of her blade broke off during testing – and knives are used for puncturing just as much as cutting
      2. She didn’t have a finished knife – there was no handle

      The other guy whose knife didn’t cut had no structural issues, and it had a handle.

  2. Dear miss Kelly I was able to watch the show and get a feel for it from many aspects. I was very impressed with your work, you are very talented, whatever you do always hang your head high.

  3. Hi Kelly,

    I watched the episode where you said “I can do it” you bring out women power and swag there!
    Good luck and hope to see some of the jewelries you made too. 🙂

  4. Kelly do you do custom jobs? I watched you on Forged in Fire and would like to see about a knife from a woman blacksmith. I would like a Seax knife, I want it for a chopping knife but also like my ancestors might have carried. Don’t worry about the sheath because I am a leather smith, and also a jeweler too. If you can do this i will get into more specific about the knife.

  5. I can see why you’re a fan favorite on Forged in Fire. You combine the requisite skill with a charming and likeable personality. Keep it up and maybe we’ll all get lucky and they’ll bring you back to the show again.

  6. I write from Croatia and watched you on Forged in Fire on History Channel. Your skills and your personality are so amazing.

  7. Kelly, I jumped in the middle of this episode and I was cheering you on. I was saddened that you got cut. You definitely have a great talent and keep going. Don’t quit!! There is an.old saying and it goes like this: “Winners never quit and Quitters never win”! I know you are a winner and not a quitter. Each time you inch a little bit closer. I also love your voice. I could listen to you all day!How I wish I was younger because I think you are drop dead gorgeous. I know you hear that all the time. From what little I have heard, you have a wonderful personality. Keep reaching for that prize!

  8. Josh’s knife was dull. The judges fouled up on this decision. Besides, you were working with a coiled spring? I thought your idea for the leather wrap was brilliant. Nice job.

  9. Hi Kelly, we’re a huge fan of Forged In Fire and have seen you twice on the show. I just found out we have a common friend – Scott Mayborn in Dallas. Please come by and see us at Dimco Steel. You rock!!

  10. Love to see a girl get dirty and compete with anyone to be the best, look forward to seeing you on another show, love your smile.





  13. O man I just saw the show… I am excited to know you are close to me!?! I live 2 hours away. Given more time I am sure that you could have done a better handle. Have you ever made a katana?? idk how to get an email for you.. do you??

  14. I write from Spain. I have seen you twice in Forged in Fire. I think your job is great and I hope you to keep growing up in this difficult art. Regards.

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