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Feb 11, 2020
Wednesday, Jun 16 - 3:33 AM
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT5NZ489V2U&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3u-3cPPOqlRC-qQ81haf3DwAUP-vxBbq_f6ZdUySp_Qbj8WM1ToNGIUew

Training Tuesdays - James Black School of Bladesmithing & Historic Trades

Training Tuesday

Each month, we will focus on a few areas of the industry training and community education options we offer.  This month's first #TrainingTuesday is focused on the historic art and trade of bladesmithing.

Our Community Education department at UAHT, located inside of Hempstead Hall, is proud to offer options for non-credit classes at the newly formed James Black School of Bladesmith & Historic Trades.


The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades celebrates, preserves, and promotes the art of bladesmithing and historic trades, and the birth of the iconic Bowie Knife in Historic Washington. Students at the school will study the art and science of Bladesmithing, Forging, Handles and Guards, Damascus Steel, and more.

The James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades is unique in the University of Arkansas System, and reflects the same quality and commitment to excellence in student learning that is the centerpiece of the missions of both the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana and the University of Arkansas System. Become a part of a campus where history, art, and skill are celebrated and preserved.


ACT 818 of 2019 designated Washington, Arkansas as the “Birthplace of the Bowie Knife, Arkansas Heritage Site” and designated the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana to develop and operate a school of Bladesmithing located in Washington Arkansas. The purpose is to promote and protect the art of Bladesmithing and the Bowie Knife crafted in Historic Washington. UAHT will work collaboratively with Historic Washington State Park and the Arkansas Department of Heritage to teach and celebrate Arkansas’s history, bladesmithing, and other heritage trades. The school is located at Historical Washington State Park 601 Lawrence Street Washington, AR.


In 1831, James Black crafted the original Bowie knife in Washington, Arkansas, located in Hempstead County. The result was that Washington, Arkansas, and James Black became almost immediately famous for producing what is now recognized as Arkansas’s most famous blade and the National American Blade. In fact, the Arkansas General Assembly just passed, and Governor Asa Hutchinson recently signed Act 510 which formally designated the Bowie knife as the official knife of the State of Arkansas. Bladesmithing is the art of making blades for knives, swords and daggers by using a forge, hammer, anvil and other smithing tools. A bladesmith uses various metalworking techniques similar to those used by blacksmiths. Blacksmithing refers to the art or process of shaping and forging metal with the use of heat and tools. Blacksmiths not only made iron horseshoes, but they also forged and repaired weapons, tools, nails, screws, fences, and a variety of other items as well.

Program Goal

Promote and protect the art of Bladesmithing and the Bowie Knife in relation to its special history with Historic Washington, Arkansas.

Program Objectives

  1. Highlight the local historic character of the art of bladesmithing and its early origins related to the birth of the Bowie Knife along with other historic trades.
  2. Create an educational experience that will infuse the unique southwest Arkansas heritage and culture with both historical and modern practices.
  3. Honor the regions unique connection to the art of bladesmithing and other historic heritage trades by offering students credit and non-credit educational opportunities to learn the craft of Bladesmithing.

Class Size Maximum: 8

The James Black School is located at Historic Washington State Park, 601 Lawrence Street, Washington, Arkansas.

Please enjoy a few pictures from our Grand Opening Celebration that was held on January 17, 2020.

For more information on Non-Credit Enrollment in the James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades, please contact: Akili Moses Israel, Director of Industry Outreach & Community Education This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 870.722.8102

Application for Non-Credit Bladesmithing Classes


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