Jay Polk serves as the Treasurer for Adam’s Forge and is an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he works on advanced rocket propulsion. He built his first forge when he was about 14 and taught himself a few blacksmithing skills (to make knives, of course). He rediscovered his interest in blacksmithing in 2010, and got properly educated in classes at Adam’s Forge. He continues to be fascinated by sharp, pointy things and the fact that if you get metal hot enough, it becomes plastic and can be formed into many cool shapes.
Leonidas Moustakas is the Vice President of the Board. He’s an enthusiastic amateur blacksmith and a formally trained astrophysicist with a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He has held professional positions at Oxford University, at Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he is currently a Scientist. After moving to Los Angeles in 2005, Leonidas discovered Adam’s Forge in 2007 and forged ahead with Mark Aspery’s Mastering the Fundamentals five-day course which cemented his passion for blacksmithing. Leonidas is committed to Adam’s Forge’s mission to engage and serve the community through the ancient art of blacksmithing. Leonidas has served on the Board since 2010.
My children are my greatest achievement: Amy, a composer, Adam, a sculptor, Max, a not-for-profit theater executive, and Seth, a lawyer. Despite Adam’s suicide at 42, I remain thrilled to have known him. Even after he was stricken by what turned out to be a fatal illness, he was a vital, funny, unexpected mensch.
As for what else I’ve done, I am a writer of novels – my most recent Among the Survivors–, short stories, plays, poems, essays, reviews, advertising, indeed everything but screenplays. I’m also a brilliant marrier, first to H. David Leventhal and after his death to Jon O. Newman.
Heather McLarty is a true “woman of steel,” and has become one of the most renowned, respected, and sought-after artist blacksmiths in the country. After training as a theater technician in college, Heather McLarty got interested in steel art, and hasn’t stopped creating since. Over the past nearly 30 years, she’s transformed industrial materials into soulful sculpture using fire, anvil and hammers, mind, body, and heart. Heather’s work is featured at public parks, national art exhibitions, fine homes, and at Occidental College.
Scott “Zapp” Higgins is a former aerospace engineer that spends his free hours teaching blacksmithing and is skilled in metalworking, welding, leatherworking, and operating antique steam engines. Zapp is a CBA certified blacksmith and instructor. He volunteers as a blacksmith at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA.
Zapp has been teaching at Adam’s Forge since 2012. His favorite projects are metal art, bottle openers, letter openers, knives, key fobs, leaf amulets, magic wands, rustic cookware, and custom tools. Sign up for one of Zapp’s classes if you want to explore blacksmithing and metal.