The first time Aram struck hot steel was at a Discovery Day class at Adam’s Forge and that one hit changed the trajectory of his life.
Aram comes from a family of artists and since he was a child, has always loved working with his hands and had an affinity and respect for hand-made products created by craftspeople. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara in Film Studies and became a feature film editor.
While he enjoyed the creativity inherent in this work, he missed the satisfaction of using both his mind and his hands to create something tangible. And then he found Adam’s Forge. There he found an amazing community of people all with the same goal, to continue the long tradition of this art form and to bring this art form to the community at large.
He fell in love with the medium and took as many classes with as many different instructors as he could in order to glean knowledge and shape his own working style. He began teaching at Adam’s Forge, to give back to the community the joy he had found. He became the artist-in-residence at Adam’s Forge and continues to teach while working on his own projects.
Aram teaches both beginning classes, where he enjoys watching as people from all walks of life, from grade school kids to retired professionals, find the delight and satisfaction of creating something under the hammer, to more advanced classes, where people continue to hone their skills in this medium. He loves both the unique challenges presented by forging and the unique rewards earned by the smith as they overcome these challenges.
He finds great satisfaction in the way forging can result in hours of intense, meditative focus and the way working in this medium offers the opportunity to continue learning and is its own life-long pursuit.
He enjoys forging specialized tools in order to achieve desired results in his art as well as collaborating with other artists to forge tools to make their own art. He is particularly excited by creating tools that are both functional and beautiful works of art.
Reymundo jose-maria de la luz torres torrez lopez. Aka, chema and noafraidofdog
Occupations-store clerk, meatcutter of 24 yrs, horseshoer of 14 yrs, law enforcement of 13 yrs, retired.
Hobbies-black powder horn maker, pre 1840 fur trade era, re-enactor, indian powwows, competion muzzleloader, scratch builder of muzzleloaders, gun & silver engraver, movie extra, leather carver, American indian bead work, corn husk dolls, blacksmith demenstrator at rendezvous, renaissance fair’s and medieval, trout fishing. Playing with a bull whip after i catch my trout limit.
Amanda Kazarian, one of our most dedicated instructors, grew up in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. She attended the Art Institute of Orange County and graduated with a bachelor’s of science in interior design.
After graduation she assisted in set design and construction for AFI and USC student film and thesis projects and began working in entertainment. Prop fabrication and scenic art were skills she obtained while working for various theme parks, stage shows, and independent fabrication shops.
She began attending Adams Forge and attended courses there for several years. Simultaneously, she attended silversmithing and jewelry making classics at UCLA extension. It was during her time learning about metals that she developed a passion for working with it as a medium for her art and design.
She and our instructor Will Opdyke run a blacksmithing business in Pomona. Her knowledge of design, fabrication, and art are incorporated into her work. With nature and organic form, she hopes provide lasting inspiration to her clients through her pieces.
Becky has been involved with blacksmithing at Adam’s Forge since 2013. Becky teaches classes, participates in demonstrations, and is on the Executive Board in the role of Secretary. She particularly likes teaching what she calls “choose your own adventure” type classes where she teaches techniques for a given project and students then have the choice to choose and/or develop their own designs. Her class line-up includes the ever popular Magic Wands and Egg Spoon classes. She also teaches basic blacksmithing tooling such as the Hot Cut Chisel class, and is always working on new class ideas!
Becky has long had a passion for traditional arts and blacksmithing in particular, and was introduced to the craft by her grandfather, who ran an antique shop specializing in early American wrought iron lighting fixtures and kitchen utensils. She likely has the largest collection of antique Betty lamps outside of a museum.
Becky has a dual BA in Economics and Asian Studies from Tulane University and a MA in International Economics/Japan Studies from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her professional career includes working at The Long Term Credit Bank of Japan and Merrill Lynch Securities, where she was Vice President of Credit Risk Management and was responsible for managing risk related to derivative trades with Japanese banks and securities companies. Becky lived in Japan for 10 years and has travelled extensively around Asia.
Becky is actively involved in her community. In addition to her work with Adam’s Forge, Becky volunteers as one of the resident summer blacksmiths in Yosemite National Park, serves on the Endowment Committee of Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, and is a leader in her local Scouts BSA troop. Becky is actively involved in providing oversight to Adam’s Forge and is committed to ensuring the organization is stable, healthy and successful.
I started blacksmithing in 1995 while volunteering to restore the Santa Susanna Railroad Depot. They needed custom brackets for tool displays and I was able to forge them. I have also recreated historical items for Strathern Park, Reyes Adobe, and the Leonis Adobe Museum.
Now, I regularly demonstrate blacksmithing at the Chatsworth Historical Society and the Los Encinos State Historical Park. I also teach blacksmithing at the Stagecoach Inn Museum and the Adam Leventhal Memorial Blacksmithing School and Museum (Adam’s Forge). Teaching at Adam’s Forge since 2004, I created our interpretation of the California Blacksmith Association Level 1 and 2 programs and continue to teach the Level 2 classes. I also teach knife making and about a dozen other classes ranging from Skull Necklaces for Halloween to Horse Shoe Hearts for Valentine’s Day.
The excitement I see in the audience and students when I show and teach the art of blacksmithing is inspiring. To create art from red hot metal seems impossible, but once they see it can be done, they want to explore their ability and express their artistic nature.