Aug 14, 2017
Allen Rozon is a blacksmith who works out of Montreal
Canada. Since initial exposure to blacksmithing through time
spent learning the basics from Uri Hofi in New York
state, Allen Rozon, was on a quest to spend time with highly
respected teachers within the metal arts community. An early
friendship formed that would guide many of Allen’s steps taken
over the years. Taro Asano, aka Fusataro, visited Canada
early in his career as a licensed master sword smith
from Japan. On that first visit, the two met
at THAK Ironworks during his demonstration. An immediate
kinship developed between Taro and Allen, which deepened over the
years and eventually spawned Tamahagane Arts, swordsmithing
classes that draw from Fusataro’s formal apprenticeship and his 24
previous generations of swordsmiths.
What We Talked About
- Allen explains his business, Iron Den and how it is part of a
nonprofit organization and physical shop called Les Forges de
Montreal. This organization started 16 years ago offering finically
accessible blacksmithing classes. Students can eventually
become members of the organization and then have access to the
forge at any time.
- Allen had artistic pursuits prior to blacksmithing, such as
sculpting and painting. Then he learned about blacksmithing and
took a two-week class with Uri Hofi and ended up staying and
learning with him for a month.
- He saw a demonstration of a swordsmith from Japan, Taro Asana,
in Canada and they quickly became friends. This led Allen to visit
Japan many times, visiting Taro and learning about the Japanese
apprenticeships for swordsmiths. Taro comes from the Kenifusa
swordsmithing family (24 generations of swordsmiths) and his
swordsmith name is “Fusataro”.
- Allen and Fusataro started to talk about teaching swordsmithing
classes in Canada, these talks continued for 2 to 3 years before
Fusataro agreed to try the concept. The reason Fusataro was
reluctant had to do with the Japanese tradition of apprenticeships
for swordsmithing, teaching the craft outside of Japan and the
apprenticeship structure is not really “allowed” or tolerated.
- Allen and Fusataro just recently offered a 10-day intensive
Tamahagane Tanto class. Students could pick what kind of sword they
wanted to make, choosing from 2 kilograms to 8 kilograms of
- We talk about the features of Tamahagane steel and how it is
made in Japan.
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