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- Apr 19, 2014
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from Olympia, WA
- Mareko Maumasi was last seen:
- Sep 18, 2017
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- August 21
- Home Page:
- Olympia, WA
My name is Mareko Maumasi, I am a Bladesmith and the founder of Maumasi Fire Arts. I grew up next to the waters of the Puget Sound and have always loved the lush greenery that defines Western Washington. One constant theme of my life has been creating art and working with my hands. When I was very young, I thrived when I was drawing, creating and building things, and as I got older I expanded into the realm of food and the culinary arts. In my early twenties, while I was working one of my many restaurant gigs, I met a man who would transform my life, Bob Kramer.
- Bladesmith/Founder of Maumasi Fire Arts
My apprenticeship with Bob was a life-changing experience. In the beginning, I knew nothing of the man or his reputation, but as time passed and the challenges of the work grew, so did the depth of my knowledge and understanding. I worked side-by-side with Bob learning the art and trade of Bladesmithing. It was a ground-up education, starting with simply sweeping the floors and drawing casting resin through brass tubing to produce the mosaic pins found in each of Bob’s knives. By the end of the 3 years we were collaborating to create the most intricate pattern-welded mosaic Damascus knives that had ever left his shop. He gave me an amazingly strong foundation to have as a jumping-off point for my career.
In February of 2012, I made a rash move to Denver, CO. I had ideas about getting back into the food side of things, and thought Denver was the spot for it. It wasn’t very long before I felt I needed to go back to knife making – for the first time in my entire life I had found fulfilling work that gave me a greater sense of purpose and I was missing it tremendously. Denver was the wrong direction, so I moved back to gorgeous, green Washington to start Maumasi Fire Arts.
I began working on my first IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for my own shop, and in the interim, was given the fantastic opportunity by Journeyman David Lisch to build knives out of his school (when it wasn’t being used, of course). Working in the shop next to Dave was a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge and comradery while being able to follow my passion. From Dave I learned how to forge out a blade and I shared with him my new Maumasi Western handle design that I was premiering in my IndieGoGo campaign. We swapped grinds and stories for about a year until the campaign was completed and I began putting together the new Maumasi Fire Arts Studio.
I’m now well settled into my studio and have been spending time bringing designs to life that had previously just been pages in my notebook, traveling around the country to learn from other makers (like the amazing Master Smiths Bill Burke and Steve Culver) and even filming a TV show: Forged in Fire on the History Channel!
What does the future of Maumasi Fire Arts look like? My dream is to build a cooperative space that is open to anyone who is willing to work in a safe and respectful manner. It will be a space where all can have access to the tools and specialized equipment that are required to create their art and where everyone involved will have the opportunity to be both teacher and student. We all bring our individual lives and experiences to the table, which means everyone has something of value to share. It is my mission to inspire and to be inspired by hand-made meaningful objects that intrinsically embody a history, nostalgia and priceless sentimentality.