About Will Manning
“I grew up outside. And I spent lots of time in my dad’s wood shop. I remember straightening bent nails while he crafted greenwood Windsor chairs for our dining table. Between his hard work and my mother's avid gardening, a love for nature, independence and frugality were hallmarks within the household of my youth.
After studying environmental science at Florida State University, I worked in a metal shop where my interest in hard materials, like most passions, took hold suddenly. After I redirected my studies to Savannah College of Art and Design, I served as the resident blacksmith at Mission San Luis, a National Historic Landmark in Tallahassee, Florida.
This is when the knives happened and it started with the love of my life... an amazing woman who loves food. Nearly a decade ago, she brought me into her colorful culinary world and together we dove into growing as many varieties of tomatoes as we could, brewing beer & baking bread. Unintentionally, we were growing and creating most of what we consumed.
As a blacksmith, making tools for everyday use was my job and I began forging and grinding knives. Bringing my work from the shop to the kitchen for the ultimate tests, I was making as many knives as I could and learning from what seemed like just as many failures.
As of January 2018 Heartwood Forge has relocated to beautiful East Tennessee, situated on Main Street in Jonesborough - the oldest town in the state - just miles from the Appalachian trail, where Georgia black mutts, Daisy and Jack, keep us company.”
About Heartwood Forge
As trees age, the centers of each trunk become part of a great transformation. No longer necessary for sap production and storing energy, the cells of the interiors start leaving a material known for its strength and durability. This shift in function accommodates continued growth of the tree by providing needed structure as age takes its toll. This is heartwood.
Heartwood Forge is propelled by creative transformation. While reclaiming discarded resources and byproducts of industry from around the US, owner and operator Will Manning crafts these materials into high performance heirloom tools, created to last generations.
Heartwood’s forged knives are created primarily from found and recycled carbon steels chemically analyzed so it’s known exactly which alloys are in the shop. Most of the handles also are made from salvaged and foraged material from around the region, usually native hardwoods selected for their beauty and functionality.
Heartwood Forge takes immense pride in its craft and, with this as its guiding principle, produces knives that stand the test of time. Because of its commitment to maintaining your knife's edge and beauty, Heartwood Forge offers lifetime sharpening and maintenance.