Nina Holmstrom, Associate Bladesmith

Nina Holmstrom, Apprentice

Nina Holmstrom has been apprenticing with Paul Inman since early 2012 and was his very last apprentice.  Since she was very young her passions were art and dance.  Ballet stole her heart early on traveling to Spain and Portugal with a local Seattle children’s dance company.  In her teens she tried various art media including painting and drawing and ceramics and in her early 20’s she spent several years as studio monitor for a local pottery school.  In 2010 her life adventure really began traveling all over the country attending festivals and reconnecting with her creative path and spirit. She is a fire performer and visual artist.

“A friend introduced Paul and I one day, he said to come into the shop and we could make me a fire sword.  That day transformed my life forever, a door opened and Paul asked me if I wanted to learn his trade.  I never thought in my wildest dreams I would love working with metal, wood and leather this much.  My love of ceramics can’t compare to what I can achieve with these new materials.

I’ve loved knives, swords and axes ever since I was a kid.  I would always help my dad with projects, working with tools has always been familiar to me.  It is so rewarding to work on projects that challenge me as well as have an amazing mentor and a shop that support this. I couldn’t be more fortunate for this opportunity.

My favorite part of learning this trade is making old things new again.  I especially love projects from my friends that entail fixing their family heirlooms.  There is nothing quite like returning a sentimental piece to new and usable condition.  There is always beauty just beyond the surface, you just have to look for it.  I also love working at the forge, creating a knife from a steel bar is an incredible process.  It is hard work and quite humbling, but to learn one of the oldest skills as a smith .. the rewards are infinite.  My goal is to make high end personalized culinary knives and produce new and beautiful fire dancing tools for fire dancers.”