A Round Trip with Ryan Drobratz
"He had just finished a new forge and kindly offered to make me a knife..."
I tried with every ounce of focus to understand the science behind his process as Ryan explained it step by step while he worked. He had just finished a new forge and kindly offered to make me a knife, so I jumped on the opportunity to come observe his operation.
"it become the skeleton of modern society..."
I did retain some understanding, particularly the percent of carbon in iron that makes it steel and thus a tool of industry, but most of the science he spoke of was lost on me. As I understand it, iron (in its natural state) is not a particularly useful building material… But with the addition of carbon, it has become the skeleton of modern society and is responsible for launching the industrial revolution.
"Before, [...] I naively thought of the process as an art form..."
Before watching Ryan make this knife, I naively thought of the process as an art form. And though there is an aesthetic, the process is predominately navigated through science. How materials change and adapt to physical force is what makes them useful. It is a lot like people I suppose. What purpose do we serve if we cannot adapt to the changes we live through? To do anything right takes an atomic understanding of the elements involved.
"We started with art..."
My short Day with Ryan turned out to be a real journey… We started with art, navigated a lot of science, and ended back at art. Thanks for the round trip, Ryan… and for this beautiful knife. @ryandrobatz
Todd Blubaugh was born and raised in McPherson, Kansas. His earliest interests were in art and motorbikes and since the age of 12, Todd has been pursuing these two passions. He currently works in film, writes, shoots, and pursues collaborations with his roommates at The Chun, a motorcycle warehouse and art space in Los Angeles. The free-spirit artist shares his passion for open roads through aspirational imagery and poetic travel notes that resonate with Serengeti’s DNA.