Hall Of Fame farrier Shayne Carter of West Mountain, Utah, won $10,000 in episode 3, “Butterfly Swords.” Oakdale, Calif., farrier Kelly Vermeer Vella followed up Carter’s performance by winning episode 4, “The Falcata.”
Carter emerged as the champion of episode 3, which aired Sept. 6, after being tasked with forging a blade from a pile of old and new tools. A twist came when the finalists had to forge two Chinese butterfly swords.
“I’m feeling wonderful,” Carter said at the conclusion of the broadcast. “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I’m very happy.”
When asked by the judges what he was going to do with the money, it was no surprise that Carter’s thoughts turned to family.
“I have a family who has sacrificed a lot,” he says. “So, we’ll have a family council and then we’ll decide.”
Like Carter, Vella is a veteran of forging and shoeing competitions. She was among four contestants who created a blade from high-carbon steel while also forging the hammer they used to make it.
“It was rigorous testing,” Vella told The Union Democrat.
After passing that test, Vella was given 45 hours to create a falcata, a single-edged sword that pitches toward the point. The edge is concave near the hilt, but convex near the point. The shape distributes the weight in a manner that allows a blow to be delivered with the momentum of an axe, while maintaining the longer cutting edge of a sword. The handle typically is hook-shaped.
She told The Union Democrat that the series’ film crew followed her every move before she presented the weapon to them.
“It was interesting,” she says. “The crew was really cool. I don’t see how people on ‘Survivor’ do it. I hated to see people leave.”
Forged In Fire can be seen on the History Channel at 9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT on Tuesdays.