Q&A with Jayden Simisky, as told to Emma Polachek
I’m a 19-year-old professional blacksmith and highliner. I have too many obscure hobbies to name, but my two favorites are knife-making and slacking above chasms and between mountains. I was born in Boulder, Colorado, and I am going to CU Boulder for a physics degree.
Check out Jayden’s work at theslacksmith.com.
Q: Who are your role models?
A: My parents inspire me for their own reasons. My mom is incredibly empathetic and outgoing; my dad is logical, well-ordered and an expert at working with his hands. My first mentor for blacksmithing, David Norrie, is a big inspiration of mine, as well as countless other blade-makers I know—Kyle Royer, Salem Straub, Will Stelter, Liam Hoffman and Mareko Maumasi, just to name a few.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Winning “Forged in Fire” was a big accomplishment that I’m quite proud of, but I don’t really do this for the accomplishments. It’s not the big milestones and recognition that make me happy, it’s the self-growth that I get to see. Watching myself become a better knife-maker and artist over the years has been my favorite part of all of this. And getting to meet some really cool people along the way, too.
Q: What is your favorite thing about living in your town?
A: I love Boulder for too many reasons to list, but the major ones are the friendliness of the people, the easy access to insane natural landscapes, and the community of people who do the same things that I love, like slacklining, mountain biking, skiing, etc.