About

Steve Shimanek, artist blacksmith

Steve Shimanek, artist blacksmith

 
 

Some personal history…..

I grew up in rural Oregon in the 60s and 70s, and helped my dad on a lot of building and repair projects, and working in restaurants and bakeries, which taught me the value of hard work and a job well done. I attended Job Corps in Washington for carpentry and earned my GED, then was sent to Seattle to attend community college. Later I received a scholarship to Seattle University from Army ROTC, where I graduated with a BA in Social Sciences and a commission as an Army officer, and served from 1983 to 1998 (active and reserve). I trained in the tank and automotive maintenance management field, and got a lot of exposure to many industrial repair and fabrication processes. After leaving active duty, I worked in the construction and heavy equipment repair industries.

In 2006 I became interested in bladesmithing, and built my first forge. In 2008, I met Ted Shanks of Kipu Forge, a master blacksmith and farrier on Kauai, and began a relationship that continues to this day. In 2013, my wife and I moved to American Samoa and began our building odyssey on her family land. The shop is named Olotele Forge, as we are located at about 1300 feet on the upper slope of Olotele Mountain. Look for more exciting adventures in the future!