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U of A Hope-Texarkana School of Bladesmithing Instructor Wins “Forged in Fire” Competition


WASHINGTON, AR – March 31, 2020

Ricardo Vilar, a lead bladesmithing instructor and technical advisor at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades, won the bladesmithing competition on Episode 3 of the hit television show “Forged in Fire” on History Channel. “Forged in Fire” tests world-class bladesmiths as they attempt to re-create some of history’s most iconic edged weapons. The contestant who survives the elimination rounds and wins the episode’s contest earns $10,000 and the title of Forged in Fire champion. Vilar competed against three of the best bladesmiths in the world to earn the title of Forged in Fire Champion.

Vilar began his professional career in 1993 and became a licensed Journeyman Smith with the American Bladesmith Society in 2005. He served as the president of the Brazilian Society of Cutlers from 2003 to 2008, is a co-founder of a cutlery school in partnership with the University of Brasilia, and was invited by the University of Texas in 2005 to be a Brazilian style instructor at the Hammer-in Fall. In 2010, he was the coordinator and teacher of a cutlery course for Corneta Tools in Osasco, Brazil, where he taught more than two hundred students. In 2011, one of his knives was adopted as the official knife of the Brazilian Parachute Brigade. Some of his recent awards include Best Field Knife IV, Best Tactical Knife IV, Best Industrial Knife IV, and Best Knife Bush Craft IV at the 2015 International Cutlery Show.

The UAHT James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades also offers a Certificate of Proficiency in Bladesmithing degree that is designed to provide students with the unique opportunity to earn a degree in the historic art of bladesmithing. Courses in the credit program include Introduction to Bladesmithing, Intermediate Bladesmithing, Knifemaking, Handles and Guards, Damascus Steel, and Advanced Bladesmithing.

Upcoming courses taught by Vilar can be found by visiting www.uaht.edu/bladesmithing. For more information, email bladesmith@uaht.edu, or call 870.722.8568.

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