A Young Jack of All Trades
Even though he’s only 15, Abram Sturgill can do a little bit of everything. He’s on his way to becoming a skilled blacksmith, has business experience from helping his family at the Williamson Farmers Market, and he helps his family grow their food.
He became interested in building his own forge after attending some blacksmithing classes at the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky. This tied in greatly with him being interested in the history and politics of the 1800s. “Firearms were hand forged. Blacksmiths were also the only source for nails, chains, hinges, cutlery, and horseshoes,” he says, “And without capable blacksmiths, our communities would not have been able to grow and thrive.” He visited a variety of historically accurate forges and he wanted to be able to replicate what they did.
He drew up some plans and, with the help of his family, put together a forge of his own. “My Poppy is old school. He can build anything from scratch. He’s always willing to help me learn new skills,” he says. “I drew up my plans for a coal forge and we worked together to cut the steel, weld it together, and then ventilate it properly.” Since then, he’s been able to make some knives, a scimitar, and a tomahawk. “My goal is to teach myself to craft knives and crusader swords that I can sell at Renaissance Fairs,” he says.
At home, he is responsible for feeding his family’s animals, which include sheep, chickens, guineas, a pig, and dogs. They also maintain multiple gardens that he also helps with. His family believes in keeping busy, which he’s grateful for. “My family does not believe in letting one’s brain or hands sit idle,” He says “I guess it’s a good thing as I would probably go nuts if I didn’t have something to keep me busy.”
A Supportive Family
After graduating high school, he plans to enter an engineering program at a university. Later, he has his sights set on the Navy. “I want to work on a ship as an engineering officer. This will allow me to work as an engineer and travel to parts of the world that I have not been able to explore yet.”
Abram is grateful that his family supports all of his hobbies and interests. In the past, they’ve helped him go to Space Camp at the Kennedy Space Center, where his love of engineering began, and they have travelled with him to different historical sites and museums. “I have been blessed with a family that supports all my interests and we have lively debates at the dinner table,” he says.
Follow Abram on Facebook at Abram Sturgill of Sturgill Mountain Homestead.