Crossed Heart Forge - Island Blacksmith

Inspired by the Japanese art of swordsmithing, Dave began making knives in 1990. His approach brings together a fusion of cultural and artistic styles from his experiences in Africa, North America, and Asia.

Highlighting the potential for creative transformation in discarded objects, most of his raw material is sourced from worn out tools, farm machinery, and sawmill equipment. Even the softwood charcoal that fuels the forge is hand made in small batches from scrap wood.

Based out of Crossed Heart Forge in central Vancouver Island, Canada, Dave hand forges reclaimed carbon steel into blades, using techniques of the Japanese classical tradition to turn rusty scrap and natural materials into collectable heirlooms and timeless works of art.

My goal as an artist is to explore transformative process by creating knives from natural and reclaimed materials. My approach as a craftsman is to work within the creative constraints of the classical tanto form and nihonto handle mounting technology, building on the foundation of 13th century Japanese swordsmithing aesthetic and technique.







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Full Press, Issue II – Video Feature
Parksville Museum, Vancouver Island – Artist in residence


GhostRipon, Japan – Tsukimi Tanto – デイブ・フリーゼン – 鍛冶屋
The Old School House Arts Gallery, Canada – Summer artist in residence
Knives 2016: The World’s Greatest Knife Book, Joe Kertzman, ed. – Custom Knifemakers Directory
The Samurai Carpenter, Canada – Video Interview
The Homelab, Canada – Artist Spotlight
MadeFor, Australia – Feature, Australia – Article


The Village Christmas Arts Faire, Qualicum Beach – Scabbard Carving Demonstration & Exhibit
Soul of Steel Documentary, Canada – Studio visit and interview
TV Tokyo, Japan – Studio visit and interview
Only the Road Knows, USA – Article
Art of Blacksmithing & Metal Workers – Curated Videos
Canadian Knifemakers Guild, Canada – Member
Coastal Carvings Gallery, Canada – Multi-artist open house event
Blade Magazine, USA – Knifemaker Profile, May 2015 Issue


Bladesmiths & Blacksmiths – Curated Video
The Art of Timelessness – Article
Whalesong Studio, Nanaimo – Gallery Invitational
Men at Work, Italy – Curated Video
Art of Blacksmithing and Metal Workers – Curated Videos
Canadian Knifemakers Guild, Canada – probationary membership
Man of Many, Sydney – Top Three Artisans
Handmade Men, Australia – Interview (also here)
The Method Case, Spain – Featured Project
Ljudbildspel, Sweden – Curated Video
Verygoodlord, Paris – Du côté de chez Dave, le forgeron
Curated Vimeo – People Making Things
SpellBrand, New York – Made By Hand
BoldJack, Slovakia – Featured Maker Video
Those Who Make, San Francisco – Featured Maker Video


The Owl Designer Fair, Victoria – Sharpening Demonstration & Workshop
Makers of Stria, Vancouver – Featured Maker
Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, Canada – Juried Artisan Festival
Reclamation Administration, Portland – Featured Knife Project
PechaKucha Blog, Tokyo – Top 5 most watched presentations for August (but watch it here), Japan – Presentation of the Day, Aug 22 (but watch it here)

The Old School House Arts Centre Artists In Action – Handle Making Demonstration
Craig Heritage Park and Museum Event – Bladesmithing Demonstration
55th Annual Nautical Days, Canada – Juried Exhibit & Demonstration
Qualicum Beach Summer Artisan Market, Canada – Juried Exhibit & Sharpening/Polishing Demonstration
Eyes On BC Magazine, Canada – April Feature Article
Metal Artists in Action Event – Bladesmithing Demonstration
PechaKucha Nishinomiya #16, Japan – Guest Presenter
Coastal Carvings – Permanent Gallery Exhibit


Nanaimo Art Gallery – Drift Show – Studio Visit
Craig Heritage Park and Museum – Blacksmithing Demonstration
The Old School House Arts Centre 100th Anniversary – Bladesmithing Demonstration
Qualicum Beach Summer Artisan Market – Saya Making Demonstration & Exhibit
Coombs 100th Anniversary – Bladesmithing Demonstration


Osaka Municipal College of Design – Guest Lecturer, 1 Semester
Pecha Kucha Nishinomiya Vol.8 Japan fundraiser/relief – Presenter


Barkerville Blacksmith Shop – Guest Blacksmithing Demonstration


Kensington Heritage Crafts Fair – Blacksmithing Demonstration

Read some testimonials from clients.