Southeastern industrial technology freshman Cade Jenkins is a competitor in the latest season of the reality show “Forged In Fire.”
Jenkins decision to compete is in line with his hopes to continue the family legacy.
“My grandfather was a full-time blacksmith for 30 years, and he is unable to continue because of health issues,” said Jenkins. “So, I decided to carry on the legacy.”
However, the decision to compete wasn’t actually his own. It was his mothers.
“One day I was watching the show with my family, critiquing the contestants and the things they were doing wrong,” said Jenkins. “My mom said, ‘Why don’t you do it then and show them how it’s done?’ and so I applied for the show.”
According to Jenkins, the experience was one of the greatest of his life. Starting the craft at the age of 12, he now identifies himself as an architectural blacksmith, creating items like hinges, stair railings and custom knives.
Jenkins plans to be a welder. As an industrial technology major, he wants to merge his skill set a blacksmith with his studies to create works of art. After graduating from Southeastern, Jenkins hopes to combine his knowledge and become the best in the business.
“When learning how to blacksmith, I learned how to heat, treat, and temper metal, but I never knew the science behind my craft,” said Jenkins. “I only knew how to physically do it. In the little time I have been at Southeastern, I have learned so much information that I have brought it to my shop, and it has made me a better blade-smith and blacksmith.”
Watch “Forged In Fire” on the History Channel on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m. Central Time. Learn more about Jenkins’ work here.