Mike Deibert

Mike Deibert works in his shop in Trussville. Deibert will be showcased at the Magnolia Festival this weekend with his knives. He will also be providing demonstrations of the process, as will others, like L&P Artisans, who make wooden rings and other carved items. 

This year’s Magnolia Festival will once again feature artisans who exhibit their craft at the festival, alongside their wares. As part of the Alabama Bicenntenial Event this year.

This year, Forged in Fire champion Mike Deibert will be at the festival. Deibert showcased his knife-making skills on the television program in September of 2018.

Deibert first began blacksmithing approximately 20 years ago and then moved to blade smithing five years later.

“I learned blacksmithing originally as a hobby,” Deibert said. Then he moved to making blades. “I was always intrigued by it. It’s one of the oldest tools known to mankind.”

Then he used the skills in the mission field for more than a decade, teaching those he ministered to how to make tools.

At the festival, the Fultondale High School teacher, will combine his hobby and career to show attendees how to forge a blade, although there won’t be time to show the complete process of finishing the knife.

Deibert said his process begins with making his own steel, which can take a day. He spends about two days making a basic knife and longer than that on an intricate knife.

“There are simpler ways to do it, but the process I use is more involved, and I believe it results in a better product,” Deibert said.

He will have items he has made and finished knives available for sale at his booth at the festival.

In addition to Deibert, the festival will mark the last public appearance of L&P Artisans. After the festival, Logan Lowery and his friend will be going their separate ways as Lowery opens his new business, Southern Hills Workshop. Lowery makes handmade wooden carvings, including wooden rings.

“Growing up, my grandfather taught me how to work out in his woodshop,” Lowery said. “He taught me to use tools and that started an interest in creating and building.”

In addition to the very-popular wooden rings, Lowery also makes a variety of other woodworking projects.

At the festival, Lowery will exhibit how to use hand tools to carve wood and use methods of traditional joinery and how to join wood using cutouts to join the wood rather than screws or other fasteners.

The festival will also feature the return of local potter Jay Burton of Burton Pottery in Kimberly. Burton will be showing how to make small pottery projects as the show. Burton was featured last year in North Jefferson Magazine for his unique pottery method, that includes making his own clay from local materials he sources himself.

This year will also feature chainsaw artist Corey Worden of Beneath the Bark, making unique chainsaw carvings on scene and showcasing his previously carved works of art. Worden will also be creating a one-of-a-kind magnolia blossom for the festival that will eventually be donated to the Gardendale Library by the festival committee. There will also be opportunities to win a bear he carved.

In addition to the artists, the festival will have a variety of food and craft vendors and well as performances by various artists throughout the festival. Organizers encourage those who attend to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets since seating is limited.

Rachel Davis is the editor and general manager of The North Jefferson News. She can be reached at editor@njeffersonnews.com or by calling 205.631.8716. 

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