BRISTOL – City resident and local blacksmith, Aric Fontaine, recently appeared on The History Channel’s “Forged in Fire,” where he took home a $10,000 prize.
Fontaine has been a blacksmith for 10 years and started his own business, Fontaine Forge, last year. Typically, he makes knives, as well as more general items such as hooks and nails, using 19th century blacksmithing techniques. He had applied to appear on the show and, after being selected, spend two-and-a-half weeks shooting it. The episode aired this Wednesday.
“I had been telling my family for a week-and-a-half to tune in and watch,” said Fontaine. “I had previously met someone who had been on the show – Brian Evelich, who lives in Wolcott. He helped me to prepare. My fiancé, Brittney Kilpatrick, was thrilled that I was going to be on the show. I’m going to be spending the money on our wedding in May.”
Fontaine said that being on Forged in Fire was an “incredible experience.” He was one of four contestants competing in a three-round challenge.
“Part of the challenge was to make a knife from a burned up, crashed SUV,” said Fontaine. “It was actually something I had done before, using vehicle parts to make knives. I hadn’t used that particular piece though. I usually used a leaf spring but I ended up using a coil spring. The steel was good; the fire didn’t hurt it.”
For the final challenge, Fontaine said he ended up using the same 5160 steel to create a serrated Tegha sword – a weapon used in India in the 18th century.
“That was definitely a first for me,” said Fontaine.
Since the episode has aired, Fontaine said that he has had many new people stopping into his business.
“It’s always fun for people to see somebody in their hometown who was on TV,” he said. “It gives them that small town pride. I would like to thank everybody who supported me and followed me through my journey. It was incredible.”
For more information on Fontaine Forge, visit fontaineforge.com or facebook.com/fontaineforge, call 860-877-4653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.