Holden Bystry lives in a small northern Indiana town, with his Australian Shepherd, Reginald Giantsbane. He first developed an interest in blacksmithing as a sophomore in high school. His first forge was built using scrap bricks, a hairdryer and a dryer hose, though not a roaring success, it acted as a springboard which encouraged his drive to learn blacksmithing. Although, his grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfathers were all blacksmiths, his father was not. His grandfather, Jerry, retired from blacksmithing and gunsmithing about 10 years before Holden was born, and though it may have skipped a generation, the blacksmith gene was active in Holden.
As his interest bloomed and developed, he began to apprentice at White Fire Forge in South Bend with Morgan Medlin and Bill Conyers. His first full time job was as a blacksmithing instructor at Camp Tamarack in Jones, MI. While still in high school, Holden further developed his childhood love of costumes by furthering his education in textile arts and welding. His post-Apocalyptic costume and art pieces won him a Scholastic Art award, a Silver Key award and Art Department awards. Stemming from his desire to learn a variety of artisan crafts, he also pursued leatherworking.
His third year as an instructor at Camp Tamarack found him as an Area Director for Handicrafts, his specialty being leatherworking. Holden appeared in 2017, on Season 4 of Forged in Fire, on the History Channel, the youngest contestant to compete, at that time. Although he didn’t win the competition, he was honored to be included and found the experience to be life changing.
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