It’s always exciting when a local comes out and does something amazing. And that’s exactly what happened when we found out that Goldendale’s Wade Plumlee was going to be on the History Channel show “Forged in Fire.” The show, which has been running since 2015, is about world-class blacksmiths recreating historic and iconic sharp weapons i.e. swords and knives. Four master blacksmiths compete against each other on the show each week to earn coveted recognition for their weapon forging skills. The winner receives $ 10,000 and the title of “Champion Forged in Fire”.
Wade is a union sheet metal worker who makes blade forging as a hobby. He really got into blade forging when he started watching the show in 2015. He had become hooked and decided to build his own forge and start developing his skills.
With love for this show and his blacksmithing hobby, along with the casting call that “Forged in Fire” took, Wade thought, “If all those guys with basic tools can compete in the show. , then I would at least have a chance. ” And so began his journey to be chosen to compete. He contacted, filled out questionnaires, did a few interviews and was accepted soon after. Wade took the time to practice some of his skills and keep abreast of the techniques. He chose to do things under certain time constraints, just like on the show – they never tell you ahead of time what you’re going to do, so he trained himself to prepare as best he could for it. any type of weapon.
Then, in May, he got a last-minute call to compete when another blacksmith couldn’t come. He quickly hopped on a plane, flew to New York, traveled to the Connecticut set, and visited just before filming began. He was allowed to bring some of his personal tools, but almost everything was there that he would need to build his weapon.
Wade really enjoyed the experience. “Although we were shooting,” he said, “it wasn’t much different from forging at home, except for the giant clock letting you know you had to hurry.” Each blacksmith began to make the same weapon. With the episode yet to be released, Wade wasn’t able to tell us what weapon they were making. He let us know that the episode he participated in was a takeover by the judges, and all challenges were thought through by Judge David Baker. The judges sent one of the blacksmiths home after each round, eliminating the last two. They would then go home and build a different weapon with their own forge and bring it back, when the judges would pick a winner.
After each day of filming, the candidates had to do interviews. Wade says, “That was the hardest part. After facing the challenges, I had to remind myself of what I was doing, what I was thinking and why I had done certain things. Each blacksmith took turns doing this as they weren’t allowed to be too close when not spinning due to Covid rules. Each had their own trailer where they would hang out when they weren’t on set or doing interviews. It was a bit chaotic, but Wade says he really had fun and was happy to be able to use some of the amenities he didn’t have access to at home. It was also his favorite part. They had very powerful equipment, and it was a different experience than using his hammer and anvil at home.
The biggest takeaway from this experience for Wade was, “You never know what you can do until you try. He would never have guessed that the one email he sent to the show would get him this far. Wade made some great new friends with whom he always stays in touch. They’ve finished filming, but Wade isn’t allowed to share what he did until the episode aired. It airs today (Wednesday, December 29) at 6 p.m. on the History Channel. Make sure to log in and support one of our local residents.