Father Forges On
Videography by Mr. Tracy Arakaki
Christopher Greywolf isn’t in Kansas anymore. Wolf, as he likes to be called, is far, far away from where he grew up, near a Native Indian reservation in America’s heartland. A stint in the Army brought him to Hawaii, where he’s made his home.
This morning, he’s standing at a hot stove, cooking his two children breakfast in their modest Honolulu apartment. “Here’s your breakfast kids,” he says, as he serves the plates. His son, thirteen year old Temujin, and his daughter, eleven year old Leoti, thank him and dig in.
This is how each day starts in the Greywolf family, before it’s off to school and work. After this single dad feeds the kids, he heads to his version of an office: a metal foundry.
Wolf is a professional bladesmith, he believes one of only three in Hawaii. “A blacksmiths works with iron, makes tools. A bladesmith primarily makes weapons, swords, armor, things like that,” he clarifies, for those of us not so familiar with the terms of an ancient craft.
Smiting is hard work, but he’s smitten with it. “It’s the most unusual job you can think of. You go to work in the morning and get to make stuff with fire.”
It takes several days to finish an average blade. Wolf makes custom weapons, specializing in 12th century Asia; Mongolia, to be exact. He makes armor, too. “I like Mongolian history, Siberian history. That interest led me to Mongolia, where I ended up spending five years on and off.”
You may think buying a factory made knife is a lot easier these days- so do most people. That’s why Wolf has to do other things to pay the bills: sharpen knives for restaurants.
It’s not always easy, but he’s optimistic. “All hardship is there to pound you into something better. It’s life seeing what you’re made of.”
Being a single dad tests his mettle sometimes. But he says his metal work serves a larger purpose in his life. “You pound the steel and make things out of it, but life tends to pound you sometimes. Hopefully it’ll make something good out of you.”
He’s not done yet- he’s a work in progress- and promises that he’ll keep forging on.
To hire Wolf for custom metal work or to sharpen blades, call Cutting Edge Sharpening at (808) 277-2738. Wolf is available by appointment only.
Also reach me via DianeAko.com