The inception of the company now known as Baltimore Knife and Sword traces its roots back to the early 1980s when the oldest Stagmer brother, Emory, and a friend delved into crafting and selling chain mail. Originating on the Ocean City, Maryland, boardwalk and later expanding to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the venture eventually transitioned to Kerry, who took the reigns of the business and officially established Baltimore Knife and Sword (1990). In the initial stages, Kerry focused on crafting stage combat swords for Renaissance fair jousters, introducing two primary swords: a hand-and-a-half thirty-two-inch-long sword and a one-handed sword with rapiers. Kerry's journey is primarily self-taught, characterized by trial and error, thousands of hours of dedicated effort, and occasional guidance from experts. Kerry has earned the title of a true metalsmith, elevating BKS from a small, limited production shop to a successful business boasting thousands of swords in its repertoire.
BKS has undergone significant evolution in recent years as the team relentlessly pursues the creation of exceptional metallic objects. While the primary focus of BKS remains the crafting of stage combat swords and related items, their diverse interests often propel them in many directions, resulting in a trail of magnificent creations and diverse forms in metal. Additionally, with the integration of new tools, BKS has expanded its offerings to include pattern welding and crucible steel products in their growing line of available swords . Annually, the team engages in the smelting of steel from ore, creating their own blend for high-end showpieces.
Kerry and the artists at BKS take pride in sharing their knowledge with the community. BKS's annual hammer-in event provides an extended platform to connect with a broader audience. Once a year, BKS gathers the best talents and innovative thinkers at the shop to share secrets and methods with all attendees. Post-event, this knowledge-sharing initiative continues on various forums, extending its reach far beyond the initial participants.
At BKS, the company's commitment is to ensure every weapon the artists create is fully functional. BKS makes each piece a sword first, and then the piece is made to look nice. Every item leaving the shop is a durable, functional piece designed for daily use.