Gari Jimenez-Lugo was born and spent his younger years in Puerto Rico before relocating to the mainland US in the mid-2000s. His journey in metalworking commenced in 2013 during high school when he immersed himself in watching Man At Arms videos, absorbing information before venturing into making his first knife. The early years of Gari's metalworking journey were shaped by the influence of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac and various kind mentors who paved the way forward.
Following high school, Gari embraced a foundry apprenticeship that, while not focused on blacksmithing, provided a solid foundation of scientific knowledge and a diverse set of transferable skills related to hot work. Before the Covid-19 Pandemic, Gari worked as a demonstrating blacksmith, foundryman, instructor, and historical interpreter along the eastern seaboard and in Renaissance festivals.
With the onset of March 2020, Gari shifted his focus to culinary cutlery and high-end pattern welding work. His approach to pattern welding was shaped by his understanding of the craft's history and exposure to cutting-edge patterning manipulation, influenced by figures such as Salem Straub, William Brigham, and Mareko Maumasi. Joining Baltimore Knife and Sword in February 2021, Gari has found great joy in the flexibility and collective experience of the team. While everyone in the shop is capable of handling every step of the process, each member has their specialties.
If Gari were to highlight a specific aspect of his job that he enjoys over others, it would be designing and executing complex pattern manipulation in sword-length billets of steel. Outside of work, he spends his time engaging in LARPing in the woods, 3D printing cosplay props and armor, and playing jazz/swing violin.
Visit Gari's Instagram, Spooky at Arms!