JACK Clarke always had a passion for food. He worked in catering and dreamt of owning his own restaurant.

He always considered lunch, dinner and especially breakfast non-negotiable. This passion for food eventually manifested itself as hassling the kitchen staff for whatever leftovers they had and the faster the kitchen could get their covers out, the faster he could get the leftovers. Having a good chef’s knife was crucial to that cause. Having a refined chef’s knife was even better.

The pursuit of an exceptionally crafted knife - and a good meal – was something that drove him to his current, and very successful career as a very special blacksmith, making and selling chef’s knives and running exceptionally crafted knife-making courses.

Jack is resident blacksmith at Moors Meadow Gardens, near Bromyard, in Herefordshire. He drives in every day from his home in Shropshire.

Surrounded by metal-working equipment, he teaches leather-aproned groups to learn to be cutlers, transforming that unpromising block (technically a 'billet') into a beautifully-patterned, sharp-for-life chef's knife.

He said: “If you're an aspiring crafts person, if you’re interested in knives or if you just fancy having a go at smashing a 1000-degree block of metal with a power hammer, then the two-day knife making courses are just the thing for you!”

In 2012 Jack pursued the craft of blacksmithing, gaining a 1st in Artist Blacksmithing BA (Hons) followed up with a Distinction in his Contemporary Craft MA.

Jack worked alongside Joel Black, who he met while studying blacksmithing on a three-year degree course at Hereford College of Arts. On completion Jack stayed on an extra year-and-a-half to complete an MA in the forge at Moors Meadow Gardens, Bromyard, for a few years, and when Joel moved to a house and workshop in west Herefordshire Jack took over as resident blacksmith.

Jack’s two-day courses run alongside his hammering out bespoke knives for sale. His pupils learn to hand-forge their own Damascus knife or Japanese-style chef’s knife. Some simply want to make their own knife, while others are thinking about getting into blade-smithing and want to see what it would be like.

Lunch is included in the courses - when Jack is around you can guarantee there'll be food - and trainees can savour their own personal satisfaction every time they use the knives, they made themselves.

For Jack work is the perfect amalgamation of a love of food and blacksmithing. To contact Jack Clarke, email nojokeknives@gmail.com For more information, click on www.nojokeknives.com