Newswise — March 4, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA (USA): The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society has announced its guest judge who will be assisting in the selection of special citation winners for its 2019 Bladesmithing Competition. The competition challenges teams of university students from around the world to produce a blade by hand hammering or trip hammer forging.

This year’s competition will include new citations to acknowledge blades that showed outstanding performance in individual categories such as beauty, hands-on process or historical accuracy. Many of these special citations will be selected by guest judge J. Alex Ruiz, a blacksmith and bladesmith based in San Antonio, Texas. Ruiz is best known for his appearance on the popular History Channel series Forged in Fire where he was declared champion for his entry, “The Horseman’s Axe” on Season 5 Episode13.

Since beginning his work as a blacksmith in 2014 Ruiz has taught and demonstrated across Texas. He was featured in Blade Magazine’s 2017 Knifemakers Showcase and dedicates much of his time to teaching, humanitarian work, and archaeology.  Ruiz is a Lone Star Member of the Texas Knifemakers Guild and also holds membership in the American Bladesmith Society, Balcones Forge Central Texas Blacksmiths, and Artist Blacksmith Association of North America.

All entries will be on display at the TMS 2019 Annual Meeting & Exhibition (TMS2019) and the TMS Bladesmithing Awards Ceremony will be held at TMS2019 on Tuesday, March 12, 2019: 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Media Passes to the event are available and interviews with judges and winning teams can be organized upon request.


The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) is a professional society that connects minerals, metals, and materials scientists and engineers who work in industry, academia, and government positions around the world. TMS creates networking, publication, and professional development opportunities by convening international conferences, publishing books and journals, administering awards, and developing standards for the professions it serves. TMS currently supports more than 13,000 professional and student members in 94 countries on six continents. For more information on TMS, visit