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Wrestler Gail Kim Says She Can't Go Vegan Because of Her Husband Robert Irvine

Wrestler Gail Kim Says She Can't Go Vegan Because of Her Husband Robert Irvine


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Simply put, Gail Kim is one of the most popular female professional wrestlers of all time. She was also the first female inductee into the Impact Hall Of Fame and will be challenging for the Knockouts Championship once more on November 5 as part of the Bound For Glory live event.

Outside of the ring – and more notably when it comes to The Daily Meal – Kim is married to celebrity chef Robert Irvine. As an athlete in peak physical condition, Kim knows plenty about food as both a foodie and a cook. I spoke to Kim by phone, and coincidentally Irvine was beside her to answer a question during the interview. More on Gail Kim and Impact can be found via following Kim on Twitter via @gailkimITSME.

The Daily Meal: When did you first become interested in what you ate in terms of its nutrition and content?
Gail Kim:
I went through different phases in my life. I played sports in high school and when you’re young you have a fast metabolism. I kind of ate what I wanted, and I think it was my last year of high school, I started weightlifting and I noticed my muscles were growing. I was uncomfortable with the size I was, I guess, so I then went to extremes and ate just vegetables. When I got out of high school, I gained five to 10 pounds, not much. I really worked out hard. Throughout the years, I just taught myself how to eat through reading.

I really didn’t know how to eat until I studied nutrition in my second year of college. To this day, I’d say in the last year, I learned so much about how my body reacts to food. I am a believer of what I put in my body affecting my health. I’ve struggled with acne for 15 years of my life, which I always thought was genetic because of my mother. But in the last year, I’ve pretty much cut out all cow, which is red meat and dairy, and I’ve noticed such a difference in how my skin is, my energy level… I’ve tried to go vegan, but that didn’t work out because I’m married to a chef. (laughs)

Being married to a chef, were you a foodie before you met your husband?
Yes, I really enjoyed cooking. To this day I’m still very experimental in eating all types of food, except for red meat, for health reasons. I cooked all the time. I was the one who cooked for all my friends, even if it was 10-plus people. I was the go-to to cook for everyone.

Then I met my husband. I felt so intimidated because he’s of course one of the best. Even the things that you think you’re good at cooking, you start to question yourself. “Am I doing this right? What will he think?” We’ve been together for more than eight years, and I would honestly say it took until this past year where I just said, “Screw it, I’m going to cook for him and not care about that.” I think he enjoys it, I keep it pretty simple.

Do you have a signature dish in terms of your cooking?
I keep things pretty simple and healthy, but I would say there are two things I love to cook. Number one, I make a good salmon. For salmon or fish, I feel it’s all about the technique of how you cook it. He’s here actually right now. (to Robert Irvine) What would you say about my salmon, babe?

Robert Irvine: The salmon is good.

Gail Kim: (laughs) He said my salmon is good. But that day he said the salmon is better than his. (laughs)

Did you ever think of working on a cookbook or putting your recipes out publicly?
Oh, I don’t know if I have enough to make a cookbook. I leave that up to my husband. (laughs) He just shook his head “no.” (laughs) It’s just funny because now that I’m married to a chef, it’s kind of like someone who came into wrestling. They don’t know how to wrestle necessarily. They may know the business and what they perceive the business to be, but they can’t truly know what to do without years of experience and I truly respect that. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t know… I just don’t think I have enough skills to teach other people.

That kind of honesty is refreshing. What are some of your favorite restaurants in your hometown or cities where you often wrestle?
My hometown is Toronto, and I haven’t been back enough to be current on what’s good there. We go to Vegas a lot because my husband’s restaurant is there at The Tropicana. It’s called Robert Irvine’s Public House. I’m not just saying this because he’s my husband, it’s outstanding. I could eat there every day of the week and have something different and love it. I’m a big sushi fan.

Most people when they go to Vegas want to go to places on the Strip and experience the big names. Actually in Las Vegas, I find the best restaurants are off the Strip. We have a favorite breakfast place, BabyStacks. There are about five locations. They have all kinds of pancakes, of course, but they also do Asian-inspired, Hawaiian-inspired, Korean-inspired and Filipino-inspired breakfast dishes. Things that you would never expect like fried rice omelets. I’m not a huge rice eater, or a fried rice eater, but I will say that’s hands down the best breakfast I’ve ever had. My mouth is watering right now.

Do you find there to be a lot of crossover in people who recognize both you and your husband?
I’d say it’s a small percentage. A lot of people used to say when we were first together, “That’s weird, a wrestler and a chef…” Although those worlds seem like total opposites, there are also a lot of similarities in our lifestyle. I think that’s what makes it work. He’s in entertainment as well because he’s in food and television. We both travel a lot in our lifestyle. Our love of fitness and health, we like to work out together. We love to do everything together.

In terms of the fans, he has a wider range of ages. He’ll be in the airport and kids will recognize him. Kids will tell their parents, “Oh, look there’s Robert Irvine.” (laughs) With my fans, wrestling fans are more hardcore, loyal, and very very passionate. I’d say the age range is a little more 18 to 35, predominately male. It’s kind of different, but we get people who like to watch the Food Network and wrestling.


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Blakely blacksmith Joe Piela’s pieces are in the collections of LARPers, cosplayers and hobbyists from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hong Kong

BLAKELY — Joe Piela entered the world of fantasy in the late 1970s through a tiny four-sided gate that said “The Hobbit” on its front cover. Piela, then 14, was fascinated by author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s descriptions of ornate weapons and armor used by the dwarves and elves that populated Middle-Earth. The newly forged fantasy fan gained such an admiration for these intangible pieces of equipment that he wanted to see them become reality, so he set out to learn skills that would allow him to bring a bit of fantasy into the real world.

Piela became interested in blacksmithing through his grandfather, Michael, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in the early 1920s. Joe learned he comes from a long line of blacksmiths after he shared his newfound interest with his grandfather and, although Michael was a carpenter by trade, he knew enough about the profession to get his grandson on the right path. The two set up a forge behind Michael’s Blakely home (a few doors down from Joe’s childhood home) and Joe finished his first dagger less than a year later. As his skills continued to develop, he began looking for ways to further improve.

“I can’t say I’m entirely self-taught,” Piela said. “I picked up some things from older guys along the way. One blacksmith had a business where he would do ornamental ironwork for houses and and I learned some stuff from him. Other guys I didn’t meet but I’d get their video tapes and they’d teach various techniques. When I got started in this, there weren’t so many books and there weren’t YouTube videos you had to experiment a lot on your own.”

After graduating from Scranton’s Bishop O’Hara High School in 1982, Piela earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Penn State Worthington and began working at J.R. Systems in Dalton. By 1990, the hobbyist blacksmith had enough business to warrant a full-time career change. Live action roleplaying participants, cosplayers and filmmakers sought the services Piela was able to offer through his knowledge of blacksmithing and respect for the various source materials in which his fantasy pieces originated.

The blacksmith’s desire to create wasn’t based in equipment described on pages it was inspired by his appreciation for weaponry used on real battlefields. The generation of Pielas before him lived through World War II. That personal connection to the conflict fueled an interest in military history and, eventually, reenactment. It also fueled half of his business when he began crafting full-time.

“By 1990, there were several people in the reenactment community earning full-time livings being armor makers because the hobby was booming,” Piela said. “I’ve done a number of Greek, Roman and Celtic helmets that were forged to one piece. One of my claims to fame is I’ve done a lot of Corinthian helmets, which was the helmet the Spartans wore in �,’ in one piece of bronze. That’s not easy to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America have invited Piela, a former Scout himself, to demonstrate his skill set at Camp Acahela’s Harvest Fest event in Blakeslee. It was there that 9-year-old Tyler Sepcoski first met the blacksmith. Sepcoski, now 20, was brought into the world of live action roleplaying through Piela, who has helped the Bear Creek resident make a number of items, including a set of armor pieces for the legs called greaves. Sepcoski said he acquired his own forge two years ago, sending him down the path of amateur blacksmithing Piela traversed some decades prior.

“It’s one of those accomplishments where I get to say I made this I can take a piece of steel that most people would consider a piece of junk and I can fit it into something really cool,” Sepcoski said. “It’s a personal gain, seeing that I can accomplish things. I owe all of my experience to him because, without that, I wouldn’t have learned any of it.”

From history and Scouting to fantasy and roleplay, Piela’s interests have come full-circle like the shield of an Ancient Greek hoplite. The 51-year-old blacksmith — thanks to the economic downturn of the late 2000s — is currently finishing the final edit of his own fantasy novel, “The Dragon Helm of Tevya,” which he hopes to publish via Amazon Kindle in the first half of this year. Besides writing and working as a candy machine operator at Gertrude Hawk’s plant in Dunmore, Piela still performs demonstrations, helps fellow live action roleplaying participants with their gear and takes on what jobs he can handle.

The equipment described in Tolkein’s tales may have been canonically forged in the dwellings of dwarves and elves, but a dwelling in Blakely has seen the creation of fantasy reproductions, historical resurrections and artistic reimaginings from Middle-Earth and beyond.

Joe Piela entered the world of blacksmithing because of an appreciation for items both fictional and historical, stayed because that appreciation gave him a way to earn a living and never left because blacksmithing remains a desirable service in the circles he inhabits. He may not have a title like The One Blacksmith to Rule Them All, but he did sell to a guy in Hong Kong once, which he said was “pretty cool.”


Watch the video: Gail Kim Says She Will Not Back Down. #DestX Thursday 87c (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Jerrod

    It's a pity that I can't speak now - I'm in a hurry to get to work. But I'll be free - I will definitely write what I think.

  2. Halig

    It is a pity, that now I can not express - there is no free time. I will return - I will necessarily express the opinion on this question.



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