Getting Started On Your Own
Step 1: Read
Jim Hrisoulas The Complete Bladesmith
Wayne Goddard $50 Knife Shop
SLSells Introduction to Knifemaking
Step 2: Look & Watch
In person if possible, but YouTube videos are a valuable resource.
Go to hammer-ins, travel to shows, subscribe to a magazine, interact with other local makers, or just join a forum or three.
Build a collection of references that inspire you.
Step 3: Practice
Grow your tools and equipment slowly. Learn to do something by hand before purchasing/fabricating a specialized solution. If a particular style/design/technique really speaks to you feel free to perfect it, but don’t be afraid to do that random project that seems like a fun challenge.
Learn from your failures, you’ll have a lot of them.
Everyone has lulls. What we do is both art and craft; as artists we produce our best work when inspired, and as craftspeople only our best will do. If you’re not inspired you’ll produce substandard work, so clean your shop or look through your motivational references, and be ready for when it returns. It will return.