My ideal workday is one where I get to forge all day long. The truth about knifemaking is that the forging process in only a quarter of the labor involved in making a knife. I spend the majority of my time normalizing and heat treating, making fittings and handles and lots and lots of polishing. My second favorite part of knifemaking is handle shaping. That's the carrot on the end of the stick.
I have wanted to be a knifemaker ever since I knew what one was. It seemed impossibly exotic. Like being an astronaut or a race car driver or a wizard. I had loved knives ever since I got my first pocketknife. I went to an antique auction with my mother when I was 13 and a collection of Randall made knives were up for bid. Randalls are a very early, very collectible brand of forged handmade knife and I was shocked to see that some of them cost OVER ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! At that point I started read everything I could about knives. Doug and Rhoda Dillman, owners of Casco Bay Cutlery gave a 15 year old kid a chance and I started working part time selling all types of knives. I met some local custom knifemakers and I was hooked. In a pre internet world it was smiths like Herbert Kettell and rigging knife living legend Mudd Sharrigan that gave me advise and pointed me in the right direction.
The most enriching part of my work is seeing my knives used every day. I will get a knife back for sharpening after a few years of use, and they develop such a warm patina. I put so much thought into making them it feels great to see them get used!
Most helpful piece of advice ever received:
"Train your eye and work with the results." Peter Ross