HASH

About a year ago, I published a post titled Leftovers, where I showed and described some of the odd knives I had accumulated over the years. To get rid of leftovers, you chop them up fine, and turn them into hash.  This is a hash of some of the other edged and pointed tools and toys infesting our home.

sdc10944

The son’s knife made of glass c/w a skull in the butt.

sdc10943

The skull’s a bit hazy, but then, so is the photographer.

sdc10946

The wife’s letter openers;
$1.49 Wal-Mart special
steel blade with cast pewter hummingbird/flower handle
antique Victorian sterling silver, which someone ruined by grinding it ‘sharp’
$30 handmade c/w rosewood handles

sdc10948

My letter opener.  A birthday gift from daughter/grandson.  Miniature Eragon sword.

sdc10949

A grandson gift.  This letter opener is banded agate stone, with Scottish thistle pommel.  Blurry, as usual.  😳

sdc10952

The son’s excess work knives.  Numbers 1 and 2 were found in ’empty’ parts cases, returned from customers.  3, 4 and 5, he purchased, #3, at a Detroit knife show, #4 in Toronto, and #5 from Amazon….’cause he doesn’t have enough knives.

sdc10954

My EDC, (every day carry)  $100 Gerber in nylon/Velcro belt sheath.

sdc10955

The son’s assault knife, called the “Feral Siamese”.  More of a short sword c/w skull-breaker pommel & formed Kydex sheath.  Needs a big, strong hand/arm.

sdc10958

The son’s $2000 Katana, which he won for $20.  Shown with Kydex scabbard and the winning ticket.

sdc10960

The son’s ‘utility’ Katana, called the “2014 TiKat”.  A little less fancy, built by the same maker who produced the blade for the one above.  This one is made of titanium rather than stainless steel – half the weight, with twice the strength and edge-holding, with a snug wooden scabbard.  I really need to get someone else to take these photos.

sdc10961

A decorative skinner/caper with a cast pewter wolf’s-head counterbalance and wolf scene on the handle.

sdc10964

My dragon kriss, gift from the daughter.

sdc10965

A replica German officer’s dagger with cast/moulded metal scabbard.

sdc10967

One of the son’s titanium belt buckles, this one with a single skull motif.

sdc10970

Another titanium belt buckle, this one with a dragon surmounting the Earth.

sdc10979

A matching titanium folding knife and belt buckle combo, this one with multiple, smaller skulls.  (And my hands and camera sneaking in via reflection)
001a

002a

Not the son’s ‘falling star pendant’,  this one is a Maltese Cross, made of Damascus steel.  A knife with this patterning is awesome.

That’s about all the knife-related stuff we’ve got.  See you again (or you’ll see me) in a couple of days.

Advertisements

Blade Runners

SDC10878

On Saturday, Aug. 23, the son, grandson and I attended another Art Knife Show at a fancy hotel in downtown Toronto. We took along with us, the Katana sword shown above, which the son won in a door-prize raffle in 2011. Tickets were $5/ea, or 5 for $20. The son risked the twenty bucks, and the lady at the door gave him six tickets. Being honest, he returned the extra ticket, and insists that it was the karma from this act which won him the sword.

We carefully wrapped it in a large towel, so that it could ride the subway with us, incognito. It was a collaboration effort. One skilled bladesmith created the blade, and then handed it over to another maker, more skilled in adding the fittings – handle, guard, wrap, and sheath – and assembling the final product.

While finished, at the show, it took another 10 months for it to be shipped to us. We emailed photos to the blade maker, but he was very interested in actually seeing and handling the finished product. He had to miss the 2012 show. In 2013, the son forgot to bring it, but promised, “Next year in Jerusalem Toronto.” In 2014, we were 60 miles from home when the son finally thought of it. We weren’t going back! This year, finally, the blade guy was overjoyed and impressed, and took several shots of it for his catalogue.

Below are several photos of blades I felt were interesting and well made, along with a few comments. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll try to answer.

SDC10875

See final picture at bottom.

SDC10874

The knife on the right is one version of a sub-hilt fighter.  I paid a maker $700 to produce a cheaper model with a white handle that I could have scrimshawed.  He played around for over two years before deciding that he wanted to make American Civil War replicas.  It took another year, and urging from influential members of the Guild, to get him to return my money.  I’d have been much happier to have the knife instead.

SDC10873

This Damascus double ulu started off as a joke by a maker with a young son who didn’t want to eat the crusts on his toast.

SDC10872

SDC10871

SDC10870

Double-ended jackknives used to be common.  Some cutlery companies still make a few from $20 to $100.  I believe this beauty was going for $850.

SDC10869

SDC10868

Not quite an ‘art knife’, this hay-bale cutter contained $200 worth of material and labor.  The maker built it for experience and practice.  It was going to a Mennonite in my area in exchange for some Damascus steel that he had made, and a small blower forge.

SDC10867

SDC10866

My little digital camera really does not do some of these knives justice.  Click on the photos for more detail.

SDC10865

SDC10864

The photos above and below are of knives produced by the maker of the blade of the katana at the top.  Again, my lack of detail does not show the high quality of his blades, but amateurish finish on his handles.

SDC10863

Knife Collector's Prayer

The photo at the top shows a small portion of a collection that the owner of this sign had on display.  The ‘Art Knife Makers’ were all dressed in suits and upscale clothing.  They usually built one knife at a time.  While they charged $500 to $5000 a knife, they often had it sold, and money in hand before it was finished.

This unassuming guy dressed like me – black jeans and a polo shirt, but his display contained dozens of these expensive toys.  I need to ask him next year what he does for a living.  The cost of his collection could buy a small country.

Act Sharp. Get To The Point!

The wife and I have been going to Knife shows to view hand-made, custom, and Art Knives for about 22 years.  The first one we became aware of, that we could afford the time and money to attend, was in Detroit.  The trip to that show was a real adventure, perhaps the basis for a future post.  Detroit is about a four hour drive.

Soon after, we found that there were knife shows in Toronto, only an hour away.  Actually, back then, there were three shows a year, hosted by the Canadian Knife Collectors Association.  Shows organized by collectors, embarrassing!  Soon the Canadian makers organized themselves into a guild and took over the shows.  They’re down to two shows now, with talk of dropping the fall one.

Makers came in from the Yukon, B.C., the prairies, Quebec, the Maritimes, and the northern U.S.  Then, 9/11 happened.  Overnight, makers were not allowed to carry knives onto airplanes.  A maker flying from Hawaii to L.A. lost $30,000 worth of knifes from cargo.  Soon shows shrank, because they were limited to makers who lived close enough to drive.  The Detroit show went from 200 exhibitors, to 50.  The Toronto show has gone from 50, to about 20.  Still, we go!

This year there were four makers from Montreal and area, a 7 hour drive.  Their French business cards list them as joalliers – jewelers.  Their knives were elegant, gem-adorned, gold-inlaid pieces of art.

The most recent Toronto show was held March 9 and 10.  With the wife’s deteriorating mobility and increased breathing problems, she often stays at home.  Bright and early Saturday morning, (It was early, but I was none too bright, with three hours sleep.  The son had been up since 6 PM Fri.) I took the son, the grandson and his fiancée, and we went to Toronto.

I got to socialize with makers I’ve known for years.  We discussed those who have passed on, or had to leave the business, and some of the new, up-and-comers who are taking their places.  We all looked at knifes and swords, and supplies, and non-knife stuff that cutlers (A name, meaning knife-maker.) make.

The five-dollar work-knife the grandson bought last October has been extensively used, causing wear to the lock, which creates a safety hazard.  He paid $60 to buy a much more reliable replacement, prettier too!  The son also paid $60 to get a different-style lock-back, to replace the twenty-some year old Swiss Army Knife he carries.

Last year, and the year before, he paid $300 for art-engraved, solid titanium hook-type belt-buckles, which he displays with his utility/fighter knife, and the Katana sword he won last year.  The door prize this year was a pattern-welded Damascus-steel knife with a strip of Canadian Maple-Leaf flags down its blade.

One maker had a matching brother/sister pair of knives.  A gentle S-shape, the blade down, and the carved coca bola-wood handle up, with a matching carved wooden sheath.  The his-knife a little larger, but each at $300.  The grandson and the fiancée each wanted to buy one.  She had cash in her wallet, but the work-knife purchase had left him short.  He went up to the ATM in the lobby, but it was out of order.  The desk-clerk sent him to the building across the street, where he got cash at another ATM.  Just as he re-entered the room, another guy picked up “his” knife, and bought it for a friend.

The grandson learned to “reserve” a knife, even put a deposit on it.  Fortunately, the maker is a relatively new displayer, and lives here in Kitchener.  It would take about a year to work it into his schedule, and it wouldn’t be exactly the same, but if the grandson asks, he’ll make another, to complete the pair.

The son bought a shooting star, literally.  One of our friend/makers had a small billet of steel made from a piece of meteorite.  Only able to get a couple of knives from the piece, he cut and polished a few shapes from the scrap, including a thumbnail-sized, star-shaped pendant, on a rawhide thong.  He paid $60 for that also.  A piece of a star doesn’t come cheap.  He also looked at a beautiful titanium art-knife folder, engraved with skulls and crosses, like one of the buckles he bought from the same maker.  Boy, I wish I lived at home with my parents, and could afford pretty stuff.  Well, it does all live at my house, so I can gaze and fondle it.

After the show, we went down the street to a sub shop for lunch.  On a busy street, by the airport, there is no sidewalk, just a paved shoulder up to a tiny parking lot.  While we sat there, a black Lincoln stretch-limo pulled up and stopped.  Five minutes later, a black Cadillac pulled in behind.  A questionable-looking driver got out and walked up, carrying a briefcase.  The rear window rolled down, the briefcase was handed in, a different briefcase was passed out, and they rolled away in opposite directions.  Another “What The Hell Did I Just See?”  That wasn’t a drug, or weapons, or industrial espionage deal??!  Nah, the driver just took his wife’s briefcase this morning, with the wrong lunch.  Yeah, that’s it.

I finally nudged the son into applying for his passport.  The wife cut his hair and trimmed his beard.  Now he only looks like the second-in-command to an Arab terrorist.  He got the requisite photos taken, had his Mom fill in the last of the application form, and I drove him down to the passport office on Thursday.  I’ve been there before, and know where to park.

The clerk told him that they were scheduling to mail out passports, applied for that day, on March 21.  There’s the spring knife show in Detroit, coming up on April 26/27.  Unless the bureaucracy really fouls things up, he’s taking the Friday off work, and the two of us will go.  If something does get screwed up, the wife says she’ll be happy to go again.

Even if nobody gets propositioned this time, there should be enough of interest for another post.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.