I am continuing to work my way through the backlog of 5 from the Grinder pieces, and am almost through the ones I received prior to Blade Show. For the foreseeable future I am going to try to post 2 a week. If you are a maker who would like to be featured yourself, click this link for more information.
Today’s featured maker is Virginia knifemaker Michael Bradshaw, proprietor of Shaw’s Shanks. I like the name. I don’t know Michael, but hope to remedy that sometime. I met several of our 5ftG participants this year at Blade.
But you didn’t come here to listen to me blather, you came to see some knives, so here we go with Michael Bradshaw…
Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives
My name is Michael Bradshaw and I am from Lynchburg VA. My desire for knife making came from a few different directions in my life. I grew up always carrying a knife and it was just part of getting dressed, before you leave the house you do the check; keys, wallet, knife, phone, etc. I then joined the United States Marine Corps. where that habit smoothly transferred over. Then my son and I fell in love with the History channels hit show “Forged in Fire somewhere around 2017 and thought, “We can do that! And it looks fun!” So then it began. My son who is soon to be 11 has made a couple of knives as well. He and I talk knives a lot. In late 2021 I created my own business of Shaw’s Shanks. Man what a ride it has been so far!
What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
My early influences were Jason Knight and J. Neilson due to their roles with “FIF” along with a handful of Youtubers such as Denis Tyrell and Jason with Simple Little Life.
What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
I have always been drawn to any style of drop point weather it is a camp knife or bowie, I just love the look and functionality of a drop point knife.
What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
Really the sky is the limit! With the steel that is being produced these days, anything and I do mean anything can happen.
Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?
I love all of the knives in my lineup but I would have to say that the “Devil Dog” defines who I am and what I love to make. It is also my most popular EDC knife.
What is your EDC and why?
I carry 3 knives daily. I carry some sort of flipper/folder for small tasks (these are production knives), I carry a Damascus Devil Dog for heavy work (The first one I ever made of this model), and I carry a WE Dagger for self Defense (Luckily this knife has never been drawn).