One thing I love about our 5 from the Grinder series is that the questions are equally relevant to a brand new maker as they are to someone with decades of experience. The same holds true for geography, as a maker in one country likely has as much or more in common with a fellow maker in another, as they would with a random compatriot at home.
Today’s featured maker is Thomas Wellburn from the UK. I don’t know him personally, but he responded to our online call for participants.
If you are a maker who would like to be featured in a future 5 from the Grinder, click this link to find out more.
Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives
I started out as a blacksmith at 16 years old then fell into a jewellery apprenticeship at 20 years old I’m 40 now. I recently returned to the forge to make penknives, after friends saw one I had made for my stepfather, and asked me to make them one. since then I’ve been asked for swords and kitchen knives too, There is a great synergy between designing bespoke pieces of jewellery and bladesmithing The whole process of making my knives gives me a great deal of satisfaction and I most enjoy striving to make unique pieces in this fast growing industry.
What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
I’m a fan of William Henry’s website and I also like many of the ABS mastersmiths, in particular Kyle Royer and I also like Owen Bush’s historical blades here in the UK.
What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
I love a good renaissance dagger or rapier and I do enjoy a bit of Historical fencing.
What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
Probably CAD its becoming more prolific in many other creative industries, the accuracy is amazing and the capabilities to create are improving every year.
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 like the Dragons Eye penknife the most at the moment because it contains a little of everything I can do.
What is your EDC and why?
Penknife, for every day tasks and other chores. Wallet an essential everyday item. Glasses I can’t read a thing without them!
You can see more of Thomas Wellburn’s work:
For more information on our 5 from the Grinder series: