The second full day of the show is in the books, and it was as as wild and exhausting as always. The highlight of the day for the Magazine was definitely the raffle of the Gaétan Beauchamp reverse scrimshaw knife I wrote about last night.
It was definitely a successful contest. While there were only a modest number of entries from comments here on the website, we registered quite a large number of new users and had several dozen Blade Show attendee entries. Immediately beforehand, people gathered around our booth in anticipation. That is a frequent occurrence around various booths at the show, and it was fun to be on this side of it, especially since I have been attending the show since 2014.
The majority of the day I just spent circulating between various booths and tables, looking at knives, and plugging the website to makers. For the most part I passed by the large manufacturers, having seen most of their new offerings at SHOT in January.
I did swing by Spyderco, both to say hi to my contacts at the company and to catch a glimpse of the new Spyderco/Murray Carter collaboration kitchen knives. At their suggestion we took the two knives they had on hand to the Carter Cutlery table and get Carter-san to pose with the knives. He obliged.
Anthony Marfione of Heretic Knives with his Medusa model, a blue carbon Damascus, genuine abelone inlay, and a free-rolling ball in the pocket clip. Way out of my league in terms of price ($1850), but a very fine piece of functional pocket-art.
Ben Hereford of Craft Lab Knives in Britain poses with his UK-legal, but universally cool Nomad friction folder.\
Albert Gardner is not someone I knew before today, but he is a hardworking maker with a table full of affordably priced customs, which have wonderfully shaped handles.
I first met Patrick Doyle at Allen Elishewitz’s house a few years back, and I have since admired his work.
Speaking of Allen Elishewitz:
I have been a fan of Trenton Tye (Purgatory Ironworks) for some time now. His Youtube Channel has provided me with hours of entertainment. He balances education and entertainment as well as anyone I have watched.
Kevin Estella’s new book, 101 Skills You Need to Survive in the Woodsis doing extremely well on Amazon. The book is fabulous, I have not read the entire thing, but the sections I have are clear and thorough. Some really useful stuff within.
Here he is with my good friend, knifemaker Kim Breed.
TOPS President Leo Espinoza shows off the new Dicer 10 and Dicer 3.
He also showed me a carver and a bread knife that is being added to their culinary line. SMKW’s Tyler Pipes was not hurt in the taking of this photo.
I just happened to be at TOPS when Ben Peterson stopped by to say hi to Craig Powell, TOPS General Manager.
Serge Panchenko, king of the microknife.
Justin Gingrich of GTI with one of his new, patent pending Delta lock folders.
Justin is my hero. He found and reunited me with my notebook of show notes which I had left behind at his booth, putting an end to a half hour of near panic.
The Delta Lock has 1 5/8″ of surface area contact with the blade and can survive a multi-point failure without coming apart.
Russel Klaehn is Bob Loveless’s nephew and knifemaker himself. He owns the Loveless trademarks and will be keeping the legacy alive as he moves operations from Riverside to northern California.
Michele Valtorta is an Italian maker whose work caught my eye, especially this long Wharncliffe.
Rob Cabrera of Doublestar and Filo Bladeworks (his personal, custom knife company) has pledged to donate one of each label to our 100 Knives in 100 Days Giveaway.
He and fellow DoubleStar employee Jesse Starnes collaborated on this wicked push dagger called “The Meg” after its uncanny resemblance to the extinct mega-shark’s teeth.
I ended the day with what has become my favorite BLADE Show tradition over my past 5 shows – a Saturday night dinner party hosted by Dogwood Dan Eastland and his wife at a phenomenalAtlanta restaurant called Local 3. The burnt brisket ends tonight were a quasi-religious experience.
Dan is good friends with the owner of the restaurant, and actually made all the knives.
The party is an interesting mix of the Eastlands’ friends in and outside the industry. I won’t delve into the entire guest list, but Joe Flowers from Condor and Bushcraft Global, David Andersen of KnifeCenter, and Josh Swanagon Knives Illustrated Editor are 3 of the other public faces in attendance each year. It was particularly interesting discussing the show with Josh, because we both tend to focus on different things even though we ostensibly are in similar roles while covering the show.
This year was particularly special for David Andersen and me. This time last year, as we had been for 4 years prior, in our roles at The Truth About Knives blog. David was my Associate Editor and I ran things as Managing Editor. Needless to say neither of us is there anymore as Wide Open Media, who bought The Truth About Guns and consequently TTAK decided to pull the plug.
But we both managed to “fall up” in a major way when the blog closed. David is the public face of KnifeCenter, and I am obviously here at Knife Mag. We both made it to SHOT for the first time as well this past January, and could not be more thrilled with the direction our careers have taken.