Jay Hendrickson Knives

Jay Hendrickson: Twists and Turns in 50 years of Knifemaking – by Nancy Hendrickson

The following article appears in the August 2023 issue of KNIFE Magazine.

Ed.: For five decades, Jay Hendrickson has been a custom knifemaker of note – but more than that, he and wife Nancy have been an active part of the handmade knife community, giving freely of their time to worthy organizations like the ABS and the Moran Foundation. At the recent Blade Show, Nancy told me that she’d written something about Jay that she’d like us to take a look at. After receiving and reading it, I knew thatKNIFE Magazine readers would enjoy experiencing it just the way Nancy wrote it – so here it is! -MZ

Jay Hendrickson: Twists and Turns in 50 years of Knifemaking
by Nancy Hendrickson

Jay was born in the small town of Susquehanna in northern Pennsylvania. He always said that he was fortunate to be born long before television. He felt very lucky because the woods were a short distance from his childhood home. Tree huts and forts were built throughout the woods where the boys would play “cowboys and indians.” There he could throw tomahawks and his father’s “borrowed” putty knives, which he would grind to look like small knives. His interest in knives came at a very early age. Fast forward – after high school, a stint in the Army, college and marrying me (Nancy) in 1960, we raised three children, Shari, Shawn, and Stacey. Jay had a career in management at IBM.

Our family moved to Maryland and Jay met Bill Moran in 1972. At that time, he started making stock removal knives and took a great interest in the art form, especially after reading the book by B.R. Hughes and Jack Lewis entitled The Gun Digest Book of Knives. He continued with the stock removal method until Bill asked Jay to join him at the two-week bladesmithing course being taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the mid 1980s. This was the icing on the cake, as he then converted 100% to bladesmithing.

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