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Sean McGrath

Buster Warenski?

18 posts in this topic

Says he made a reproduction of King Tut's blade with 32oz of Gold that was specially heat treated.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Warenski

 

Also mentions that he was mainly famous for Hunting Knives, until his later years, when he started making pure "Art" Knives, one of which was called "The Gem of the Orient" and took him ten years to make...

 

Anybody remember him, or knew him? It say's he died in '05.

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Buster was one of THE best. He and his wife Julie (who did much of the engraving) pretty much perfected the category of "art knife" as we know it today.

 

I never met him, but I've always been in awe of his work.

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I remember seeing this repro years ago...amazing :D. I always liked the design on the scabbard of this dagger, and he got it just perfect...Egyptian art is very specific and not the easiest to get right. Great stuff, thanks...

 

(As a bit of an amateur Egyptophile, I think Tut's 'other' dagger was even more interesting than the gold one...it had a blade of iron, very unusual for Egypt at the time. I've heard it's meteoric iron, but don't know if that's been scientifically verified. Sorry to ramble a bit...)

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I met Buster around 30 years ago, when I went to my first Knifemakers Guild show and became a probationary member (I dropped out of knifemaking shortly after that). He was one of the great knifemakers of his time - his work evolved from simple utility to high "art" knives. If you're not familiar with his or other makers work from the 70's or 80's, check out some of the older knife books of the time - the Knives Annual Editions - starting in 1981, Gun Digest Book of Knives, even Sid Latham's book Knives and Knifemakers. It's interesting to see what "custom knives" were like then, what was considered great work of the time, and how much things have changed.

Jeff

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Yeah, Buster is a legend.

 

Don Fogg (no less) described him this way: "And then there is Buster, so far ahead of the pack, you can't see his tail lights."

 

His apprentice Kurt Erickson is making blades that incorporate many of Buster's elements (dramatic sweeping plunge cuts on hollow ground blades, etc.). His widow, Julie, still does the masterful engraving for these pieces.

 

If you get the opportunity, you should read up on the construction of the King Tut dagger. It was a truly groundbreaking piece that stretched even his nerves and skills to produce.

 

I never had the opportunity to meet him either, but I had photos of his knives torn from Blade magazine taped up on my locker door in high school (I know, I was a wierd kid).

 

--Dave

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I can't imagine spending ten years on a knife, he must have been a truly dedicated man.

 

Hibben is really the only "Art" knife maker that I've ever heard much about, but I always thought his more famous creations were kind of gaudy looking. I'll have to look and see what else I can find about Buster.

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I'd say Buster was an early seminal figure in the art knife movement. Incredible design sense for the whole package and did his own fine engraving before Julie took over. I remember Fred Carter and I went by his table at one of the Kansas City Guild shows. Buster was on the quiet side so we teased him about being born with a graver in one hand. :rolleyes:

 

Considering his status he never struck me as being over impressed with his accomplishments. I only met him a few times but always enjoyed it. We talked briefly about the Tut piece and the enameling and granulation which had him sweating bullets as I don't believe he had done those techniques before that.

 

That piece is a tour-de-force of workmanship and an amazing accomplishment.

 

Jim

Edited by Jim Kelso

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Yup, That is very sexy. It looks like something a king would have. A foppish king :D

 

Wonderful talent.

 

Mark

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Rumour had it that the "Gem of the Orient" was the first $1,000,000 modern handmade knife. I seem to recall that a Japanese tycoon commisned Buster to make another King Tut knife and Buster being the man of honor that he was refused but suggested an equally ornate gold and jewel encrusted knife.

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Do somebody of you have a picture from this "Gem of the Orient" ?

Thanks a lot. :D

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Also, here is the King Tutt dagger.

 

This is a groundbreaking piece.

 

I sure wish I could have met Buster. He was truly amazing.

KingTutDagger.jpg

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Breathtaking, huh?

I'd say. I wonder if the black underneath the gold on the hilt is Onyx? If gemstones were the driving force, that's the only black "gem" I can think of.

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This is an old string, however, I recall quite clearly reading his own story about the challenges of not only creating such a masterpiece, but of having to literally re-create some of the processes necessary to make such a replica. As others noted, it darn near cost him everything ... probably to include his sanity. I don't recall having met the man, but as someone who first began following the custom makers 30 odd years ago, I was in awe of him and and many of his contemporaries. The ones I was fortunate enough to meet were all gentlemen of the old school! God bless them.

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Sean, there's also a material called "Jet" that is black. I believe jade can also be found in a black variant.

Edited by Ray Hammond

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