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My Journeyman set.

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Hello all,


It is official, this June I will be testing for my journeyman stamp at the atlanta blade show.

I passed my performance test already, with the guidance of Vero Laurent and Jean-Louis Regel.


I am quite nervous, but really excited as well. I might even meet some forum members there!

I do not have an exhibitor stand, I think this way I will be able to experience more of the show, and do some shopping ;).

I will of course have my 5 presentation knives with me, Veronique was generous enough to offer me a corner of her table to display them.



Since I have never been to the states it also is the perfect opportinuty to book an extensive vacation after, almost a whole month. I'm excited to get to experience the usa together with my parents.


We will be in atlanta for a week, trying to get the most out of Bladeshow, and I also want to see the aquarium.

After atlanta we will do a small roadtrip of 10 days, driving to Nashville, Memphis, Baton rouge and finally a few days stay in New Orleans.

From there we will take the plane to New-York before flying home again.

Our flight back to the Netherlands was trough New York anyway, so it seemed like a no brainer to add a few extra days there, Giving me a chance to go to the Metropolitan museum.B)


If anyone has some recommendations of sights to see and foods to eat I'll gladly hear them! As a tourist I will try my best to experience as much amercian culture as I can.



Me doing the performance test under Jean-Louis supervision, the knife performed brilliantly.



My set of five, I'm still working on a 6th one to bring as an backup.






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Those are indeed beautiful!  I think you'll do fine.


As for foods, etc., I can't help with Atlanta, (except do go to the Atlanta History Center if you're interested in the American Civil War) but as a native Tennessean I'm sorry you won't be in my end of the state and that I won't be in Nashville (as far as I know) to meet you!  That's a five-hour drive one way for me, and at this moment I don't have any meetings scheduled in Nashville in June.  You will probably pass through Chattanooga on your way from Atlanta to Nashville? If so, their aquarium is spectacular.  In Nashville, go ahead and do the tourist thing, head down 2nd avenue and marvel at the rednecks and tacky fashion.  If you like country music (I don't particularly care for the new stuff, but pre-1985 isn't too bad except when it's horrible), a visit to the Ryman Auditorium is always nice.  Even I appreciate its role in what became "country" music.  Do visit the Tennessee State Museum. https://tnmuseum.org/ It's not large, and it has some really interesting things in it. In my experience many Europeans are fascinated with Native American life, and it has an excellent section on that aspect of Tennessee history. It will give you a new appreciation for what you have in Europe, that's for sure!  Eat at the Farmer's Market food court just south of the museum.  Lots of options.  Do not look for Nashville Hot Chicken.  Unless you love pain, that is.  The mild variety is hot, but still has some flavor. Anything hotter than medium spice is just mean, with no flavor notes except pure capsaicin.  


In Memphis, you must visit the National Ornamental Metal Museum https://www.metalmuseum.org/.  I apologize in advance for the road construction.  Any of the BBQ joints downtown are excellent, but the Rendezvous is the most famous and thus the most crowded.  Be sure to try pulled pork, both pork and beef ribs, beef brisket, and especially shrimp.  Being from East Tennessee I prefer my BBQ a bit sweeter than they do in Memphis, but that's a personal thing.  Other than the museum and the food, Memphis has few redeeming virtues in my opinion.  But the food is pretty darned great. Oh, and Graceland.  Even if you don't personally care for Elvis, it's worth a look.


On the way from there to Baton Rouge, stop in Greenville, Mississippi and get some hot tamales.  They are unlike anything you've ever had, but are good.  Baton Rouge is mostly oil refineries, but New Orleans is my favorite city in this country.  It will be hot, miserably so.  That just means you walk more slowly.  Do the tourist stuff in the French Quarter, and do their aquarium, it's the best I've seen except for the one in Monterey Bay, California!  Then take the St. Charles Streetcar all the way to the end of the line.  It will pass through the business district, by the war museum (which I haven't seen), then through the Garden District, Audubon Park, and the universities of Tulane and Loyola.  In Audubon Park is the Tree of Life, a centuries-old Liveoak.  Beware of fire ants, though.  Evil little things, and in the park they don't build the typical tall mounds.  When the streetcar turns the corner from St. Charles onto Carrolton, to your left is a legendary bar called Cooter Browns.  110 beers on tap, (some of them even worth drinking! :lol:) excellent cheeseburgers, and oysters on the half shell if that's your thing.  Ride on to the end of the line, where you'll get out while the conductor flips the seats to face the opposite direction, then ride back to Canal Street.   That whole trip if you don't get off takes about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, but you'll see the real city.


If it's after 5pm and you're on the east end of the French Quarter AND you're as big a nerd as I am, you must go to Dat Dog Dat Dog - Hot Dog Restaurant in LA on the corner of Chartres (pronounced "charters") and Frenchman streets. At first glance it's unassuming, but looks are deceiving. The food is incredible (as is all the food in New Orleans), but the upstairs bar (you enter though a TARDIS) is a place unlike any I've seen.  It's the headquarters of the Intergalactic Crewe of Chewbacchus, a Science Fiction / space-themed Mardi Gras Krewe Chewbacchus – Saving The Galaxy One Drunken Nerd at a Time….  It's done in purple and black, with blacklights everywhere, and model space ships from every sci-fi world hanging from the ceiling, but the centerpiece is the avatar of the great god Chewbacchus himself behind the bar.  That alone is worth the trip, if you ever liked Star Wars even a little, back before they ruined it with the prequels.  Just pretend those never happened and you'll be fine.  Cafe du Monde is overrated, but it's fun to take a chickory cafe au lait and a bag of beignets up to the top of the levee and watch the river roll by.


But I repeat: ALL the food in New Orleans (and most of south Louisiana) is incredible.  I'm not a fan of boudin noir, but that's about it.


Enjoy your trip to the States, and let us know how it went afterwards!  

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Good luck, have fun and safe travels!

RIP Bear....be free!


as always

peace and love




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Thank You all for the best wishes!


Thanks Alan for all the great advise, a few of those spots I already knew about, but for instance that metals museum in memphis looks great and I would have missed that otherwise.

I'm not looking forward to the heat, but I have my ugly but comfortable sandals ready.

I am actually quite interested in american history! maybe europe has more of it, but I find that america tends to be more proud and interested in theirs.

As a dutchman I'm not used to any natural beauty, so live oaks, swamps and even hills have me excited already.



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6 hours ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

even hills have me excited already.


In that case, prepare for Lookout Mountain as you go through Chattanooga!  It's lovely.  Some nice scenery as you cross the lower part of the Cumberland Plateau as well, even though it's lower than the northern part.  Sorry to keep yammering, I just like to show people my state!  

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I'd wish you luck on the presentation set, but I doubt you will need it. You have put a lot into this and with the tutelage of Vero and Jean-Louis, I'm positive they have already said it is time. I think it's time for whatever my opinion is worth.....


I drove through Memphis and Nashville many years ago and found nothing of interest to suggest. I later went back to both while working some tour in the music business and frankly all I saw was the inside of whatever venue we had a gig at. I also spent a week in New Orleans one night. Fantastic place and Alan has already given you the scoop on what to do and see.


Now New York is my old stomping ground, but who knows if any of my old haunts are still around. Find a nice Jewish deli for breakfast, a Chinese place in China Town for lunch and Little Italy for dinner and save room for desert! The South Street seaport used to be a great place to spend a day. Lots of food, shopping, and sight seeing. It's also not far from Battery Park where you can catch the ferry to the Statue Of Liberty island. Check to see if the observation decks are open. The view from inside her head is wonderful. I think the torch deck has been closed for years now.


Enjoy the Blade Show and your vacation.

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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That looks like a clean presentation......Your in  if I were the judge...... nice!!!!!!!!     I think going to the blade show untethered with no table to corral you is the best way to attend.....the amount of work is overwhelming .....it is amazing how quickly you can become jaded..... it is nice you will be able to pace yourself .....


and enjoy your visit  after the show..... catch some good music while you are here....... any place you find .....not just New Orleans 

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