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Fox Creek

Knifemakers that have influenced me....

50 posts in this topic

These are not so much influences but people who have greatly helped me on the journey thus far, with practical help Howard Clark, Don Fogg, Doc Price, and here are a few authors who have influenced me Jim Hrisoulas, Heinz Denig, Wayne Goddard, Ed Fowler. Also I think Al Pendray should get a mention as he inspires me to one day have a go at making wootz, and Jim should get a special mention as without his book The complete bladesmith I would never have started the journey in the first place.

 

So thanks to you all.

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Here are my major influences in chronological order wit notes indicating their importance.

 

Bo Randall. Randalls were the first non-factory knives i ever ran across. I still love the optional "border patrol" handle on the Model 14 and 15. i traded my 4 Randalls years ago for a Pre-64 Winchester Model 70. The knives would be worth considerably more than the gun today.

 

Bill Bagwell. First time i ever heard of damascus was in an article about him.

 

Ron Gaston, Jay Hendricksen, Robbin Hudson, Marc Sentz, Joe Flournoy, Al Pendray, Charlie Ochs-I started checking out knife mags and bought my first issue of the "Knives" annual around 1992-93. I went to my first (and only until last year when it came back to Orlando) Guild Show at the Marriot World Center in Orlando. Of all of the knives i had seen in the books, Ron Gaston's fighters were the ones that caught my eye the most. At the show, I met the other gentlemen and they are responsible for me latching on to forged blades. I bought one of Joe Flournoy's MS test knives. i have subsequently bought knives by all ofthem except for Gaston and Hudson

 

Jim Crowell, Jerry Fisk, Harvey Dean I saw Crowell's work in books long before I knew who Jerry Fisk was. He is the one that got me interested in the style of the Arkansas Mafia...lol. I love all of their work. Own knives by each of them. i met Jerry Fisk at Blade 2005 and got to talk to him for a while at the 2005 fall hammer-in. Now i get the impression that some knifemakers may have issues with him in the same way they do with Ed Fowler. Jerry is a ruthless promoter of himself and his craft and has been extremely succesful. I guess that is why he has a book on the business of knifemaking in the ABS store. But hey.....i found him to be funny as hell and extremely helpful. As were all of the guys from the ABS that i met at Blade and the hammer-in.

 

Ed Caffrey. When i actually decided to start making knives, i joined Ed's forum on Knife Network. I learned how to forge from his video and bought at hunter from him at Blade last year. He haqs been my biggest source of information and advice.

 

and last but certainly not least,

 

Bill Moran. Since I became interested in making knives again last spring, he has been my biggest influence, not only stylistically, but philosophically. I met him briefly at Blade 2005 and then again at the fall Hammer-In in 2005, which was his last visit to the school. I had the unmitigated audacity to show him a ground-too-thin ST23 blade and he actually complimented me on it. Said that the 23 was a very difficult shape to forge (you ain't kiddin', brother...lol) Told me to stick with it. Incredible experience. I have his videos, but they can be intimidating. alitle old man swings a big sledge and BOOM....the blade is formed....in the meantime, I still can't get the plunge grinds right....lol i missed out on a Lime Kiln era skinner on Ebay by a hair. There was an ST23 for sale recently, but at the time, I didn;t think that i could pony up the cash ($10k) because i had another real estate project in the worksthat was going to require some of my own money in the short term. Turns out that it didn't, but such is life. A late 70's/early 80's ST23 is still my ultimate kife for my collection......anybody got one for sale? lol

Edited by jdm61

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My biggest inspirations would have to be:

 

 

Bladesmith's: Don Fogg, Ric Furrer, Richard Kazda, Peter Johnson, Vince Evans, Peter Lyons

 

Author's: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Brian Jaques, Chris Paolini

 

Artist's: John Howe, Alan Lee, Justin Sweet, David Slonim

 

 

 

All of which have a huge impact on my Bladesmithing/Blacksmithing and artistic work! :)

Edited by David D3

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im new to this but my greatest influence would b my granpa and my pop who taught me if ur gonna do something do it well.and b proud that u tried

 

 

 

Very nice.

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i'd have to say the bladesmith that got me hooked on knives and swords was peter lyon who made the swords for Lord of the rings which is what got me interested in making knives, other professionals who have inspired me are jim hrisoulas don fogg and all the people on the various web forums.

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My biggest inspirations would have to be:

Bladesmith's: Jake Powning, Ric Furrer, Richard Kazda

 

Author's: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Brian Jaques, Chris Paolini

 

Artist's: Jhon Howe, Alan Lee, Justin Sweet, David Slonim

All of which have a huge impact on my Bladesmithing/Blacksmithing and artistic work! :)

 

 

Wow, I haven't checked back here in a while, but we share many of the same influences. Jake Powning, Ric Furrer, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Brian Jaques.

 

Tolkien is my favorite author, out of the lot though ;)

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I would say a couple of my inspritors would be Jim Hrisoulas, Yoshindo Yoshihara, Don Fogg, Daryl Meier, Ulrich Henniske, Jake Powning.

 

Authors who inspire me would be first and foremost Brian Jacques. I have almost every one of his books, he never ceases to amaze me. When I read Mossflower, I can honestly say it was one of the defining moments that drove me to get into smithing in the first place. Tolkien's blades are also pretty awesome!

Edited by Sam Salvati

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Hugh Bartrug, Cleston Sinyard, Don Fogg, Tai Goo, and Scott Hurst as far as modern makers. The work of old masters would be John Chevalier and Samuel Bell. And many, many others of course. Not that my work looks like any of those but the spirit of each style embeds itself somehow I guess. All of us, Im sure have looked at thousands of photos of works from all periods in time and cultures from all over the world and each and every one of them has probably left some sort of an imprint on us. My favorite Japanese maker that is influencing my current work is Kunihira Kawachi.

Edited by Tim Lively

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Tim, I gotta say -you- are one of my major influences. I came into metalworking wanting to make armor, then found some writings online about heat treating, which led me to Primal Fires (a few versions ago) and your work. You convinced me that one could make a knife in one's backyard with minimal tooling.

 

While others have continued to influence me... some directly, some from afar... my charcoal washtub forge is still chugging along 8 years later now since the first time I put it together, based on the one you made and showed online. Thank you.

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I prefer to read the posts, I don't usually post. I don't know if I've ever posted here actually.

 

My first influence was my Grandfather, he made a knife out of a file he took to WWII. We talked alot about making knives, but never got the chance to work on one together. Time can be a real bitch. Linked to that influence were the swords he brought back. Last year I was fortunate enough, with help, to figure out the maker, the time period and style of the sword. That pointed me in the general direction of the Bizen styles. I try to add something oriental to the look of my current work.

 

My second influence was all of the books and videos out there, they helped me when I couldn't find a teacher. Then as luck would have it, I found a bladesmithing class. JD Smith is an excellent teacher with a very critical eye for details. I'm working towards my Journeyman in the ABS under him currently.

 

In that class one student was working in a style I hadn't seen before. It was called "Neotribal" at the time. I found a video online and later that year I was fortunate to spend time with someone who would become a big influence and a good friend, Tim Lively.

 

There are so many other makers that I find inspiring it would take too much time to list. I wouldn't be on this forum if I didn't cite Don Fogg as one. The desktop on my computer has a different picture every week, but they usually cycle between a Tim Lively, JD Smith or a Don Fogg knife. Those are my big three.

 

 

Scott

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for me Bill Stroman has been a incredable guiding force ,

Mentor and friend

Bruce Norris made a big impression on Me at Vallhola renn faire

and like Dracozny this site has been a endless source of information, eye candy, motovation and support

Mike

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1

Edited by Robert Kobayashi

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Don Hastings, Bill Moran.

There were others, but those two gave me the bug.

I read an article about Don's knives a a Gung-Ho magazine in the mid 80s.

I requested his catalog and ordered a Red River Bowie right away.

Sadly Don passed away shortly after, but he passed his business and name on to Dwayne Parrish who is still forging Don's knife models.

Edited by Conan_568

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The maker that has influenced me the most is, Alan Longmire. My favorite edged objects are hawks. I have not met the gentleman in person or even had a piece of his work in my hands. But, his work does strike a cord in me. I study every one of his postings. I strive to duplicate them(usually poorly). Alan"s hawks are the benchmark I compare my work to and strive too reach. This is a knife site, and everyone who post here are great craftsmen and artist. I'm just a Hawk man myself.

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My main influences include, but are not limited to; Don Fogg, Jimmy Fikes, C. Robin Hudson, Bill McHenry, Bill Moran, Jot Singh Khalsa and Jim Schmidt.

 

Reasons:Fogg;simplicity married to elegance and function

Fikes; getting the most from the forging process

Hudson; taking simple, humble materials and enriching them through solid design concept.

McHenry; folders as art and science.

Moran; intellegent self promotion

Khalsa; quintessential stylist

Schmidt; material selection and master of fit and finish.

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I hadn't really thought about hand made knives until I started seeing fellow Marines carrying around Bill Bagwell fighters in the early-mid '80's. I wound up buying one myself just before Desert Shield in '90. I started reading some of the mazines and was intrigued by an article on the ABS school in Old Washington. After DS, I had a really cushy assignment at NAS Kingsville, TX with lots of spare time so I signed up and took the Intro to Bladesmithing class in 1991. The instructor was Jim Crowell, and Jerry Fisk helped out a few days too and had the class over to his house and shop. I've been impressed and moved by the works of a lot of makers since then, and some are great just to hang around and listen to at hammer-ins like Mel Pardue, Don Fogg and Dr. Batson, but something about Crowell's knives still just look "right" to me and are still some of my very favorites. I guess it's like a baby duck imprinting on the first thing it sees out of the egg, but the functional elegance of knives by Crowell, Fisk, Cook, and now Rhea and that whole Arkansas gang just does it for me.

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The makers that have had the biggest impact on my work have been.

 

David boyed: wrote the the book that got me started.

Bo Bergman: wrote the book that taught me the basics of handle and sheath construction.

Jake Powning: proved that you could make a living working in the style I loved, and continues to inspire me with his work.

Don Fogg: hosts this forum, and has given valuable advice.

David and Andy of the MAD Dwarf workshop: for encouraging me to let my beliefs shine through my work.

And all the rest of you on this forum for your advice, critique, and encouragement.

 

Thanks,

Ben

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As I said before, my mentor and best friend is Ron Frazier. Ron started making knives around 1976 and went full time around 1978. I met him in 1977 when we both worked together in the display dept. at a large dept. store. We hit it off right away and he sort of took me under his wing. His health is not very good now and for the most part he's retired, but he did it all.

Other influences are too numerous to name, but surely Don Fogg is up there. As far as the deceased requirement: Buster Warenski, hands down, for sheer talent and creativity.

I'm just a baby in diapers compared to these 3 guys.

Mike___Wildman.jpg

Edited by Mike R.

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The bladesmiths that have influenced me through their books would have to be Ed fowler (the first knife book I ever read was "knife talk" By mr fowler, also Jim Hrisoulas and Don Fogg. Through personal experience Mr Jim Crowell, and Tim Potier who also are both great teachers. Also Avery Tredway who helped me make my first damascus billet. And the numerous bladesmith on this forum and also on the British Blades forum. I have to agree with David .D In authers that have influenced me being

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Brian Jaques, Chris Paolini + Douglas bond and Karen Traviss.

many other makers too numerous tolist have also influenced me.

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Wayne Goddard is my main teacher, and the funny thing is I've never had the opportunity to talk to him, face to face or not. What a great writer and bladesmith.

 

As for influences design-wise,

All of you on this great website. I mean it. Thank you Mr. Fogg!

 

But especially,

Wade Hougham

Ben Potter

Jake Powning

Stormcrow, I really love his neo-tribal/post-apocalyptic style.

I'm sure I'm forgetting others, to those I apologize for not being able to give proper credit, but I do thank-you, whoever you are!

 

Thanks guys.

Greg

 

EDIT: Doh, I forgot the guys at he Mad Dwarf Workshop. These guys gave me something to live, uh, I mean, strive for ;) . As a lover of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and Christopher Paolini, these guys really stroke my creative fire. Thanks David and Andy!

Edited by Greg C.

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In Jan. 1992 I was lucky enough to be introduced to Mastersmith Hugh Bartrug (Ashley Forge), we only live about 8 miles apart, he invited me to his shop and I was shocked beyond belief. We quickly developed a very close friendship, I worked with him as many days as I could, soaking in as much as possible. I got to watch and learn as he completed some of his finnest pieces, that man forgot more than most makers will ever know and was as humble and kind as humanly possible. My greatest weekend of my life was when he asked me to spend the weekend with him and his close friend Dr. Jim Batson,MS working in Ashley Forge after we attended a hammer-in together. I can not express the impact this had on me!

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For Starters I learn something from almost every post I read here.

 

Jake Powning - It was a random encounter with his work online that first got me started blacksmithing and its been a constant source of inspiration since. He's one heck of an artist.

 

Patrick Barta- Man!....that guy has skills that would make Volund shiver in excitment!

 

Don Fogg- Like many of us here without your forum I would still be "packing" edges, making railroad spike knives, and wondering why my leaf spring knife cracked when i quenched it in water.

 

Peter Johnson -Perfection in a piece of sharpened steel.

 

Petr Florianek- A friend, and someone who can capture the spirit of an age like nothing i've ever seen before.

 

Adlai Stein- gave me my first advice in bladsmithing in a yahoo chat room and led me here.

 

Cheers to you all and Thanks! Jeff Helmes

Edited by J. Helmes

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Wayne Goddard: I got my hands on one of his books a dozen years ago and thought - "hey, I could actually /do/ this!" Then a couple of years back when I had time to rebuild the shed (a big fir fell on my 1st forging space and it was years before I gave it another shot) - - - I contacted him personally (we live 45 minutes apart) & he was as approachable and helpful and full of great tips & how-to's as his books. We have a local maker's group that meets monthly and Wayne has contributed so much. He can't seem to help himself from helping others. I learn something from him every time.

 

And yah - for inspiration about how awesome bladesmithing can get, the list is long and most are mentioned in above postings.

 

Ray Richard (off beat forge) - there is something about his knives that just grabs me. I don't know if he's mentioned above...

 

And the ABS teachers in Old Washington, Arkansas - if you are a newbie and can take the time & $$$ to take the ABS intro course: my advice is "do it!"

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