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what do people say when you tell them your a bladesmith?


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im just getting into it, but ussually when i tell people i want to make blades thier eyebrows perk up and ask inquizitively. what for? most artist try to dicourage me and tell me ill never make any money doing it, and that theres no point in competing with 3rd world labor, in trying to do everything by hand. not that any of them are deterring me, its more of a side thing than trying to make a living at it, i will be a school teacher for that. just curious as how some of you guys are perceived, and what kind of questions people ask you. why blades? they ar a weapon for killing u know. what do you say to someone who says waht if u made a knife that someone use to hurt someone?

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knives are basically tools, just ask them what they have in their kitchens. some are also works of art and very expensive and collectible. photo of knife by Antonio Montajano

 

Rodgers-67.jpg

Edited by DanM
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just curious as how some of you guys are perceived, and what kind of questions people ask you. why blades?

I normally get anything from a shrug of the shoulders to a barrage of abuse about the criminal element of society. At 6'1" and a fit 95 kg, right arm has a 3/4 Maori / tribal sleeve tattoo on it and I ride bikes.... oh and he makes knives ..... Tattoos+bike+knives "HE's the DEVIL"

 

:blink:

 

All you do is smile and sharpen their kitchen knives for them. If they have any questions you answer them. And you will find that are usually pretty interested in what you are doing, or at least dump that first impression.Grandma's love you when they have sharp cooking knives B)

It's no use arguing with some people though about it, they are usually the people that complain that you made their kitchen knives to sharp.To those people F@#K em you do your own thing mate.

Oh and I ride a BMW. How many criminals ride bloody BMW's, I ask ?

 

most artist try to dicourage me and tell me ill never make any money doing it, and that theres no point in competing with 3rd world labor, in trying to do everything by hand

That seems abit odd, trying to tell you what media to work in! For me it if it is only about money then it ceasses to be art (your creative outlet) and then becomes something else altogether. I can walk through an art gallery and maybe only find a few paintings or sculptors that I like, and even less that that I love. However I can spend hours at a museum staring at a Japanese sword or a knife show at various blades. Art is subjective!

 

they ar a weapon for killing u know. what do you say to someone who says waht if u made a knife that someone use to hurt someone?

Australia's laws regarding knives and swords is becoming very restictive, you can get yourself into trouble very easily without even knowing it. Hence why alot of use have the attitude that they are a tool/ art object primarily more so than weapons ( its amazing what points you can argue/ convince yourself of). That being said I try and make them do what they are mean't do as well as I can.Realistically how many people are going to buy a custom knife and go out stick someone with it ? A good parry for the argument of "But knives are a weapon/ they kill people blah blah blah" is "oh so you dont use a knife then" either gets the cogs turning or gets right up their nose. Touche'

 

My 2 cents on the subject.

 

Jas.

Edited by J.Browne
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The most consistent response for me if " Dude, I'll pay for you to make me a SAMURAI SWORD!!!"

 

Oh, and for all intensive purposes, I usually tell people in a Blacksmith, and the response to that one is " Oh, so you make horse shoes"

 

Such is life.

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thanks for that tutorial, that is excellent work. very helpful because i plan to etch some blades, and would even like to do stones one day.

 

back to the original topic, people dont see my tattoos much, but if they did im sure i would even get some more suprised faces. most of the blade smithins ive heard of are sort of recluse and not seen often, and i might see myself along similar lines too, any of you could say that about yourself? what readlly makes one a bladesmith?

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The reaction I get is very similar to the deer in the headlights look. My circle of friends, associates etc. have never taken up any type of creative hobby or craft. Thier weekends are composed of drinking beer and watching sports on TV or playing computer games for hours on end. At the end of the day they have nothing to show for thier time and they have done nothing to improve thier confidence, self pride or thier image. Thier idea of challenging themselves is to see if they can get the lawn mowed in one shot.

 

Worse yet a few people that have saw my knives have had the balls to ask if it was a kit. That is sad because they are not even in the mode of thinking that someone can actually do that in a home shop or garage.

 

IMHO the world would be a much better place if all of us found a craft or hobby that we are really pasionate about and devoted to. How do people get through thier work day without daydreaming about the knife that is waiting for them to work on when they get home.

 

I pitty the fools!

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Like I had posted in another thread, without knives, society would never be where it is today. If we never had knives, we'd still be throwing rocks at the deer and such trying to get food, and out pulling up plants to eat. Blades have played a major role in human development as they are an extremely important tool. It's sad that everyone focuses on the weapon aspect rather than the tool aspect.

 

Sure they're made to cut, but they're not meant to cut humans. But they can if the human using it intends it as such.

Pencils are made to write, but if someone intends, they could easily use it to jab someone in the throat. It's all just intent. Same with a car, or pretty much anything.

 

People are just closed minded. Mainly due to the media.

 

Also on another note, like someone said above, why would someone use a custom knife they bought and paid hundreds or more for as a weapon in an illegal manor? Most would just go buy a kitchen knife from the local CheapCrapStore, a three year old could even do it! At least at my store. Pocket knives and hunting knives in sporting goods at the Walmart where I work (aka cheapcrapstore) have the age limit of about 16 I believe. Can go buy a kitchen knife of any size with no age restriction at all.

Edited by EdgarFigaro
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My most common response is "You make what?" followed by " How did you get started doing that?".

 

My hobby is seen as even stranger because my chosen profession is as a Teacher in the Early Childhood/ Preschool field, which is over 95% female with a high concentration of "Grandmotherly' types. It's odd to be in a conference as the only guy in over 100 people and everyone is talking about what they do for stress relief. Everyone else is saying things like "shopping", "the spa", and "working out", and I pop off with "I make knives". The looks are priceless.

 

All in all, the responses I have gotten have been positive.

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Being in the southeastern US where no native-born male is without a knife, the response I get from males (and most females) is "That's so freakin' cool!" followed by "How much?" My wife is a college professor, and some of her associates are yankees conditioned to fear anything potentially weaponish, and to them I'm an artist-blacksmith who sometimes makes a knife for re-enactors or display.

 

I've never had a negative reaction, regardless.

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sometimes i really dont know how to anwser when they ask me why i want to get into bladesmithing, i just seem drawn to it. i totally agree about what edgar figaro said about human intention over the material substanance of the object. I too am goin to be a teacher, possibly elementary or high school, im a little curious to what responses i will get. but atleast i like to make alot of other kind of stuff too, so they dont have to focus on that.

 

thanks for the responses.

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Personally I've not yet really gotten any bad reactions. Just some raised eyebrows. One of the lady's I work with that I'm friends with wants me to make a blade for her to buy for her son.

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Even living in Eastern Connecticut (very blue state), being a retired

school teacher, an ex-town council member, biker, I've never

gotten a negative comment about being a bladesmith. Usually the

comments are, "that's cool, can I come see you work?" You betcha!

Helps to spread the good word.

 

Hot metal. Sweat. Life is good.

 

Bill

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My usual reply to the question is to imitate Peter Lorre's voice when I say:"I lahk knahfs....do you? heheheh..."

This serves to winnow out those who have no sense of humour or don't like old movies.

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  • 5 months later...

gunna brng this thread back fromt he dead and post up because some of you guys have good stories...well the reaction i get totaly depends on who im talking to, i just started making knives about 5 months ago when i came to finland as an exchange student (im 17), when i told my mom i thought i would catch hell, the response i got was "well you and Cam (a buddy) have been screwing around with that stuff for years, its about time you learned how to do it right" my dad thinks its pretty cool but my family is from ranching family in saskatchewan, when i go out to the ranch you just wear a knife all the time cause its a tool and you need it. when i tell my friends from the city its kinda, funny....they dont know what to say to that. most of my buddies i go offroading with usualy just say cool, can you make me one? how much?

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I thought I had posted in this thread.... Guess not :P

 

Pretty funny actually. When I was forging out a couple of blades last weekend, the neibor's kids walked over with a group of their friends and were like "Oooooo, I didn't know you were a blacksmith" and "Can you make me a Katana?" and "How long is it going to take you to finish that knife?" Of course, kids are less likely to be hostle towards blades and more focused on how to get them.

 

Oh, it was also fun getting lots of looks from the people driving by. I had set my forge up in my driveway because that's the best spot with the fewest leaves (I still haven't cleaned them up and didn't want to catch my yard on fire). Normally everyone flies around the corner that I live on. But people would go real slow, turning back to look at me as they drove off. So now I know how to get people to take it easy around that turn ^_^

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When I tell poeple, they almost always think I am hoking... then after I give them a blank stare for a while they realized i was not kidding... :) lol

 

The fact that I am only 18 might play a role in it to.

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I ususally avoid the topic of knives unless the person I'm talking to brings it up. I usually say soemthing along the lines of "yeah, I make ornamental and functional ironwork and I make some tools, too" I have a coworker who lives out in the boonies that I can talk freely with about knives and such. I've even sent her home with a couple of EDCs for her and the trucker hubby to use.

 

I was having a few beers with coworkers on Thursday and one of the guys said "I really wish I knew how to make beer" and I told him I'd invite him over the next time I start a batch. His response "wait- you make your own beer and you're a blacksmith? I want to be on your team when the world ends"

 

Best reaction ever :P

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haha david, yea i know what you mean, at 17 i dont really think we would strike people as the sort to be into old school stuff like forging blades seriously...i know lots of people who say "oh i want to make a knife like this" but none really follow through or actualy do any research.

 

kristopher....that has to be the best reply I have read..i love it!

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the best response I have had to making knives was when I was asked by a fellow engineer on a job what else I did .I responded Blacksmith ,and i make knives and damascus and his response was, so do I !!

the other guy makes reinactors stuff including period knives and swords ! when you randomly find another blade head it makes for some good chats .

 

as a side note this is a very unusual thing to happen in the uk as there are so few knifemakers .

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I was having a few beers with coworkers on Thursday and one of the guys said "I really wish I knew how to make beer" and I told him I'd invite him over the next time I start a batch. His response "wait- you make your own beer and you're a blacksmith? I want to be on your team when the world ends"

 

Best reaction ever :P

 

 

I've had that response (and reaction) a time or two myself. :lol:

 

I spent last week at John C. Campbell folk school making knives, along with a great many other folks making bread, pottery, wooden bowls, furniture, dolls, music, enamelled copperware, and conceptual arteest BS stuff. We had to eat together every day, and usually ended up with a different mix of people at every meal. No negative reactions to knives, just a few stupid questions. At show-n-tell on Friday they all admired the results, even though a few of them did get the shivers and walk away quickly. The Samuel Bell dirk is a wicked little blade, after all... ;)

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