Saturday, September 11, 2004

Real sharp stuff

Knives are man's oldest tools. And one of my favorites. I've had knives of my own since Cub Scouts and can't remember too many times since I've been an adult that I've not had a knife on me.

I'm not much for the fancy, hang on the wall or hide in the safe art knives - I like knives that I can use. While I have a few of the fancier knives they just aren't me.

With that in mind I headed off to my first knife show - the 1st Annual Chicago Custom Knife Show. Who knows what excitement awaits?

I paid my entry fee and walked in. Over one hundred tables. People to talk to, knives to drool over look at, and just soak in the atmosphere.

I walked the room taking a quick look at everything - making mental notes as what needs a second look. I met knifemakers from all over: from South Africa to Sweden to Canada to all over the US. I met a knifemaker that is a buddy of one of my co-workers. He and his charming wife were great to talk to. I got to handle knives that cost what I make in 3 months. They were works of art. And the makers just wanted to educate me on every little detail. Even when I was upfront and told them that it wasn't my style of knife. Just wonderful people.

The wife doesn't share my feelings about knives. I can't even say it's a guy thing because I know lots of women who like knives. So it seemed strange that the first thing I bought was a bracelet for the wife from Jot Khalsa. I picked up a small fixed blade from Pat Crawford, some supplies from Koval Knives, a letter opener from Robert Rossdeutscher, and a new sharpener. I would have bought more but cash was running low. Had the Strider Knives folks had been selling one of the knives they had on display I think I would have been hitting up the ATM.

All in all it was a fun experience. Can't wait for next year. Since money will be tight (college bills add up...) I'll be on a limited budget but it'll still be fun.

One thing I noticed - the makers that were upbeat and engaging the customers were selling knives. The ones that looked like they wanted to be anywhere but there - well as nice as their knives were that had no customers. That smile goes a long way...

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