"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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25 March 2011

On knife making

I have been thinking lately. Where am I going with my knife making?  To be frank I like making knives, but I also need to sell as many as I can. That creates a conflict in me between what I'd like to spend my time doing, and what I need to do. I like to create knives one at a time, I like to take my time, do a bit today, nothing tomorrow, and a maybe a lot the next day, and I can fit that between the other things in my life.. When I make knives on commission, that changes things, it is obvious the person who orders the knife probably wants it as soon as possible, which is understandable. So I need to discipline myself to do it as rapidly as possible, and that create the confict I mentioned above.

The problem for me is that I have an artist view of things. I am not a businessman. I may need money, like everybody else there are bills to pay, but I am not motivated by money. I can understand what made some artists, like Van Gogh, die in poverty!!!

So I need to find a solution to my dilemma. Perhaps what I need to do is to stop taking commissions, That would permit me to make the knives I want to make, at the speed and to the standard I wish. Perhaps also, I need to concentrate more on some type of knives: I am thinking folders and kitchen knives in priority over the other type of knives I have made... I feel those may have a more extensive market that other knives,

The folders because it maybe easier to sell a really nice folding pocket knife, with blades under 3" in this country, and people may be more prepared to carry one in their pocket without fear (real or perceived) of getting into trouble with the law.

The kitchen knives? There are plenty of cooks, and everyone need kitchen knives!!
Gotta do some more thinking!


  1. I see your dilemma all too clearly and can appreciate the need just to make or do whatever you fancy upon waking that particular day. I've often gone to bed thinking, "Right, I'll get on with job x tomorrow". I've even felt motivated to do job X but come morning it's gone and I find myself wanting to do job Y instead. I'm strictly a hobbyist thus far so I don't have to do things in a certain order to make money but the chopping and changing exists all the same.

    As far as my own folder commission goes then take your time, sir. I'd much rather have a knife you enjoyed making than one you felt pressured to finish. Oh aye, I forgot to post the Walnut today so I'll see if I can remember tomorrow. Honestly.....

  2. Maybe you SHOULDN'T take consignments, but just make what you want and then sell them as best you can. I'm not motivated by money, either; guess that explains why I'm so poor!

  3. Thank you Gentlemen. As in everything in life, it's a quesion of balance. I have spent so much of my time in life working to help pay the bills that I am tired of the relentless pressure. Sometimes, I just want to go and sit by the river with my dog friend and watch the river go by. No doubt many, many people feel exactly the same. I shouldn't complain though. At least I still have choices, which is a lot more than many other people in the world have.

    Now if only that lottery ticket came up trump...About as likely as being hit by a meteorite but you never know!

  4. Knowing me, I'd get hit by the ruddy meteorite instead!