cocoon #2

2010

  • Shape - wn
  • Scales aluminium, cotton, silk and wool
  • Liners titanium
  • Lock slip joint
more...

During 2009, I had to find ways of making knives without a workshop. The range of modified Spyderco knives were a direct result of this restriction but when I started to use textile techniques to join different materials, it made me wonder which other textile techniques I could take back into my knife making.

Over the years, I have seen many extraordinary knives including fantasy and art knives that use all the accepted knife vocabulary. They are shiny, spiky, aggressive; they look like knives – even those knives that are never intended to be used.

These pieces are a direct reaction to these; soft, warm and visually non-threatening. How much of the accepted knife vocabulary can be removed and still have a functioning knife?

They give me the opportunity to start reappraising the role of the domesticity and feminity in knives. Knifemaking is traditionally seen as a very male trade but during my research into Sheffield knifemaking, the role of women keeps cropping up. Much of the piece work for folder parts was done by women in their homes, usually their kitchen or a small outhouse. I suspect that the awareness of these invisible women will manifest itself in future knives too.

Most of the foundation work is woollen felt and I use a mixture of wet felting and needle felting to create the desired affect. Some pieces are numo felted; incorporating silk, cotton and other mesh in the structure of the felt. The surface is then stitched, reworked, embroidered and embellished.

cocoon #3

2010

  • Shape - jj
  • Scales aluminium, cotton, silk and wool
  • Liners titanium
  • Lock slip joint
more...

During 2009, I had to find ways of making knives without a workshop. The range of modified Spyderco knives were a direct result of this restriction but when I started to use textile techniques to join different materials, it made me wonder which other textile techniques I could take back into my knife making.

Over the years, I have seen many extraordinary knives including fantasy and art knives that use all the accepted knife vocabulary. They are shiny, spiky, aggressive; they look like knives – even those knives that are never intended to be used.

These pieces are a direct reaction to these; soft, warm and visually non-threatening. How much of the accepted knife vocabulary can be removed and still have a functioning knife?

They give me the opportunity to start reappraising the role of the domesticity and feminity in knives. Knifemaking is traditionally seen as a very male trade but during my research into Sheffield knifemaking, the role of women keeps cropping up. Much of the piece work for folder parts was done by women in their homes, usually their kitchen or a small outhouse. I suspect that the awareness of these invisible women will manifest itself in future knives too.

Most of the foundation work is woollen felt and I use a mixture of wet felting and needle felting to create the desired affect. Some pieces are numo felted; incorporating silk, cotton and other mesh in the structure of the felt. The surface is then stitched, reworked, embroidered and embellished.

JoJo

2010

  • Shape - rescale
  • Blade material VG-10
  • Scales aluminium wire, silk and wool
  • Liners G10 (foliage green)
  • Lock Spyderco Slipit
more...

During 2009, I had to find ways of making knives without a workshop. The range of modified Spyderco knives were a direct result of this restriction but when I started to use textile techniques to join different materials, it made me wonder which other textile techniques I could take back into my knife making.

This was the first felted knife that I made and it was made on a Spyderco Urban knife. Felted knives are surprisingly robust - this one accidentally went through the wash in a jeans pocket, emerging none the worse for it's adventure. Not a recommended cleaning method for any knife though!

Over the years, I have seen many extraordinary knives including fantasy and art knives that use all the accepted knife vocabulary. They are shiny, spiky, aggressive; they look like knives – even those knives that are never intended to be used.

These pieces are a direct reaction to these; soft, warm and visually non-threatening. How much of the accepted knife vocabulary can be removed and still have a functioning knife?

They give me the opportunity to start reappraising the role of the domesticity and feminity in knives. Knifemaking is traditionally seen as a very male trade but during my research into Sheffield knifemaking, the role of women keeps cropping up. Much of the piece work for folder parts was done by women in their homes, usually their kitchen or a small outhouse. I suspect that the awareness of these invisible women will manifest itself in future knives too.

Most of the foundation work is woollen felt and I use a mixture of wet felting and needle felting to create the desired affect. Some pieces are numo felted; incorporating silk, cotton and other mesh in the structure of the felt. The surface is then stitched, reworked, embroidered and embellished.

multiblade

2010

  • Shape - jj
  • Blade material Ed Schempp Damascus
  • Scales ebony
  • Liners silver
  • Pins silver
  • Spring material 15N20
  • Lock slip joint
more...

A two bladed multiblade with scissors.

cocoon #1

2010

  • Shape - ba
  • Scales aluminium, cotton, silk and wool
  • Liners titanium
  • Lock slip joint
more...

During 2009, I had to find ways of making knives without a workshop. The range of modified Spyderco knives were a direct result of this restriction but when I started to use textile techniques to join different materials, it made me wonder which other textile techniques I could take back into my knife making.

Over the years, I have seen many extraordinary knives including fantasy and art knives that use all the accepted knife vocabulary. They are shiny, spiky, aggressive; they look like knives – even those knives that are never intended to be used.

These pieces are a direct reaction to these; soft, warm and visually non-threatening. How much of the accepted knife vocabulary can be removed and still have a functioning knife?

They give me the opportunity to start reappraising the role of the domesticity and feminity in knives. Knifemaking is traditionally seen as a very male trade but during my research into Sheffield knifemaking, the role of women keeps cropping up. Much of the piece work for folder parts was done by women in their homes, usually their kitchen or a small outhouse. I suspect that the awareness of these invisible women will manifest itself in future knives too.

Most of the foundation work is woollen felt and I use a mixture of wet felting and needle felting to create the desired affect. Some pieces are numo felted; incorporating silk, cotton and other mesh in the structure of the felt. The surface is then stitched, reworked, embroidered and embellished.

pruner 2

2009

  • Shape - trad
  • Blade material carbon steel
  • Scales burr maple
  • Integral bolsters nickel
  • Pins nickel
  • Spring material 15N20
  • Lock slip joint
more...

When I first moved to Sheffield in 1993, I was given a box of old blades and springs by Stan Shaw for me to practice on. There were a huge range of styles and sizes, all of them carbon steel, some stamped out but most of them were beautifully forged. I always intended to make them up into more contemporary looking knives but I wanted to wait until I could do them justice.

These pruners are the first three knives that I have made up from these old blades. In keeping with their age, the knives have occasional, small patches of spider rust on the surface of the blades. Clean and oil the blade after use and you will get years of service out of this piece of Sheffield history.

The liners and bolsters have been machined out of a thick sheet of nickel; this gives a neater stronger resolution and I was able to dovetail the scale material into the bolster area.

There is secret 'rosebud' filework on the inside of the knife.

EDC1

2009

  • Shape - rescale
  • Blade material CPM S30V
  • Scales various
  • Lock Spyderco Slipit
more...

Late summer 2009 I made a few pieces for a university project, KeyPiece (http://www3.shu.ac.uk/keypiece/)

These knives started from the question that people always seem to ask me, 'what do you use a knife for?' My normal answer is to just say 'everything' but that's not very helpful so over three weeks, I kept a record and artefact evidence (all the bits) of everything that I used my knife for.

As 2009 was the year of the workshop, I had to develop new ways of working that meant that I was not dependent on having a workshop space. Modifying a factory made knife (particularly one that is of particular significance to me) seemed appropriate.

EDC is a series of three knives; each knife is a week. Each knife is a Spyderco UKPK (http://www.spyderco.com/) that has been modified so that it is possible to see what I have used it for.

I guess they are entirely recycled (as the knives were all second hand) and the handle material certainly was!

scales - Corrugated board, zip ties, duct tape, biscuit wrapper, parcel tape, Royal Mail envelope, wire mesh, address label and a wrapper from a bar of marzipan divided equally into three parts.

EDC3

2009

  • Shape - rescale
  • Scales various
  • Lock Spyderco Slipit
more...

These knives started from the question that people always seem to ask me, 'what do you use a knife for?' My normal answer is to just say 'everything' but that's not very helpful so over three weeks, I kept a record and artefact evidence (all the bits) of everything that I used my knife for.

As 2009 was the year of the workshop, I had to develop new ways of working that meant that I was not dependent on having a workshop space. Modifying a factory made knife (particularly one that is of particular significance to me) seemed appropriate.

EDC is a series of three knives; each knife is a week. Each knife is a Spyderco UKPK that has been modified so that it is possible to see what I have used it for.

I guess they are entirely recycled (as the knives were all second hand) and the handle material certainly was!

Scales - tags, aluminium strip, cable tie, glove leather offcut, packaging mesh, cement bag, elastic cord, plastic sand bag.

pruner 3

2009

  • Shape - trad
  • Blade material carbon steel
  • Scales fossilised mammouth ivory
  • Integral bolsters nickel
  • Pins nickel
  • Lock slip joint
more...

When I first moved to Sheffield in 1993, I was given a box of old blades and springs by Stan Shaw for me to practice on. There were a huge range of styles and sizes, all of them carbon steel, some stamped out but most of them were beautifully forged. I always intended to make them up into more contemporary looking knives but I wanted to wait until I could do them justice.

These pruners are the first three knives that I have made up from these old blades. In keeping with their age, the knives have occasional, small patches of spider rust on the surface of the blades. Clean and oil the blade after use and you will get years of service out of this piece of Sheffield history.

The liners and bolsters have been machined out of a thick sheet of nickel; this gives a neater stronger resolution and I was able to dovetail the scale material into the bolster area.

The scale material on this one is a fossilised mammoth tusk. Trade in the ivory from the tusks of dead mammoths has occurred for 3000 years and continues to be legal. Mammoth ivory is rare and costly, because mammoths have been extinct for millennia and scientists are reluctant to sell museum-worthy specimens in pieces, but this trade does not threaten any living species. The majority of mammoth ivory is gathered as it becomes visible in melting Siberian permafrost.

'Foxy'

2009

  • Shape - foxy
  • Blade material Powder damascus
  • Scales Sterling silver
more...

This was the first piece of powder mosaic damascus steel that I made. It was done as collaborative project at Hank Knickmeyer's forge in St Louis from 15N20, 1084 and nickel.

Hank's wife, Benita, made a fox. This little knife was designed and made to showcase Benita's little corner of the billet.

The scales are blasted sterling silver with burnished edges. The other details (pins, rivets and tubes) are steel and silver.