'Shadow of Opportunity'

2009

  • Shape - wn
  • Blade material RWL34
  • Scales enamel with silver
more...

Much of my work develops as like a series of slightly misheard whispers. The title of a picture or a written description of an event will create an image in my head that often is very different to the one that would have developed from a visual input. It becomes a dynamic process of abstraction and change through iteration. A physical event becomes a written or spoken distillation, which is then reinvented as a new object. Very often, when I track back, I am surprised at how far removed from the original source, my creative process has taken me.

NASA published a picture of the surface of Mars taken by the roving robot 'Opportunity'. The idea of there being a shadow of 'opportunity' was more powerful for me than the actual image; the evidence of a presence, a spontaneous happening, without a direct recording.

In the Spring of 2009, I had the opportunity to work with an enameller who has a very different, organic approach to her creative practice and I made this piece with her help. I wanted the spontaneity to be apparent, but also make reference back to deep space and the NASA image that had started this little creative journey.

EDC2

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 - Wrapping paper, pencil shavings, electric flex, curtain material, covered elastic band with human hair, ivy prunings, string.

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.

'Painterly Sky'

2008

  • Shape - re
  • Blade material 420 Stainless Steel
  • Scales Blue Coral
  • Integral bolsters 410 Stainless Steel
  • Pins Sterling silver
  • Spring material 410 Stainless Steel
more...

The inspiration for this shape came from one of my favourite knives. I spent an hour or so drawing it when I first saw it and then finally acquired it the year after. It is a mother of pearl folder by R O Easler.

It was made at the same time as ‘Stainless Sun’ and marked a shift away from the very traditional Sheffield slip joint construction that I was using previously. The inside of the liners have been machined so that the blade can sit on PTFE washers and the knife is screwed together rather than the more traditional rivets.

'Stainless Sun'

2008

  • Shape - re
  • Blade material 420 Stainless Steel
  • Scales Gold lipped mother-of-pearl
  • Integral bolsters 410 Stainless Steel
  • Spring material 410 Stainless Steel
more...

The inspiration for this came from one of my favourite knives. I spent an hour or so drawing it when I first saw it and then finally acquired it the year after. It is a mother of pearl folder by R O Easler.

It was made at the same time as ‘painterly sky’ and marked a shift away from the very traditional Sheffield slip joint construction that I was using previously. The inside of the liners have been machined so that the blade can sit on PTFE washers and the knife is screwed together rather than the more traditional rivets.

Damascus Folder

2008

  • Shape - dam
  • Blade material M Maxen Damascus Steel
  • Scales M Maxen Damascus Steel
  • Liners Sterling silver
  • Pins Sterling silver
  • Spring material M Maxen Damascus Steel
more...

I realised that over the years, I had collected Damascus steel that I now wanted to showcase in a simple folder. This shape was a modification of a traditional shape that I had been making with Trevor Ablett over the previous year.

It also marks the first step away from the traditional Sheffield method of making slipjoint folders. In order for there to be no rubbing on the Damascus blade with it opened and closed, I machined the inside of the liners. However, unlike the ‘painterly sky’ and ‘stainless sun’ it is still riveted and has no washers.

Cargoes #1

2008

  • Shape - jj
  • Blade material Steel and silver laminate
  • Scales Abalone Shell
  • Liners and bolsters Sterling silver
more...

The blade steel is the laminated steel that I developed during my PhD and has veins of pure silver running through it.

This is a set of three knives in memory of my father.

In 2007 when he had had a stroke and was struggling with his memory, my father was sitting with his friends recalling poetry that they had learnt nearly seventy years previously.

Cargoes by John Masefield was his favourite and the verses are just so evocative, that I started jotting down ideas for these knives when I was listening to them.

Each knife matches a verse.

Sometimes, I’ll carry an idea for a knife in my head or sketch book for a time, while I source materials or finalise a detail. This was one of those projects.

Quinquireme of Ninevah from distant Ophir, Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine, With a cargo of ivory, Apes and peacocks, Sandalwood, cedarwood and sweet white wine.

Cargoes #2

2008

  • Shape - jj
  • Blade material Steel and silver laminate
  • Scales Mother of Pearl
  • Liners and bolsters 9ct gold
  • Pins 22ct gold
more...

The blade steel is the laminated steel that I developed during my PhD and has veins of pure silver running through it.

This is a set of three knives in memory of my father.

In 2007 when he had had a stroke and was struggling with his memory, my father was sitting with his friends recalling poetry that they had learnt nearly seventy years previously.

Cargoes by John Masefield was his favourite and the verses are just so evocative, that I started jotting down ideas for these knives when I was listening to them.

Each knife matches a verse.

Sometimes, I’ll carry an idea for a knife in my head or sketch book for a time, while I source materials or finalise a detail. This was one of those projects.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus, Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores, With a cargo of diamonds, Emeralds, amethysts, Topazes, cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Cargoes #3

2008

  • Shape - jj
  • Blade material Steel and silver laminate
  • Scales Black lipped mother-of-pearl
  • Liners and bolsters Wrought Iron
more...

The blade steel is the laminated steel that I developed during my PhD and has veins of pure silver running through it.

The wrought iron was heavily etched to reveal a striking layered characteristic.

This is a set of three knives in memory of my father.

In 2007 when he had had a stroke and was struggling with his memory, my father was sitting with his friends recalling poetry that they had learnt nearly seventy years previously.

Cargoes by John Masefield was his favourite and the verses are just so evocative, that I started jotting down ideas for these knives when I was listening to them.

Each knife matches a verse.

Sometimes, I’ll carry an idea for a knife in my head or sketch book for a time, while I source materials or finalise a detail. This was one of those projects.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke-stack, Butting through the Channel in the mad March days, With a cargo of Tyne coal, Road-rail, pig-lead, Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.