If you were in the process of receiving a Custom Order from Murray Carter, please see his heartfelt message near the bottom of this newsletter.
The mild winter is finally giving way to some sunshine, making us anticipate the days when our shop door can remain wide open so we can enjoy that fresh Northwest Oregon air!
And speaking of open doors, Carter Cutlery is getting some local exposure! The local ABC news crew came by the shop in Hillsboro and did a report on Murray and his free Open Houses where he demonstrates traditional Japanese bladesmithing techniques every Thursday. Watch the video coverage on the KATU site here. Inhabitants of the Portland area can also hear Murray's voice through their radios if they tune to 102.3 FM or 1190 AM. If you do not happen to live in the region, you can enjoy the radio ads directly here.
Murray has a new video! Many people wonder about the ease of touching up the their cutting in the field if the bench water stones are not handy. Murray shows us how it's done and also announces a new Carter Cutlery exclusive product: the Pocket Water Stone! Look to purchase it on CarterCuterly.com.
Carter Cutlery is Expanding!
The continued success of Carter Cutlery has enabled it to add Louis Eppich to the team. Louis splits his time between helping Shamus and Kenny in the shop with prep-work and handle fabrication, and assisting Aaron in the office for computer and newsletter duty. Louis has been a long-time fan of Murray's knives and YouTube videos and is excited to be a part of Carter Cutlery's future. Never fear, though, Murray still forges, heat treats, grinds, polishes, and sharpens each knife himself to ensure the optimum blade quality Carter Cutlery is known for.
Oregon Knife Show
Murray is pleased to report he made another successful appearance at the Oregon Knife Collectors Association Show in Eugene, OR from April 12-14. Murray sold several of his High Grade-Series kitchen knives and neck knives that were completed in the nick of time to make the trek down Interstate-5. The OKCA hosts one of the largest knife shows in North America, and Carter Cutlery is proud to be located in a part of the country with so many other cutlery producers and enthusiasts.
A Note from Murray Carter Regarding Custom Orders
My Dear Patrons,
Let me take a moment to personally reach out and speak to you about the role custom knife orders have played in the past, present and future of Carter Cutlery.
For the first 22 years of my bladesmithing career (from 1989 to 2011), I gladly accepted custom knife orders from patrons who eagerly supported my work and growth in the industry. These custom orders often stretched my abilities and helped me reach new levels of competence in my craft. The orders also allowed me a certain level of financial stability because I knew as soon as the order was completed I could expect payment for my effort. As some of you may recall, I always honored the orders in the sequence that I received them in, thus making it a fair wait for all.
In about the year 2003 I started to make knives in batches; often forging 50 to 100 knives of the same genre at a time. This method of making knives allowed me to really focus and concentrate on each step for maximum results. The repetitive work fine-tuned my techniques and significantly increased the performance of my knives. It also resulted in more high performance knives being completed in a shorter time; a win-win situation. This was the period that my knives started to get internationally recognized for their superior attributes. It started the "Golden Era" for Carter Cutlery.
Between 2003 and 2011 I attempted to weave custom orders into these batches of knives, so that they too could benefit from the advantages of being made in a batch. It didn't, however, quite work out the way I hoped it would. The details of each customer's knife would become difficult to track through the 65-plus steps that it takes to complete a Carter knife. I had two choices at this point of realization: rush through the custom orders one at a time or slow down the whole production of a batch of knives and sacrifice a bit of quality due to the distractions. I struggled in this system for many years doing the best that I could because I really wanted to satisfy my valued customers' desire for a tailor-made Carter blade.
When I could no longer bear the thought that custom orders were compromising the overall quality of the batch, I ceased taking new orders in early 2012. Believing that I could still honor the existing custom orders, I kept forging ahead and was delivering one or two custom knives a month. Although I have not received one complaint or a returned knife during that time, I felt in my heart that the custom orders were not quite up to my very finest standards. This was due to the very fact that I made them as single units without the aforementioned benefits of working in batches.
Therefore, when I feared that custom blades might not be the very finest I could produce, I made a very difficult decision to immediately stop custom orders all together and to refund any deposits that I had accepted for future knives. Over the past week I have reached out to many of my dear customers with current orders on file with an apology and an offer to refund their money or offer them a tremendous discount on any products or services in my current inventory. There are still a few I will reach out to in the next few days. I sincerely look forward to resolving any issues and fulfilling all my responsibilities in each individual case.
Let me reiterate. I am completely devoted to making the finest blades as humanly possible for the benefit of my valued patrons and for the legacy I will leave my four children, Tetsuo, Emily, Alisa and Maria when I eventually pass from this life to the next (although I don't expect that any time soon). In my case, custom orders are hampering my ability to attain greatness, so I am reluctantly bowing out of current and future custom orders.
To those of you who received their full deposit back instead of the custom knife you expected, I publicly apologize and ask your forgiveness.
Murray Carter April 14, 2013
Thank you once again for your continued support, and we look forward to being able to assist you in any way. Do not forget to sign up for product alerts because more knives will be released shortly! Plus, you can now like/follow Carter Cutlery on Facebook and Twitter.
For the next FIVE DAYS ONLY get 25% off any High Grade kitchen knife, including those with custom handles. Offer valid for current inventory. Hurry this deal is limited to the first FIVE customers. Call (503) 466-1331 or visit CarterCutlery.com to place an order.
Murray Carter & the Carter Cutlery Staff
ABS Master Bladesmith
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