July 7th ~12th, 2008
We still have room for our most exciting
class of the year –
Intensive Bladesmithing Class 500. During this six-day hands-on course
the students will fully cover all aspects of Japanese Bladesmithing
fundamentals and will complete three beautiful hand-forged knives by
the end of the class. See the link
here for dates and tuition. Time is getting precious so call me
immediately if you have interest in this class.
We also offer financing for any of our classes for those who would
rather pay monthly vs. paying one lump sum.
Tim, Wes and I all traveled
to Atlanta to work the Blade Show together. This was to be Tim's last
duty before resigning from his position as administrative assistant.
Our trip there was fine, and all four suitcases full of our merchandise
showed up at the luggage carousel. What a relief!
The show opened Friday
afternoon and we enjoyed seeing old
friends and regular customers. Sales were brisk and we established a
new sales record for the opening day of the Blade Show. Saturday,
however, was a very strange day. Attendance appeared to be way down,
and Carter Cutlery saw very little action at the table. My feeling was
perhaps current economic concerns and political uncertainty was keeping
people at home. Many others at the show that I talked to shared similar
On Saturday evening, all
of us at Carter Cutlery enjoyed a
very special banquet right there at the hotel, even though attendance
was below our expectations as we never had an opportunity to pass out
invitations to anyone on Saturday. Sunday morning was much the same as
I was ready to come to
terms with a disappointing Blade Show
for this year when suddenly sales picked up in the late afternoon.
Incredibly, even though we didn't have a busy Saturday, we did surpass
our all-time sales record for any Blade Show. All the hard work the
three months prior had paid off. I can't help but wonder what the end
result may have been if attendance had been at its regular capacity?!
As our show
table was literally overflowing with knives this
will consider either two tables or even a wall booth for next year. At
my first Blade Show ten years ago, I had only five knives on the table
(that I had taken for Journeyman Smith testing). Carter Cutlery has
come a long way since then!
are now on YouTube.
Check out these two clips from our Advanced Blade Sharpening DVD:
Posted on eBay! We
posted two knives, our Credit
Card Knife and our Damascus
Bowie Knife, on eBay. Place your
bid to snag one of these as the
bidding ends on Friday, June 27.
Next batch of
knives to include long kitchen knives and various Wharncliffe-pattern
Every last one of the 250 knives that I started
in March has been completed and those that were on order have been
delivered. I will attempt to forge and complete 300 knives
months of June and July.
Apart from completing up to the next 20 knives
that have been custom ordered in my order book, I will forge about 30
Wharncliffe-style neck knives (original, modified and brute models),
several kuro-uchi, SFGZ and SFGZ-RH knives. Expect many of them to be
on the longer/larger side, with average length being about 8 sun
(240mm). I'll put out some Gyuto and Sujihiki knives with special
custom handles just for you guys who wants something the Jones' never
The goal is
to put up new knives for
the site every
On May 15th, by special request, I conducted an intensive
sharpening seminar for two distinguished customers. We had perfect
weather despite recent trends, so we held the seminar outdoors, under a
shaded canopy. We covered a broad range of topics to enhance their understanding of sharpening and maintenance,
and even had some time to fire up my circular water stone and let the
students give that a try.
One point I
strongly emphasized was how to look at and examine the knife being
sharpened so as too accurately diagnose trouble spots and to correct as
necessary. Simply stated, if you can't see what the problem is, you
can't fix it. By and large, I was very pleased with their progress over
the day and can honestly say that they both are now well on their way
to mastery in hand sharpening.
|Here is what they both had to say about our time
||Murray was very
personable, friendly, has
obviously honest skills, and hands that love to work with fire, steel
and stones. He knows how to do the different tasks and how to teach
them, giving clear explanations and demonstrations. It was a great
balance between instruction and student's hands-on time.
-- Pete Silvia,
I recently attended
Murray Carter's sharpening clinic at his
studio in Oregon. It was a tremendous experience!
Murray is a thoughtful, patient teacher. When I
encountered problems working with the man-made waterstones or with
technique, Murray would look more deeply at what I was doing. He never
made corrections. Yet somehow by the end of the afternoon, my skills
had doubled. What's more, all of the rag-tag knives I brought are sharper than they had ever been, way
Murray is a gifted teacher because instead of
teaching "technique", he taught the skill of looking, diagnosing and
patiently correcting the blades. With these skills, the actual
sharpening fell into place.
Murray! These are skills I will
-- Phil Taylor, Engineer
First Annual Dinner Banquet
The purpose of the dinner banquet was to share a special meal
with my best customers and supporters and to reveal to them the long
term goals of the business. In my speech I emphasized the goal of the
bladesmithing school, which is, through the bladesmithing classes, to
eventually find a student with the skill, aptitude and passion for the
trade to become the 18th-generation bladesmith.
attendance at the show and thus low attendance at our dinner banquet,
we were honored to have 25 guests attend. We held the dinner right at one of the
conference rooms at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel so it was easy for
everyone to get there. The décor and food buffet was
outstanding. The food menu included Roasted Strip Loin smothered in
Chianti Wild Mushroom Sauce, Seared
Salmon topped with Champagne Cream, Grilled Vegetable & Pasta
Salad, and some excellent desserts.
Included among us were two very distinguished
guests, Ed Fowler and Steven Dick. As many of you will
publicly recognized these two men in my earlier newsletters last year.
I hand forged special custom traditional Japanese Kiridashi knives for
them with their names engraved in each. I had also secretly forged a
knife to present to Tim McCalla to thank him for all his hard
work over the
past eight months.
I also made a Ten Year Blade Show commemorative
knife which was first photographed for my upcoming book and then
auctioned off. Congratulations to Tom Kiger who placed the
winning bid! For
the benefit of the guests, we had everyone put their name in a hat and
we had two free drawings, one for a beautiful ebony-handled High Grade
kitchen knife and the other for a Whitecrane IWB knife. Larrin Thomas and Pat Gibbs were the lucky winners of
these superb knives.
Cutlery Action Adventure August 2008
32-mile 5-day hiking trip
Room for just a few more
May '08 Newsletter for details)
We have an update on our very promising
adventure this summer. We are moving the dates ahead by two days -- the
trip will start on August 16th and we will hike until the 20th
(originally from 18th~22nd). Our trip leader this
year, John, has gone to great lengths to write a 33-page
where we are going, what we will be doing, what to bring, how to
prepare for the trip, etc. If you are interested in receiving a copy of
this very informative and practical guide to hiking and camping,
us know. I personally can't wait to go on this
adventure of a lifetime,
and I look forward to benefiting from all the outdoor-related seminars
we have planned.
If you are interested in joining us for the fun
and unforgettable camaraderie, contact us today as there is not
much time left to prepare. The participation fee is $350, which
covers everything but your transportation to and from the rendezvous
point, food and equipment.
Well folks, that's all for now. As we become
more familiar with sending these newsletters, we'll try to be more
timely in getting our news to you. As always, Wes and I remain
committed to serving you to the best of our ability.
our next newsletter,
Stay Sharp and may God richly bless you!
2008 Carter Cutlery