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Newsletter Archive

Carter Cutlery June '08 Newsletter

Newsletter Topics


Next batch of knives

Bladesmithing School News:
Sharpening Clinic

July 500 Bladesmithing Class

Blade Show Report

First Annual Carter Cutlery Dinner Banquet

Hiking Trip Details


Intensive Bladesmithing
Class 500

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.


Blade Show 2008
Atlanta, Georgia


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 feelings.

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 Saturday.

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 year, I 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!

We are now on YouTube. Check out these two clips from our Advanced Blade Sharpening DVD:
Knives Posted on eBay! We have 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 neck knives

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 during the 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 got!

The goal is to put up new knives for sale on the site every two weeks.

Bladesmithing School News
Sharpening Clinic

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 together:

  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, Engineer


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 sharper.

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.

Thanks Murray!  These are skills I will always use.

-- Phil Taylor, Engineer


Carter Cutlery 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.

Despite low 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 recall, I 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.

Carter Cutlery Action Adventure August 2008

32-mile 5-day hiking trip
Room for just a few more participants!
(See 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 explanation of 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, please let 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.

Until our next newsletter,
Stay Sharp and may God richly bless you!

Murray Carter
ABS Master Bladesmith
P.O.Box 307
Vernonia, OR 97064
phone 503-429-0447
cell   503-816-6556

© 2008 Carter Cutlery







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Carter Cutlery, PO Box 307, Vernonia, OR 97064
503-429-0447 -
©Copyright: 2007 Carter Cutlery

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