100% hand crafted

100% hand crafted

Every year, thousands of people gather from all over the world for the biggest knife show in the world. Where else to have a knife show but in the heart of the South: Atlanta, Georgia. Why am I stopping here on my way to the World Cup? Because I work as an interpreter for some of the best Japanese knife makers, one of whom happens to be an old friend of mine.

The demographic at the show is mostly white males between the ages of 3 and 85, and just judging from the parking lot, driving a truck is required for entry. The main activity consists of walking around for 3 days through mazes of tables observing, touching (after asking very politely for permission), and commenting on the beauty of extremely sharp tools/weapons of all shapes and sizes. On the rare occasion when you encounter a perfect match, you may dish out a small fortune to bring one of these babies home. For example, a middle-aged Russian gentleman (casually dressed except for his semi-fancy watch) took home a cool folding knife from our table for $5,500. He checked out the knife for a few minutes and then… “I want zees one, how much? You take credit card? Perfect.” No big deal. (Of course the credit card was through a Swiss bank account.)

Why do thousands of people from all over the world come together to worship blades for 3 days straight? I mean, these things don’t even move. They are probably the most primitive examples of technology known to mankind. Exactly. There is a sense of power you experience when holding a man-made tool that has been used ever since the dawn of technology as we know it. This is a tool that is as commonly used today as it has ever been. Ain’t nobody using bows and arrows, horse carriages, or steam-powered aeolipiles no more. But a knife though? Hell. Yes. When you hold a well-made knife in your hand, it doesn’t feel like you are holding a tool; it feels like your hand suddenly grew a sharp edge. Their simplicity and practical nature combined with the artistic feats of knife makers perfected over millennia has resulted in the ever-increasing obsession of knife collecting/making.